The George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University seeks an additional five years (years 16-20) of support for a predoctoral and postdoctoral research training program, funded since 2002 focusing on services to, treatment of, clinical correlates of and policies affecting minority, underserved populations and those particularly vulnerable to substance use disorders and co-occurring and comorbid conditions. Maximizing an effective transdisciplinary collaboration between the Brown School and the School of Medicine, the Transdisciplinary Training in Addictions Research (TranSTAR) Program provides a stimulating and collaborative research training environment to produce exceptionally well-trained addictions researchers. TranSTAR faculty are particularly well-suited for addressing challenging addiction research issues such as polydrug users, non-treatment seeking, incarcerated populations, or those with mental health/health comorbidities, and URM and other populations disproportionately impacted by social issues such as poverty, racism and discrimination, housing and educational inequality. TranSTAR holds a superlative training record, with 100% of its 10 past predoctoral trainees currently in addictions research, 40% tenured, 53% with external funding during and 90% subsequent to training. Postdoctoral trainees are similarly accomplished: with 100% of past trainees in addictions research, 37% tenured, and 50% with external or university funding. With a highly diverse training faculty, led by two faculty from social work/public health and psychiatry, TranSTAR has demonstrated success in recruiting and retaining women and URM scholars; current predoctoral trainees are 100% women and 67% URM; diversity of postdoctoral trainees overall is similarly excellent (50% women, 50% URM). TranSTAR leverages successes and ?lessons learned? with on-going monitoring and evaluation to ensure that trainees (three pre- and two postdocs/year) have the necessary knowledge and skills to: (1) conceptualize meaningful research questions with practical service and policy implications; (2) execute rigorous, cutting-edge projects; (3) develop competitive grant applications; and (4) translate and disseminate results with potential for high impact. TranSTAR provides:(a) transdisciplinary and specialized addictions coursework and seminars taught by leading faculty in social work, public health, psychiatry, statistics, and the social sciences; (b) structured mentoring, advising, and ?hands-on? experience on addictions research projects for postdoctoral trainees over two years of training and for predoctoral trainees across three years of mentored research; (c) proposal critique review sessions; (d) predoctoral teaching assistantships in Master-level courses in addiction, comorbid conditions, statistics, and research methodology; (e) professional development sessions on presentation skills, effective communication of research findings, and ?soft-skills? related to networking and effective collaborative team science; and (f) on-going, multi-faceted responsible conduct of research training.

Public Health Relevance

NIDA estimates that drug use, abuse and addiction contribute to the death of more than 100,000 Americans annually and are associated with harms to individuals, families and society, resulting in a cost of nearly 200 billion dollars per year. The nation needs a workforce equipped to impact the modifiable risk and protective factors for addiction, particularly among vulnerable and minority populations. TranSTAR aims to train future addictions researchers to work across disciplinary boundaries, to produce translatable research that will inform services to, treatment of, clinical correlates of and policies affecting populations vulnerable to substance use disorders and co-occurring and comorbid conditions.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZDA1)
Program Officer
Duffy, Sarah Q
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Washington University
Schools of Social Welfare/Work
Saint Louis
United States
Zip Code
Sartor, Carolyn E; Bachrach, Rachel L; Stepp, Stephanie D et al. (2018) The relationship between childhood trauma and alcohol use initiation in Black and White adolescent girls: considering socioeconomic status and neighborhood factors. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 53:21-30
Sewell, Whitney C; Blankenship, Stephanie A (2018) Perceived HIV risk as a predictor of sexual risk behaviors and discrimination among high-risk women. AIDS Care :1-6
Muenks, Carol E; Sewell, Whitney C; Hogan, Patrick G et al. (2018) Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus: The Effects Are More Than Skin Deep. J Pediatr 199:158-165
Bender, Annah K; Bucholz, Kathleen K; Heath, Andrew C et al. (2018) Comparison of Characteristics of Female Drivers with Single and Multiple DUI Convictions. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 42:646-653
Hudson, Darrell L; Eaton, Jake; Banks, Andrae et al. (2018) ""Down in the Sewers"": Perceptions of Depression and Depression Care Among African American Men. Am J Mens Health 12:126-137
Sartor, Carolyn E; Grant, Julia D; Few, Lauren R et al. (2018) Childhood Trauma and Two Stages of Alcohol Use in African American and European American Women: Findings from a Female Twin Sample. Prev Sci 19:795-804
Werner, Kimberly B; Cunningham-Williams, Renee M; Sewell, Whitney et al. (2018) The Impact of Traumatic Experiences on Risky Sexual Behaviors in Black and White Young Adult Women. Womens Health Issues 28:421-429
Bender, Annah K; Chalise, Nishesh (2018) Differentiating perceptions of intimate partner violence in Nepal. Int Soc Work 61:79-92
Ahuja, Manik; Cunningham-Williams, Renee; Werner, Kimberly B et al. (2018) Risk Factors Associated With Gambling Involvement among a National Sample of African American and European American Young Adults. J Subst Abus Alcohol 6:
Bender, Annah K (2017) Ethics, Methods, and Measures in Intimate Partner Violence Research: The Current State of the Field. Violence Against Women 23:1382-1413

Showing the most recent 10 out of 65 publications