Available Mentors

The following mentors, with a description of their research interests, as well as links to their UB pages are available:

Clara M. Bradizza, PhD
Paul R. Stasiewicz, PhD
School of Social Work
University at Buffalo
Dr. Bradizza is Professor and Dr. Stasiewicz is Professor and Janet B. Wattles Endowed Chair in the School of Social Work. They conduct alcohol treatment research in two major areas. The first examines pretreatment changes in drinking and its impact on treatment outcome. Data from these studies are anticipated to have a direct impact on clinical practice by suggesting ways to modify treatment to achieve optimal alcohol outcomes. The second area involves the development and testing of a cognitive-behavioral intervention they developed that focuses on addressing emotion dysregulation among individuals diagnosed with an alcohol use disorder.

Craig Colder, PhD
Department of Psychology
University at Buffalo
Craig Colder is Professor in the Department of Psychology. His research focuses on the etiology of adolescent alcohol use spanning childhood to young adulthood from an ecological perspective. An important feature of ecological theory and of Dr. Colder’s research is that factors from multiple levels (e.g., individual, family, community) operate through complex mediational and moderational processes. He has two longitudinal data sets that followed community samples from early adolescence to young adulthood to explore risk and protective pathways of drinking. One data set focuses on psychopathology and the other focuses on the development of beliefs and attitudes about alcohol.

Peter Elkin, MD
Department of Biomedical Informatics
University at Buffalo
Dr. Elkin is UB Distinguished Professor and Chair of the UB Department of Biomedical Informatics. He is also a Professor of Medicine at the University at Buffalo. His research focuses on the use of big data science and Machine learning to predict alcohol and substance use related outcomes.

Amy Hequembourg, PhD
School of Nursing
University at Buffalo
Amy Hequembourg, a Sociologist and Associate Professor in the School of Nursing at the University at Buffalo, conducts research aimed at understanding the nature of health disparities among sexual and gender minority populations. Her research focuses on understanding mechanisms associated with interpersonal violence (e.g., lifetime sexual victimization, intimate partner violence), sources of minority stress (e.g., microaggressions), and health risk behaviors-– particularly alcohol use—in these populations. Hequembourg utilizes a mixed methods approach in her research, which has been funded by the National Institute of Justice and the National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Gregory G. Homish, PhD
Community Health and Health Behavior
University at Buffalo
Gregory Homish is Professor and Chair of the Department of Community Health and Health Behavior in the School of Public Health and Health Professions. His research has focused on how social and environmental factors influence changes in alcohol use and other substance use over time. As part of this work, he has also examined social networks’ (e.g., intimate partner, peers) influence on changes in alcohol use over time. His research has been conducted in community samples as well as special populations including police, fire fighters and currently military soldiers and their spouses. He is also interested in treatment and interventions with current work examining drug courts.

Jennifer Livingston, PhD
School of Nursing
University at Buffalo
Jennifer Livingston is Associate Professor committed to the research of violence and substance use among adolescents and to the promotion of sexual health education among children and adolescents. She is particularly interested in understanding the mechanisms through which peer victimization (i.e. bullying and sexual harassment) come to impact adolescent health outcomes, including substance use, sexual risk behavior, mental health, and vulnerability to other types of victimization (i.e. dating violence, sexual assault).

Another key area of Livingston's interest is the prevention of sexual assault and sexual abuse across the lifespan – children, adolescents, sexual minority youth and emerging adults. She believes that understanding the pathways through which early adverse experiences with victimization contribute to negative outcomes, and the protective mechanisms that can improve these effects and outcomes, can be used to inform intervention and prevention efforts.

Paul Meyer, PhD
Department of Psychology
University at Buffalo
Dr. Meyer is Associate Professor and Head of the Behavioral Neuroscience Area in the Department of Psychology. A hallmark of addiction is the ability of drug-associated stimuli (“cues”) to instigate drug-taking, even after periods of abstinence. Dr. Meyer’s group uses a number of conditioning paradigms to determine under which conditions these drug cues acquire the ability to influence behavior. For example, they model drug taking in our laboratory using intravenous and oral self-administration in rats, with a focus on alcohol and nicotine co-use. Among other findings, they have found that nicotine enhances alcohol intake by altering how rats respond to alcohol cues, and have established relationships between the response to food cues, drug cues, impulsivity, and cue-induced relapse. Their ongoing research projects are investigating the neurogenetic underpinnings of these effects.

Jennifer Read, PhD
Department of Psychology
University at Buffalo
Dr. Jennifer Read is a Professor of Psychology and the Director of Clinical Training in the Department of Psychology at University of Buffalo. She received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Rhode Island and completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Brown University’s Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies. She has an active program of research on the intersection of trauma and problematic substance use in young adult populations. She is particularly interested in sexual assault and alcohol use, and has two current projects funded by NIAAA to examine both etiology of and intervention for alcohol-involved sexual assault in young adult women. Dr. Read has over 150 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters and her research has been funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institute on Drug Abuse, and several private foundations.

Roh-Yu Shen, PhD
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
University at Buffalo
Dr. Roh-Yu Shen is Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology in the Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. Alcohol drinking during pregnancy leads to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), which has extremely high prevalence in the US and the world. Individuals with FASD suffer many cognitive/behavioral deficits. Her research focuses on elucidating the brain mechanisms underlying these deficits using the rodent model. Currently, Shen is investigating why prenatal alcohol exposure persistently impairs synaptic maturation and functions, and how these effects contribute to attention and executive function deficits, increased addiction risk, and mood disorders. In addition, she is pursuing the research in how postnatal environmental enrichment can restore cellular and cognitive/behavioral deficits in FASD.

Peter Thanos, PhD
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
University at Buffalo
Dr. Peter Thanos is a Senior Research Scientist in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology in the Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. He is currently funded by NIDA looking at the prenatal effects of nicotine and cannabis on behavior and neurochemistry. In this preclinical model, they plan to characterize operant alcohol and opioid abuse. In addition, another ongoing project is a clinical study looking at the genetic and psychosocial risk factors that increase the vulnerability for alcohol abuse following bariatric surgery.