Brenda Curtis, Ph.D., MsPH

Investigator

Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics Research Branch, Technology and Translational Research Unit

NIDA

Biomedical Research Center
251 Bayview Boulevard
Suite 200
Baltimore, MD 21224

43-740-2126

brenda.curtis@nih.gov

Research Topics

Dr. Curtis’ research focus is translational, leveraging social media and big data methodology to form the development, evaluation, and implementation of technology-based tools that address substance use and related conditions such as HIV/AIDS. Understanding techniques people use to gather information online and how that information is processed has influenced her development of a web-based smoking cessation intervention; an online adolescent screening, brief information, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) program; and an adolescent safer sex and pregnancy prevention intervention CD-ROM. Dr. Curtis employs multiple methodologies to facilitate the flow of scientific discovery to practical application allowing her to not only reach under-served populations, but to design health monitoring and behavioral change interventions that are user-centered, inclusive, and evidence-based.

Biography

Dr. Curtis earned both a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in public health from the University of Illinois and subsequently obtained her doctorate in communication from the University of Pennsylvania, where she most recently held the appointment of Assistant Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry, Addictions at the Perelman School of Medicine. Dr. Curtis also completed a fellowship at the Fordham University HIV and Drug Abuse Prevention Research Ethics Training Institute. Before joining NIDA IRP, she was the PI of a NIDA-funded R01 award (DA039457) entitled “Predicting AOD Relapse and Treatment Completion from Social Media Use” in which she used social media data to predict alcohol and other drug relapse and treatment completion among patients who have recently entered community outpatient treatment programs. She has also served as a co-investigator on several R01 NIAAA, NCI, and NIDA funded projects including a placebo-controlled trial of bupropion for smoking cessation in pregnant women in which we are using SMS text messaging to promote medication adherence; a multi-modal intervention on the use of a “smart” pillbox to promote medication adherence among non-adherent patients; a study examining the accuracy of smartphone breathalyzers; and a study examining the impact of a smart-phone based continuing care “app” for alcohol dependence. Her training in public health and health communication allows her to employ a public health approach while using effective communication techniques to ensure recruitment and retention rates are achieved.

Selected Publications

  1. Giorgi S, Yaden DB, Eichstaedt JC, Ashford RD, Buffone AEK, Schwartz HA, Ungar LH, Curtis B. Cultural Differences in Tweeting about Drinking Across the US. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17(4).

  2. Ashford RD, Giorgi S, Mann B, Pesce C, Sherritt L, Ungar L, Curtis B. Digital recovery networks: Characterizing user participation, engagement, and outcomes of a novel recovery social network smartphone application. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2020;109:50-55.

  3. Curtis B, Bergman B, Brown A, McDaniel J, Harper K, Eisenhart E, Hufnagel M, Heller AT, Ashford R. Characterizing Participation and Perceived Engagement Benefits in an Integrated Digital Behavioral Health Recovery Community for Women: A Cross-Sectional Survey. JMIR Ment Health. 2019;6(8):e13352.

  4. Ashford RD, Brown AM, McDaniel J, Neasbitt J, Sobora C, Riley R, Weinstein L, Laxton A, Kunzelman J, Kampman K, Curtis B. Responding to the opioid and overdose crisis with innovative services: The recovery community center office-based opioid treatment (RCC-OBOT) model. Addict Behav. 2019;98:106031.

  5. Ashford RD, Brown AM, Ashford A, Curtis B. Recovery dialects: A pilot study of stigmatizing and nonstigmatizing label use by individuals in recovery from substance use disorders. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. 2019;27(6):530-535.


This page was last updated on August 12th, 2020