What We Do:
DESPR's Prevention Research Branch will improve the nation's public health status through supporting a program of basic, clinical, and services research on the development, testing, and translation of prevention interventions that target the initiation of drug use, the progression to abuse and dependence, and the transmission of HIV infection among diverse populations and settings.
Support high quality research on the development, testing, and implementation of prevention interventions in a variety of contexts across the course of development:
- Early intervention – Program Contact: Belinda Sims
- Preadolescent and adolescent drug abuse and HIV prevention – Program Contacts: Belinda Sims, Jacqueline Lloyd, Aria Crump
- Drug abuse and HIV prevention in the transition to adulthood and in adulthood – Program Contacts: Aria Crump, Jacqueline Lloyd, Rich Jenkins
- Drug abuse Prevention Services Research, Systems Research, and Methodology Research – Program Contacts: Belinda Sims, Diana Augusto, Rich Jenkins
Staff Biographies for Prevention Research Branch:
Harold Perl, Ph.D. - Branch Chief
Dr. Perl is the Acting Chief of the Prevention Research Branch at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). From 2005 to 2012 he served as Senior Lead for Behavioral Research, Dissemination and Training in NIDA’s Center for the Clinical Trials Network (CCTN). Previously, he served as Chief of the Health Services Research Branch at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Prior to 1989, Dr. Perl served as the Program Director for the Prevention Research Center in the Department of Mental Hygiene at the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health. Dr. Perl earned a PhD (1987) and an MA (1981) in Clinical/Community Psychology from the University of Maryland and a BA (1974) in Psychology from the University of Rochester. Dr. Perl was named a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA) in 2009 and was honored with the APA Meritorious Research Service Commendation in 2011. He has published in scientific areas encompassing implementation of evidence-based practices, drug abuse treatment outcomes, design of treatment and services research, homelessness, and social networks.
Jacqueline Lloyd, Ph.D., M.S.W. - Deputy Branch Chief
Dr. Lloyd received a doctoral degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, Department of Mental Hygiene and a Master in Social Work from the University of Connecticut, School of Social Work. She completed a NIDA postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Studies on Addiction at the University of Pennsylvania in collaboration with the Treatment Research Institute and the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Dr. Lloyd came to NIDA from Temple University, where she was an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Administration. Prior to joining the faculty at Temple, she was an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland at Baltimore in the School of Social Work. Dr. Lloyd’s research included evaluation of a community-based youth prevention program, investigation of sexual and HIV-risk behaviors and substance use in youth, and examination of the role of family, peer and social network contextual factors on risk behaviors and treatment outcomes among youth and injecting drug users. Her program areas at NIDA include drug abuse prevention for at-risk adolescents, sexual risk and HIV prevention for adolescents, drug abuse and HIV prevention in emerging adults, and screening and brief intervention.
Liz Robertson, Ph.D. - Senior Advisor for Prevention Research
Dr. Robertson served as the Chief of the Prevention Research Branch (PRB) at the National Institute on Drug Abuse from 1998 until 2011. In that capacity she broadened the focus of the prevention research portfolio to include a developmental perspective that ranges from early childhood through adulthood. In addition, prevention intervention contexts such as the family, media, and existing service delivery systems have been targeted for growth. High priority areas for continued portfolio development include the integration of HIV prevention into standard prevention paradigms; basic trans-disciplinary prevention research; efficacy, effectiveness, and large-scale systems trials; and prevention methodology. Prior to coming to NIDA, Liz led an intramural research program on rural substance abuse for the United States Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service. She has published articles on the contributions of low social support and economic stress to family dysfunction and poor adolescent outcomes; the effects of social and biological transitions on adolescent problem behavior; substance abuse among rural children, adolescents, and adults; and the availability and utilization of drug abuse treatment services in rural areas.
Aria Crump, Sc.D. - Health Scientist Administrator
Dr. Crump joined the Prevention Research Branch in September of 2001. She received a Doctor of Science in Behavioral Sciences from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development where she participated in community- and school-based prevention research. Dr. Crump worked as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public and Community Health, University of Maryland at College Park, where she instructed students in health communications and minority health and conducted research as a part of a community-university health partnership. Her research interests include substance use prevention in ethnic minority communities and in emerging adult populations. Her current program area at NIDA focuses on the prevention of substance abuse and HIV during late adolescence and the transition to adulthood.
Augusto (Augie) Diana, Ph.D. - Health Scientist Administrator
Dr. Diana joined the Prevention Research Branch in April of 2006. He serves as Coordinator of the SBIR/STTR Program for PRB and DESPR. In addition, Dr. Diana has worked to build a portfolio of research on physical activity's potential as a prevention strategy, and he is assuming responsibility for part of the prevention portfolio focused on school and community-based research. Prior to joining NIDA, Augie worked as a Senior Public Health Analyst at the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) where he was responsible for national cross-site evaluations of the State Incentive Grant project, and several data/technology initiatives. Augie has worked in Boston and Colorado designing and managing evaluation and research projects at the community and state levels, with a primary focus on substance abuse prevention but also in areas of mental health, crime, delinquency, violence, and leisure activities. Dr. Diana received his Ph.D. in Sociology from Northeastern University and his undergraduate degree from Fordham University.
Richard A. Jenkins, Ph.D. - Health Scientist Administrator
Dr. Jenkins joined the Prevention Research Branch at NIDA in 2006. Previously, he was a behavioral scientist in the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention at CDC. Rich received his PhD in clinical psychology from Bowling Green State University and completed a postdoc at Indiana University-Bloomington. Prior to coming to NIDA, he was involved in a variety of domestic and international projects related to HIV prevention. These have included preparations for HIV vaccine trials, investigations of the social and behavioral epidemiology of HIV exposure, and the design and evaluation of HIV prevention interventions. Rich has interests in research methodology including non-probability sampling methods, assessment of sensitive behaviors, and the integration of qualitative and quantitative research methods. He also has been involved in research related to the implementation of federally-sponsored community planning mechanisms. Rich's international experience has focused on Asia, primarily Thailand. This has included operational studies associated with early stage HIV vaccine trials, community assessments of HIV risk among men who have sex with men (MSM), and development of the first systematic HIV prevention intervention with MSM.
Eve Reider, Ph.D. - Health Scientist Administrator
Dr. Reider is the Deputy Branch Chief of the Prevention Research Branch at NIDA. She received her doctoral degree in Child/Family Clinical Psychology at Michigan State University and worked in the Department of Psychiatry at Kennedy Kreiger Institute and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine prior to becoming a program official at NIDA in 2000. Some of her efforts at NIDA have focused on integrating drug abuse and HIV prevention for youth and expanding the prevention portfolio for vulnerable populations, including children in the child welfare system, children of parents in the criminal justice system, and youth with multiple problem behaviors. Dr. Reider has recently been involved in co-leading a NIDA initiative in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, and other National Institute of Health institutes on substance use and associated comorbidities in military personnel, veterans, and their families.
Belinda Sims, Ph.D. - Health Scientist Administrator
Dr. Sims joined the Prevention Research Branch at NIDA in June 2005. Her program areas include preventive interventions that span the prenatal period through pre-adolescence. Within this developmental age range, her portfolio includes interventions for early childhood, and family-based and school-based preventive interventions. In addition, Dr. Sims' portfolio includes prevention services research (e.g., dissemination and implementation research, economic analysis) and institutional training grants (T32 grants). Dr. Sims received her doctoral degree in Developmental Psychology from Loyola University Chicago. She was the program official for the Child and Adolescent Preventive Intervention program at the National Institute of Mental Health prior to becoming a program official at NIDA, and a Faculty Research Associate in the Department of Mental Hygiene (now Mental Health) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health prior to joining NIH.