Meet Our Team

Anagha Babu
Research Assistant

Anagha Babu earned her B.A. in Applied Mathematics and Statistics from Johns Hopkins University. She currently works as the laboratory manager in the Rutgers Emotion Health and Behavior (REHAB) Lab in the Department of Psychology, where she coordinates several studies including a puff topography intervention study (on which Dr. Steinberg serves as a co-I), research on promoting exercise compliance in cardiac rehabilitation, and an analysis on the impact of hormones on emotions and smoking behaviors in women. Anagha is primarily interested in studying emotion dysregulation in physical illnesses, substance use, and individuals with serious mental illness.

Ben Billingsley, M.S.
Doctoral Candidate

Benjamin Billingsley is a doctoral candidate in the Rutgers Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program working under the supervision of Dr. Marc Steinberg. He has served as a clinician on one of Dr. Steinberg’s NIDA-funded smoking cessation studies and served as an extern at the Rutgers Anxiety Disorders Clinic for two years. Currently, his research interests include identifying Acceptance and Commitment Therapy’s mechanisms of change, and increasing the efficacy of ACT for smoking cessation. He received his BA from Yale University in 2014.

Trish Dooley Budsock, M.A., LPC, CTTS
Research Therapist

Trish Dooley Budsock, M.A., LPC, CTTS is a 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 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 treating tobacco in mental health settings since 2006, on a state and national level.

Ms. Dooley Budsock is also the coordinator for the Opioid Overdose Prevention Network. This project provides statewide Naloxone trainings in response to real-time information about drug overdoses from the New Jersey State Police Drug Monitoring Initiative. This project reaches 3,000 individuals through training and distributes a minimum of 2,500 naloxone kits annually. The initiative reaches a broad spectrum of the adult population in NJ, and also reaches out to those programs serving individuals who have specialized needs, including: agencies and organizations working with justice-involved populations and offender re-entry programs; healthcare professionals; pharmacists; syringe access programs; community health centers; and others. She collaborates with local and statewide stakeholders to ensure program accessibility.

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.

Julia Kwiecinski
Research Assistant

Julia Kwiecinski is an undergraduate research assistant studying Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience at the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University. She has experience working with populations suffering from ADHD, TBI, GAD, and MDD. She is primarily interested in mood disorders and how they affect one’s day-to-day functioning. She is excited to be part of the team and to help develop new ways to help those suffering from Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, and Bipolar Disorder to quit smoking. After she graduates, she wishes to pursue a career in Neuropsychology.

Jessica Ortiz, MSW, LCSW
Research Coordinator

Jessica Ortiz is a research teaching specialist with RWJMS Addiction Psychiatry and the lab manager for Dr. Steinberg's Tobacco Research and Intervention Lab. She completed her MSW degree with the Rutgers School of Social Work and is a licensed social worker. She is committed to supporting those with complex trauma and substance use disorders, and is currently a volunteer on a domestic violence crisis response team. In her free time you will find her at the beach or in a debate with her friends about tobacco use and vaping.

Salma Pont
Research Assistant

Salma Pont is a senior undergraduate Research Assistant studying Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience at the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University. She works as a Student Spanish Medical Interpreter at the Eric B. Chandler Health Center facilitating communication for limited English-speaking patients and medical staff to ensure quality of care. Additionally, she is interested in research involving substance use disorders and mental health. She is focused on the cognitive processes influenced by substance use and hopes to better understand effective treatment strategies for substance use disorders. She plans to continue doing research on substance use after graduation and in the future to attend graduate school for Neuropsychology.

Brandon Reed, M.S.
Doctoral Psychology Intern

Brandon Reed, M.S., is a doctoral psychology intern at Rutgers University Behavioral Healthcare with a minor rotation in Dr. Steinberg’s Tobacco Research and Intervention Lab. He earned is M.S. in Clinical Psychology at California State University, Fullerton and is currently finishing his doctorate at Rosalind Franklin University in North Chicago, IL. Brandon’s research interests include mood and affect regulation as it pertains to addiction psychology, with an added interest in dynamic structural equation modeling. In his free time, he enjoys going on road trips, rock climbing, and watching the LA Dodgers with his dog, Harley.

Rachel Rosen, M.S.
Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Student

Rachel Rosen, M.S., is a fourth-year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at Rutgers. Prior to joining the Tobacco Research and Intervention Lab, Rachel earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and subsequently worked as a Research Assistant in the Department of Addiction Psychiatry at the University Of Massachusetts Medical School. Rachel is interested in the development and evaluation of behavioral treatments for tobacco and other substance use. Currently, she is examining person-level (e.g., mood) and product-specific (e.g., e-liquid flavor, nicotine concentration) factors and their association with e-cigarette use and cessation, using ecological momentary assessment. Rachel was recently awarded a National Research Service Award Pre-Doctoral Fellowship (F31) from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to support her research and training.

Drashya Shah
Research Assistant

Drashya Shah is a junior undergraduate at Rutgers University majoring in public health and minoring in psychology. As a research assistant for the Tobacco Research and Intervention Lab, she conducts phone screens and research assessments for the patients. She is interested in research involving substance disorders and health inequities and hopes to attend medical school to become a physician in the future.

Dr. Marc Steinberg
Director of the Tobacco Research & Intervention lab

Dr. Marc Steinberg is a clinical psychologist and the director of the Tobacco Research & Intervention lab. He is a Professor of Psychiatry and Associate Director, Division of Addiction Psychiatry at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. 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 a Deputy Editor for the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research and a Consulting Editor for Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.

See Dr. Steinberg's CV here.

Nicole Weickert
Research Assistant

Nicole Weickert is a senior undergraduate Research Assistant at Rutgers University. She is studying Psychology and Human Resource Management with a minor in Criminology. As a research assistant, she conducts phone screens, baseline research assessments, and is undergoing training to complete SCID interviews. She is interested into going into Industrial-Organizational psychology.