The postdoctoral researcher will work jointly with Drs. Rebecca Ashare and Larry Hawk, Co-Directors of the Unit on Behavioral Health Research and Treatment (UBHEART), home to a suite of translational and clinical research studies focused on understanding and treating a range of medical and psychiatric conditions, with an emphasis on substance use. Post-doctoral fellows in our program obtain skills and experiences necessary to excel in a career as an independent investigator. These skills are nurtured through mentoring, didactics, and networking opportunities. Fellows will hone their skills in the context of working closely with mentors on current projects (described below) and will have the opportunity to work across varying study designs, methodologies and populations. Drs. Ashare and Hawk have a long history of collaboration and are the Co-Directors of the Unit on Behavioral Health and Addiction Research and Treatment (UBHEaRT), where they share extensive clinical and laboratory space and resources.
Dr. Ashare’s research takes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding substance use among individuals with medical and psychiatric comorbidities. Most recently, this work has focused on three areas: (1) the mechanisms and outcomes of tobacco use among people with HIV (PWH); (2) digital interventions for smoking cessation among individuals with serious mental illness; and (3) the intersection of cannabis and opioid use for symptom management. Current studies include a multi-site clinical trial - in collaboration with Duke University - to evaluate the effectiveness of a mobile health application (i.e., smartphone app) for smoking cessation among individuals with serious mental illness. Dr. Ashare’s lab is also conducting a study to evaluate the role of cannabis use in moderating opioid use for the management of pain among cancer patients. There will also be opportunities to work with existing datasets focused on the mechanisms and outcomes of tobacco use among people with HIV. See Dr. Ashare’s lab website for more details: http://ubwp.buffalo.edu/enable
Dr. Hawk’s multidisciplinary research focuses on the role of basic cognitive, affective, and learning processes in psychopathology and its treatment, with an emphasis on nicotine/tobacco use, withdrawal, and cessation. Methods include basic behavioral pharmacology studies, psychophysiology, real-world monitoring (EMA, sensors), and randomized clinical trials. One major line of work focuses on the mechanisms and efficacy of extended pre-quit medication for extinguishing smoking reinforcement and enhancing smoking cessation. Another focuses on the cognitive mechanisms of pharmacologic and behavioral interventions for ADHD. Other ongoing work includes psychophysiology data collection as part of a HiTOP-informed, multi-site effort to create better patient and clinician measures of the RDoC negative valence system. Dr. Hawk plans to initiate two large nicotine vaping projects within the next year: one project will be the first head-to-head comparison of abstinence-induced withdrawal and motivation to vape/smoke among daily nicotine vapers vs. daily smokers; the other project will deploy our recently developed method for automatic detection of nicotine vaping rate and patterning in the laboratory and the natural environment to advance our understanding and assessment of vaping behavior, setting the stage for intervention studies and parallel work on THC vaping.
Key accountabilities and responsibilities
* Develop and execute independent research studies
* Conduct secondary data analysis on existing datasets in the UBHeart lab
* Write high impact research articles
* Develop a competitive grant proposal
* Participate in career development activities including, developing effective presentation skills, building healthy collaborations, and mentoring students/staff
The University at Buffalo, founded in 1846 as a private medical college, is the flagship and largest university within the SUNY public university system. The University at Buffalo has long been known for excellence in research, as it was the first university in New York to earn membership in the Association of American Universities. The University consists of three campuses and serves almost 30,000 students, offering degrees in a wide range of programs at the bachelors, masters, professional, and doctoral levels. It has more than 100 research centers and institutes, with annual research expenditures of approximately $350 million. The UB Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), which fosters and supports collaborative innovation and pilot studies across the University, is catalyzed by an NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award; Dr. Hawk is the Director of the UB CTSI’s biennial Creative Scientist Workshops. The Department of Psychology at the University at Buffalo is committed to excellence in teaching, nationally-recognized research, and outstanding service to the university, profession and community. Psychology is one of the largest and strongest departments in the College of Arts and, ranking third in the college in terms of external grant funding. The doctoral program in Clinical Psychology is accredited by the American Psychological Association and the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System.