Research Interests

Since its establishment, the Division of Addiction Psychiatry has grown rapidly and continues to lead the way into several specific areas of research. A list of our ongoing studies can be found here.

Our research teams consist of Division faculty and staff working alongside Medical Students, Psychiatry Residents, Doctoral Psychology Interns, Ph.D. students in Clinical Psychology, Masters of Public Health students, and outside collaborators. We take great pride in our research accomplishments in the following overlapping areas:

  • Behavior Therapy Development
  • Co-occurring Mental Illness and Addiction
  • Medication Clinical Trials
  • Opioid Use Disorders
  • Cannabis Use
  • Tobacco Use Disorder
  • Education and Implementation Studies
  • Mindfulness and Alternative Approaches
  • Motivational Interviewing

Current Projects and Studies

Division Faculty

Jill Williams, M.D., Professor & Division Director.  The focus of Dr. Williams work has been in addressing tobacco in individuals with mental illness or other addictions through treatment and systems interventions. She has also done extensive work in co-occurring disorders and training health care professionals in treatment of substance use disorders.  Dr Williams has developed training curricula for behavioral health professionals and manualized treatments for treating tobacco in mental health settings.  Dr. Williams has received research funding from sources including the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the State of New Jersey, Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services and various foundations. 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.  She has conducted research in nicotine intake, cigarette puffing and nicotine craving in individuals with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder  as well as clinical trials to evaluate new treatments.   Dr Williams is a certified buprenorphine prescriber and has received grants to provide training on the use of Medication Assisted Treatment to health care providers and the community. 

Marc L. Steinberg, Ph.D., Associate Professor,  conducts research on tobacco use and dependence and cannabis use, particularly in vulnerable populations such as those with mental illness and low socioeconomic status. Dr. Steinberg is a clinical psychologist and is interested in psychosocial treatment development, proposed mediators of tobacco dependence treatment such as task persistence/ distress tolerance and using motivational interviewing to encourage smokers to quit. Dr. Steinberg is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers and is active in the Society for Research on Nicotine & Tobacco (SRNT). He is currently Deputy Editor for the international peer reviewed journal, Nicotine & Tobacco Research. Additional information on Dr. Steinberg's work can be found at the  Tobacco Research & Intervention Lab website.

Nina Cooperman, Psy.D., Associate Professor.  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. 

Anna Kline, Ph.D., Adjunct Associate Professor, conducts research on substance use and mental health, with a special focus on vulnerable populations. Her current research focuses on problems of opioid misuse, with studies examining both the epidemiology of opioid addiction in New Jersey as well as opioid users’ attitudes and behaviors that may contribute to overdose risk. Dr. Kline is also currently co-investigator on two clinical trials testing the efficacy of mindfulness-based interventions, one to treat suicidality in military veterans and the other, chronic pain in methadone patients.