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Prevention Research Branch (PRB)

What We Do:

The mission of the Prevention Research Branch is to stimulate and support an extramural translational research program that includes basic, clinical, and services research on the development, testing, dissemination and implementation of prevention interventions and strategies that prevent the initiation of drug use, prevent progression to abuse and dependence, and prevent transmission of HIV infection in diverse populations and settings. The goal is to support a body of research that prevents substance use and substance-related problems across the lifespan and improves public health.

Research Interests:

PRB seeks research to address the following questions:

  • How can primary care and other health services systems be transformed for successful integration of sustainable, evidence-based prevention interventions to reduce the burden of drug problems and drug-related infections (e.g., HIV, HCV, STIs) at the population level? What strategies are key to successful implementation of evidence-based interventions with fidelity?
  • How can findings from neuroscience and other sciences be used to develop and test novel prevention interventions that target underlying mechanisms of risk and resiliency for drug use and misuse, including development and testing of novel intervention approaches for understudied and vulnerable populations?
  • How do we use research findings on moderators and mediators of prevention interventions: a) to inform the development of tailored/adaptive interventions, and b) to better understand for whom interventions work best and optimization of interventions?
  •  What community, medical, and policy interventions will effectively prevent opioid and other prescription drug misuse and abuse in communities while ensuring access to high quality medical care and pain management services?

Staff Biographies for Prevention Research Branch:

  • Amy Goldstein, Ph.D. - Branch Chief
    (301) 827-4124
    Dr. Amy Goldstein joined the Prevention Research Branch in October 2018.  She came to NIDA from the MedStar Health Research Institute, where she was the Scientific Director for Behavioral Health Research. Prior to MedStar, Dr.Goldstein spent a decade at the National Institute of Mental Health as the Chief of the Preventive Intervention Research Program and the NIMH Associate Director for Prevention. During her time at NIMH Amy held leadership roles in several signature projects for the Institute, including the NIMH Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenia Episode (RAISE) Project.  Dr. Goldstein also played key roles in national suicide prevention projects, including the Emergency Department Safety Assessment and Follow Up Evaluation Study (ED-SAFE) and the Emergency Department Screen for Teens At-Risk for Suicide Study (ED-STARS). Dr. Goldstein led the Prevention Research Consortium at NIMH and represented the Institute on several NIH and HHS prevention related committees and workgroups. Dr. Goldstein received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Washington University in St. Louis and her MA and PhD in Clinical Child Psychology from Case Western Reserve University. She completed post-doctoral fellowships at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and began her career as a Senior Instructor in Psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University.
  • Minki Chatterji, Ph.D.Health Scientist Administrator
    (301) 827-5435
    Dr. Minki Chatterji joined the Prevention Research Branch at NIDA in February 2019. Her current program area at NIDA includes the HEALthy Brain and Cognitive Development (HEALthy BCD) Study.  Dr. Chatterji came to NIDA from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) where she was a Scientific Review Officer (SRO) for the Population Sciences Subcommittee for two years. Prior to joining NICHD, Dr. Chatterji conducted quantitative research related to global health programs at Abt Associates, Mathematica Policy Research, the Futures Group, and USAID.  She has conducted randomized controlled trials of behavioral interventions focused on improving reproductive health and child health outcomes in several low- and middle-income countries.  Dr. Chatterji areas of expertise are study design, survey development, oversight of quantitative data collection and analysis of data from large, nationally representative datasets. She has worked in several regions of the world including the Caribbean, sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East, South Asia and Southeast Asia.  Dr. Chatterji holds a Ph.D. in Demography from UC Berkeley.
  • Aria Crump, Sc.D. - Health Scientist Administrator
    (301) 435-0881
    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 family-focused preventive interventions and prevention in racial/ethnic minority populations.  Her current program areas at NIDA focus on the prevention of drug abuse and HIV infection during late adolescence and the transition to adulthood, the prevention of prescription drug misuse, and on community-centered approaches to drug abuse risk-reduction in American Indian and Alaska Native populations.
  • Richard A. Jenkins, Ph.D. - Health Scientist Administrator
    (301) 443-1923
    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.
  • Jacqueline Lloyd, Ph.D., M.S.W. - Health Scientist Administrator
    (301) 443-8892
    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 and HIV prevention in at-risk adolescents, young adults and adults.
  • Belinda Sims, Ph.D. - Health Scientist Administrator
    (301) 402-1533
    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.
  • Karen Sirocco, Ph.D. - Health Scientist Administrator
    (301) 451-8661
    Dr. Karen Sirocco joined the Behavioral and Brain Development Branch at the National Institute on Drug Abuse in October 2005.  Her research program interests include typical and atypical development, the consequences of drugs on brain and behavioral development and co-occurring drug abuse and mental health. Dr. Sirocco completed her doctoral studies in applied developmental psychology, including a master’s degree in school psychology, at George Mason University.  Dr. Sirocco came to NIDA from the National Institute of Health (NIH), Center for Scientific Review (CSR) where she was chief of the Biobehavioral and Behavioral Processes (BBBP) integrated review group and Scientific Review Administrator for the Child Psychopathologies and Developmental Disabilities (CPDD) study section which assesses applications related to developmental, psychopathological and substance-use disorders in children and the effects of developmental disorders in adults.  Prior to joining CSR, Dr. Sirocco spent 10 years in the Laboratory of Clinical Studies, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), where she was involved in basic and clinical biobehavioral research into the causes, prevention, and treatment of alcoholism. She has spent the last 25 years working at various Institutes and Centers that comprise the National Institutes of Health.

This page was last updated March 2019