Dr. Nina Cooperman is a clinical psychologist and Associate Professor of Psychiatry in the Division of Addiction Psychiatry at the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. For almost 20 years, her research has focused on developing and evaluating novel interventions for substance use and other health behaviors. Her earlier work included addressing medication adherence among people with HIV and developing tailored tobacco dependence treatment for individuals in methadone treatment for an opioid use disorder. Her current research focuses on evaluating mindfulness for opioid relapse prevention and chronic pain management among people in methadone treatment and peer recovery support for opioid overdose survivors in the emergency department. The National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, the state of New Jersey, and the Laura and John Arnold Foundation have funded Dr. Cooperman’s research. Dr. Cooperman oversees the Opioid Overdose Prevention Network, a program to educate the public on the opioid epidemic and distribute naloxone to professionals and community members across the state. Also, she teaches and mentors students, interns, and residents and conducts professional trainings in motivational interviewing, mindfulness, and tobacco dependence treatment.
Dr. Anna Kline is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. During her 25+ years of community-based research, she has focused on the intersection of mental illness, substance abuse and trauma in vulnerable populations, including military veterans. Dr. Kline’s present research focuses on current trends in substance abuse, with a special focus on the problem of opioid abuse and overdose. Incorporating both qualitative and quantitative research methods, Dr. Kline is studying the epidemiology of substance misuse in New Jersey, opioid users’ perspectives on the problem of opioid overdose, substance abuse problems affecting prisoners reentering the community and trends in marijuana use in the context of medical and recreational legalization. She is also engaged in a clinical trial testing a mindfulness-based intervention for methadone patients with chronic pain, and a study of a peer-based intervention for hospitalized opioid overdose survivors.
Dr. Anna Konova is a cognitive neuroscientist by training. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and University Behavioral Health Care (UBHC) at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, and Core Faculty in the Rutgers Brain Health Institute. Dr. Konova's research examines the cognitive, computational, and neural mechanisms of substance use and addictive behaviors. Work in her lab, the Addiction & Decision Neuroscience Lab (www.konovalab.com), aims to identify risk and resilience factors in addiction escalation, recovery, and treatment, such as those related to high risk and impulsive behavior, craving, stress and anxiety, and psychosocial function and wellbeing. This work combines brain imaging, computational modeling, and cognitive paradigms to examine how motivated learning and decision making is influenced by changes in these emotional states and environmental contexts to contribute to individual clinical outcomes. Dr. Konova is also co-director of the Rutgers-Princeton Center for Computational Cognitive Neuro-Psychiatry which provides an inter-disciplinary community and infrastructure for cognitive neuroscience research in psychiatry.
Dr. Marc Steinberg is a clinical psychologist and the director of the Tobacco Research & Intervention lab. He is a Professor of Psychiatry at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Director of the Doctoral Psychology Internship program at Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care. His research focuses on tobacco use and dependence, including tobacco dependence treatment development, tobacco use in smokers with psychiatric comorbidity, the relationship between smoking and task persistence/distress tolerance, and motivational interviewing as an approach to encourage smokers to make a quit attempt. As a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers, he also trains clinicians in the use of motivational interviewing.
Dr. Steinberg is active in the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT) where he serves on its Advisory Committee. He is also a Deputy Editor for the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research.
You can view Dr. Steinberg’s CV here.
Jill M. Williams, MD, is Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Division of Addiction Psychiatry at the Rutgers University-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick. She also holds faculty appointments at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey and the Rutgers Center for Alcohol Studies. The focus of Dr. Williams work has been in addressing tobacco in individuals with mental illness or other addictions through treatment and systems interventions. Dr Williams has developed training curricula for behavioral health professionals and manualized treatments for treating tobacco in mental health settings. She is a Board Certified Addiction Psychiatry and member of the APA Council on Addictions. Dr. Williams has received research funding from sources including the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and American Legacy Foundation. Her publications have appeared in numerous journals including Nicotine and Tobacco Research, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment and in 2015 she was the recipient of the Remarkable Achievement Award of the NJ Psychiatric Association.
Benjamin Billingsley is a third-year graduate student in the Rutgers Clinical Psychology PhD program working under the supervision of Dr. Marc Steinberg. After receiving a BA in psychology from Yale University, he worked as a research assistant for two years at the New York State Psychiatric Institute at Columbia Medical Center. Currently, he is working on his master’s thesis which is examining the role of change talk and its influence on quit attempts in an intervention for smokers with serious mental illness.
Trish Dooley Budsock is a Program Manager and Mental Health Clinician at the Division of Addiction Psychiatry. Ms. Dooley Budsock has a master’s degree in Counselor Education, and is a Licensed Professional Counselor, as well as a Tobacco Treatment Specialist. She is the Director of CHOICES (Consumers Helping Others Improve their Condition by Ending Smoking), a peer outreach program that utilizes peer counselors to address tobacco in the mental health community. She also oversees the operations of several other projects in the division, including the Opioid Overdose Prevention Network, which is a statewide Naloxone training program. Ms Dooley Budsock has been working in the field of addictions and mental health since 1995, and has been treating tobacco dependence since 2002. Additionally, she has been providing trainings on tobacco and Motivational Interviewing since 2006, on a state and national level. Ms. Dooley Budsock has been the clinician and clinical supervisor for a number of clinical trials specific to various medications and behavioral therapies for tobacco dependence in the SMI population. She has presented abstracts and workshops at national and international public health and tobacco control conferences and has been published in peer reviewed journals.
Kelley Hamilton is a student assistant for the RIOT, Rutgers Interdisciplinary Opioid Training, program in the Department of Psychiatry, Division of Addiction Psychiatry. She is currently pursuing her MPH from Rutgers School of Public Health concentrating in Social and Behavioral Health Sciences and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Rutgers University.
Dina Mattern is a Research Coordinator for the Department of Psychiatry, Division of Addiction Psychiatry. Dina received a Master of Science (MS) degree in Experimental Psychology with a concentration in Behavioral Neuroscience from Seton Hall University. Dina has a wide range of experience extending to fMRI neuroimaging, cognitive neuroscience, behavioral and epidemiological research. Prior to joining the Division of Addiction Psychiatry, Dina worked as a Lab Manager for the Learning and Decision Making lab at Rutgers-Newark. Here, she managed various neuroimaging and behavioral research studies examining the neural mechanisms of feedback-based learning and its associated reward processing. Currently, Dina coordinates multiple research projects pertaining to the mental health and substance use of New Jersey residents, with a focus on opioid use disorder. This includes the Opioid Overdose study, which utilizes both qualitative and quantitative research methods to capture the opioid user's perspective on opioid abuse and overdose. She also plays an active role in managing and analyzing data for the New Jersey Household Survey on Drug Use and Health, a three year longitudinal study evaluating changing substance use trends, the mental health status, and prevalence of co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders of New Jersey residents. Dina is interested in building upon her experiences to further understand the impairments of reward processing in the brain pertaining to addiction, as well as developing better treatment programs for those with opioid use disorder.
John Mikolajczyk is the Secretary for the Department of Psychiatry's Division of Addiction Psychiatry at the Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (RWJMS). John received a social sciences degree from Kean University and has worked at RWJMS in an administrative capacity for over 10 years. In addition to providing front desk coverage for the division, he renders vital administrative support to the Project Directors, Principal Investigators, faculty members, research assistants, and other professional staff. John also coordinates and maintains records associated with grant accounts and state budgets, and ensures these funds are utilized according to policy regulations. John furthermore is responsible for handling the day-to-day logistics of the division as well as maintaining its website.
Jessica Ortiz is the research coordinator at the Tobacco Research & Intervention Lab working on clinical trials related to tobacco dependence. She is currently pursuing her MSW from Rutgers School of Social Work and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Rutgers University.
Thanusha Puvananayagam is a Research Coordinator for the Department of Psychiatry, Division of Addiction Psychiatry. Thanusha received a Master of Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology from Rutgers University. Thanusha has over 10 years of experience conducting and coordinating cancer research projects both at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and the Rutgers School of Public Health. Currently, she coordinates a multisite NCCIH funded randomized controlled trial focused on evaluating mindfulness for opioid relapse prevention and chronic pain management among people in methadone treatment, with a focus on opioid use disorder.
Queenie Reda holds a MSW and is a LSW & LCADC. Queenie is pursuing a Doctor of Social Work Degree (DSW) at Rutgers School of Social Work . She is employed as a Health Educator in the Division of Addiction Psychiatry at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. As a Health Educator, she is providing education on the history of opioid use as well as presenting on naloxone for the reversal of an opioid overdose. She is also an adjunct instructor at a local community college teaching in Pre-Social Work/Human Services courses to students on the CADC track. Queenie has a range of experience in providing mental health services, substance use disorder counseling, and prevention workshops to at risk populations.
You can view Rachel’s CV here