New T32 Pre-Doctoral Training Program Focuses on Tackling Substance Use Disorder Crisis

June 2, 2020

Rollins faculty Hannah L.F. Cooper, ScD, and Lance Waller, PhD, recently received funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse for a new T32 pre-doctoral training program, titled Training in Advanced Data Analytics to End Drug-Related Harms (TADA). The goal of TADA is to prepare a diverse cadre of 21st Century social and behavioral science researchers to apply advanced data analytics and computational methods and to develop transformative approaches to end the substance use disorder (SUD) crisis. Methods include, but are not limited to, geospatial methods, social network analyses, gene/environment interactions, machine learning, and tools to integrate and analyze multiple large administrative datasets.

Cooper and Waller will serve as co-principal investigators for the grant, of which the two possess extensive methodological, theoretical, and substantive expertise—Cooper, in the areas of social and behavioral sciences and substance use disorders; Waller in the areas of advanced data science, computation, and biostatistics.

Cooper and Waller initiated their collaboration in 2009 on a project that applied advanced data analytics to test social and behavioral science hypotheses about the impact of racial/ethnic residential segregation on neonatal health. They are currently collaborating on a Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists-funded project to enhance surveillance of overdose deaths through careful review of National Center for Health Statistics mortality statistics and the curation of multiple sources of data relating to community risk (or resilience) to SUD based on county- or community-level features.

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