Brenda Curtis, Ph.D., MsPH
Translational Addiction Medicine Branch, Technology and Translational Research Unit
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.
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.
- Liu T, Giorgi S, Yadeta K, Schwartz HA, Ungar LH, Curtis B. Linguistic predictors from Facebook postings of substance use disorder treatment retention versus discontinuation. Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2022:1-13.
- 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).
- Bragard E, Giorgi S, Juneau P, Curtis BL. Loneliness and Daily Alcohol Consumption During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Alcohol Alcohol. 2022;57(2):198-202.
- Moon AM, Curtis B, Mandrekar P, Singal AK, Verna EC, Fix OK. Alcohol-Associated Liver Disease Before and After COVID-19-An Overview and Call for Ongoing Investigation. Hepatol Commun. 2021;5(9):1616-1621.
- Himelein-Wachowiak M, Giorgi S, Kwarteng A, Schriefer D, Smitterberg C, Yadeta K, Bragard E, Devoto A, Ungar L, Curtis B. Getting "clean" from nonsuicidal self-injury: Experiences of addiction on the subreddit r/selfharm. J Behav Addict. 2022;11(1):128-139.
Related Scientific Focus Areas
Social and Behavioral Sciences
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This page was last updated on Thursday, August 18, 2022