This application for a Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Award is designed to prepare the candidate, Paola Pedrelli, Ph.D., for a career in patient-oriented research on Alcohol Use Disorders (AUDs) and depressive symptoms. College students with binge drinking and depressive symptoms appear an ideal population with which begin this endeavor given that the co-occurrence of these conditions represent a serious and common public health problem that remarkably has been largely unaddressed in this younger population. Objectives for this training grant are for the candidate to: 1) Develop expertise in AUDs treatment research;2) Develop advanced skills in complex statistics;and 3) Develop RO1 level skills in research ethics for individuals with SUDs co-occurring with depressive symptoms. The stated objectives will be achieved through: 1) Resources at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School;2) Mentoring from co-primary mentors Drs. Maurizio Fava and Roger Weiss, mentors Drs. John Kelly and Brian Borsari and consultants Drs. Hang Lee and Jonathan Alpert;2) Targeted advanced coursework, seminars as well as supervised clinical experiences;and 3) Implementation of the proposed research project. The primary aim of the proposed research project is to systematically examine the efficacy in reducing alcohol consumption of an empirically supported treatment for depression, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), enhanced with an empirically supported treatment for substance use, Motivational Interviewing (MI), among college students with binge drinking and depressive symptoms. Secondary aims of the proposal will include exploratory investigation of the role of depressive symptoms on course of alcohol use behavior and of mediators of alcohol outcome. Results of the proposed project will provide preliminary data for an RO1 application, and will lay the foundation for a career-long research program focused on developing treatment protocols for co-occurring AUDs and depressive symptoms. The candidate has demonstrated a strong commitment to a research career and excellence in her clinical and academic endeavors thus far. This training program will assist Dr. Pedrelli in making the transition to independent investigator and to become an expert in treatment for AUDs and co-occurring depressive symptoms.

Public Health Relevance

Among college students, binge drinking is associated with severe negative consequences, and the presence of depressive symptoms leads to an even higher risk of harmful outcome. The study will examine the efficacy in reducing alcohol consumption, as well as depressive symptoms and alcohol related negative consequences of an empirically supported treatment for depression, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), enhanced with an empirically supported treatment for substance use, Motivational Interviewing (MI), among college students with these co-occurring symptoms. Identifying an effective intervention for these serious and commonly co-occurring symptoms will have extraordinary public health significance.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Health Services Research Review Subcommittee (AA)
Program Officer
Lowman, Cherry
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Massachusetts General Hospital
United States
Zip Code
Pedrelli, Paola; Borsari, Brian; Lipson, Sarah Ketchen et al. (2016) Gender Differences in the Relationships Among Major Depressive Disorder, Heavy Alcohol Use, and Mental Health Treatment Engagement Among College Students. J Stud Alcohol Drugs 77:620-8
Pedrelli, P; Shapero, B; Archibald, A et al. (2016) Alcohol use and depression during adolescence and young adulthood: a summary and interpretation of mixed findings. Curr Addict Rep 3:91-97
Pedrelli, Paola; Collado, Anahi; Shapero, Benjamin G et al. (2016) Different pathways explain alcohol-related problems in female and male college students. J Am Coll Health 64:535-44
Janes, Amy C; Pedrelli, Paola; Whitton, Alexis E et al. (2015) Reward Responsiveness Varies by Smoking Status in Women with a History of Major Depressive Disorder. Neuropsychopharmacology 40:1940-6
Nyer, Maren; Mischoulon, David; Alpert, Jonathan E et al. (2015) College students with depressive symptoms with and without fatigue: Differences in functioning, suicidality, anxiety, and depressive severity. Ann Clin Psychiatry 27:100-8
Pedrelli, Paola; Nyer, Maren; Yeung, Albert et al. (2015) College Students: Mental Health Problems and Treatment Considerations. Acad Psychiatry 39:503-11
Pedrelli, Paola; Blais, Mark A; Alpert, Jonathan E et al. (2014) Reliability and validity of the Symptoms of Depression Questionnaire (SDQ). CNS Spectr 19:535-46
Nyer, Maren; Farabaugh, Amy; Fehling, Kiki et al. (2013) Relationship between sleep disturbance and depression, anxiety, and functioning in college students. Depress Anxiety 30:873-80
Pedrelli, Paola; Bentley, Kate; Vitali, Mario et al. (2013) Compulsive use of alcohol among college students. Psychiatry Res 205:95-102
Pedrelli, Paola; Nyer, Maren; Holt, Daphne et al. (2013) Correlates of irritability in college students with depressive symptoms. J Nerv Ment Dis 201:953-8

Showing the most recent 10 out of 13 publications