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Natalie Brousseau recently earned her PhD in Human Development & Family Sciences from the University of Delaware and will soon begin a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Connecticut. Natalie, Valerie, and Carly chat about their work on the UDisclose study, which focused on understanding disclosure experiences among people in recovery from opioid use disorders in Delaware. Natalie shares the results of her three dissertation studies, and Valerie and Carly wish Natalie good luck in her next round of science adventures.This is our last episode of the season. Follow us on instagram @sexdrugsscience to stay up to date on future episodes. 
Sarah Calabrese is an Assistant Professor of clinical psychology at The George Washington University. Her research focuses on sexual health promotion among racial and sexual minorities and other socially marginalized groups. Sarah chats with Valerie about all things PrEP (an HIV prevention medication), including: how many people are (or aren’t) using PrEP, (arguably) conservative guidelines around PrEP recommendations, and provider bias in PrEP prescription that likely leads to inequities in who can access PrEP. Valerie asks Sarah about why it’s important to think about sexual pleasure when we’re studying HIV prevention and sexual health promotion. Learn more about Sarah’s work here:
Dave Humes is a Board Member and the Public Policy Coordinator of aTAcK addiction, a naloxone trainer, and co-chair of the Changing Perceptions and Stigma Subcommittee of the Behavioral Health Consortium In Delaware. Dave shares his story of losing his son to an opioid overdose, and how that inspired him to advocate for policy change surrounding access to naloxone (an opioid overdose-reversal medication) in Delaware. Valerie and Carly ask Dave for advice about advocating for policy change and Dave shares advice for scientists. Learn more about aTAcK addiction here: Dave on Twitter: @Gregs_DadLearn more about how naloxone laws changed between 2001 and 2017 through the Prescription Drug Policy System site: 
Dr. Judy Tan is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Prevention Science, Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS), at the University of California San Francisco. She is a behavioral and prevention scientist trained in social and health psychological theory, quantitative research methods, and intervention development. Judy chats with Valerie and Carly about her work with older people living with HIV, researching the role of romantic relationships in health promotion, and developing a choral intervention. Read more about Judy’s work here: Judy on Twitter: @JudyYTan
Ben Levenson is the Chairman of The Levenson Foundation and founder of Origins Behavioral HealthCare. Ben chats with Valerie and Carly about harm reduction, or ways to “derisk” drug use for the millions of people who use drugs in the United States, and the gap between “the bench and the trench,” or between scientific findings and addiction treatment. Ben talks about international approaches to drug use and leaves Valerie and Carly with some excellent food for thought about the need to end stigma towards all people who use drugs, not just people in recovery from drug use disorders. Read more about Ben’s work with the Levenson Foundation here: about the Rome Consensus here: Read about the National Harm Reduction Coalition here: Follow Ben on Twitter: @BenLevenson
Dr. Brandon del Pozo is a postdoctoral researcher on the consequences of substance use and addiction at Rhode Island's Miriam Hospital and the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. His interests include studying systems-level approaches to delivering substance use treatment services, overcoming the stigmas that obstruct evidence-based responses to the nation's opioid crisis, and confronting our growing stimulant epidemic. Brandon talks with Valerie and Carly about implementing evidence-based strategies to address the opioid crisis as chief of police of Burlington, Vermont. Valerie asks Brandon about how his training in philosophy informs his work, whether academics or police are more hierarchical, and his thoughts on police discretion as a critical point of intervention. Read more about Brandon’s work here: Brandon on Twitter: @BrandondelPozo 
Dr. Allecia Reid is an Assistant Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Allecia’s research aims to both understand the psychological, social, and environmental factors that relate to health behaviors and to improve the design of health promotion interventions. Allecia talks with Valerie and Carly about drinking on college campuses, including the roles of peer influence and mimicry on alcohol use as well as protective strategies to reduce harmful alcohol use. Allecia also shares about her Fulbright experience working in the UK.Read more about Allecia’s work here:
Dr. Morgan Philbin is an Assistant Professor of Sociomedical Sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. Morgan’s work explores how social-structural factors impact health outcomes for vulnerable populations, particularly racial/ethnic and sexual minority youth. Morgan talks with Valerie and Carly about her research on cannabis policies, challenges in studying how policies impact health, and the role of scientists in policy change. Morgan describes how her experiences studying and working abroad have informed her research, and advises students to take time off before starting graduate school. Read more about Dr. Philbin’s work here: Dr. Philbin on Twitter:  @morgan_philbin
Liz Richards is Executive Director of the Delaware Cares Coalition for Paid Leave, which is a coalition of health, labor, faith, business, family and community organizations and advocates committed to passing Paid Family and Medical Leave in Delaware. Liz talks with Valerie and Carly about her work advocating for paid leave in Delaware, the research evidence supporting paid leave, and how scientists can support policy change surrounding paid leave. Learn more about Delaware Cares here: Read Delaware Academy of Medicine / Delaware Public Health Association’s policy statement regarding Paid Family Medical Leave here: Delaware Cares on Twitter: @delawarecaresFollow Liz Richards on Twitter: @lizrr
Dr. Ryan Watson is an Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Sciences at the University of Connecticut. Ryan’s research focuses on reducing health disparities among sexual and gender minority (SGM) youth and young adults. Ryan talks with Valerie and Carly about how terminology used by sexual and gender minority individuals changes over time (especially among youth), the role of minority stress in health, and how parents can buffer or protect youth from minority stressors. Ryan and Valerie nerd out about their interests in disclosure and time.Read more about Dr. Watson’s work here: Dr. Watson on Twitter: @DrRyanJWatson
Dr. Laramie Smith is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health at the University of California, San Diego. Valerie, Carly, and Laramie take a slow walk through Laramie’s early years, including her childhood plans to become a rodeo barrel rider and adversities she faced on her path to college. Laramie shares her experiences working for the Seattle King County HIV Planning Council before graduate school, her dissertation project in the Bronx, and her current intervention work in Tijuana. Laramie and Valerie reflect on the value of qualitative work and some of the participants from whom they’ve learned the most. Learn more about Dr. Smith’s work here: Dr. Smith’s GSBA speech:
Dr. Ingrid Katz is an Associate Director at the Harvard Global Health Institute, Associate Physician in the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Assistant Professor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and a research scientist at the Center for Global Health at Massachusetts General Hospital. Ingrid’s research focuses on the social determinants of health-seeking behavior among people living with HIV in South Africa. Ingrid talks with Valerie and Carly about biking across the country after college to raise awareness about HIV, her interest in the “complexity of the human condition”, the value of interdisciplinary teams, her many work hats (doctor, scientist, teacher), and being part of the first openly gay couple to match at a Harvard-affiliated hospital. Read more about Dr. Katz’s work here: her on Twitter: @IngridKatzMDAccess recordings from Dr. Katz’s class (Confronting COVID-19: Science, History, Policy) here: Dr. Katz chat with the Time for Kids reporters about COVID-19 here:
Wrap Party Episode!

Wrap Party Episode!


This week, Valerie and Carly invite the undergrads to talk a little more about why and how we started the podcast. While we're away on break, follow us on instagram @sexdrugsscience or email us with any questions at As always, subscribe to the podcast to stay up to date with the next season!
Dr. Samuel Friedman is a Research Professor and faculty member at the Center for Opioid Epidemiology and Policy in the Department of Population Health at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. He is also the Senior Theoretician and Associate Director of the Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Theory Core at the Center for Drug Use and HIV Research (CDUHR). In this bonus episode, Sam and Valerie discuss their role in activism as it relates to academia. Sam also talks about his role in drug user activism in the 1990s, specifically a demonstration at the Department of Health and Human Services which involves a 12 foot tall replica of a human backbone. Read more about Dr. Friedman's work here: here:
Dr. Jelani Kerr is an Associate Professor of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences. Jelani and Valerie talk about what getting tenure means for them and doing research in community settings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Jelani describes how he got interested in HIV research, connects drug policy to the HIV epidemic in African American communities, gives a history lesson on the war on drugs, and describes why police brutality is a systemic problem. Carly and Valerie talk about Breonna Taylor, the #SayHerName campaign, and stereotypes underlying police brutality targeting Black women. Read more about Jelani’s work here:
Dr. Gabriel Culbert is an Assistant Professor in the College of Nursing at the University of Illinois Chicago and Dr. Agung Waluyo is the Directorate of Community Engagement & Empowerment at the Universitas Indonesia. Gabe and Agung describe how they met in Jakarta in 2003 and how their research partnership has developed since then. Agung reflects on what it was like to learn about drug use and the HIV epidemic after a sheltered childhood, recalls being warned that he could be sent to jail for doing stigma research focused on Indonesian healthcare providers, and shares how he navigates conversations about politically sensitive research with government officials. Gabe describes the reasons why the HIV epidemic became concentrated in prisons in Indonesia, questions why Indonesia has one of the highest HIV mortality rates despite having the largest universal healthcare system in the world, and envisions an expanded role for nurses in HIV prevention and treatment. Valerie and Carly nominate Gabe and Agung to be poster children for international research partnerships. Read more about Agung’s work here: more about Gabe’s work here:
Dr. Jasmine Abrams is an international behavioral research scientist, educator, and entrepreneur working toward health equity for women of African ancestry. She is an Assistant Professor of Community Health Sciences at Boston University School of Public Health, founder of SpiceXperience (a sex-positive woman owned company providing premium erotic education), and co-founder of Research Unlimited (a full service research assistance agency). Jasmine talks to Valerie and Carly about her work on the Strong Black Women Schema, bringing pleasure to sexual health research, drawing energy from being an entrepreneur, and supporting Black academics. Read more about Dr. Abrams work here: her on twitter and Instagram: @DrJasmineAbrams Learn more about SpiceXperience here: more about Research Unlimited here: about her in Nature: 
Dr. Seth Kalichman is Professor of Social Psychology and Dr. Lisa Eaton is Professor of Human Development and Family Sciences at the University of Connecticut. Seth is also the Editor-in-Chief of the journal AIDS & Behavior and Lisa is an Associate Editor. Seth and Lisa tell the stories of how they became interested in HIV research, share best practices for collecting data at Pride, and think about how to apply lessons learned from HIV research to COVID-19. Seth issues a public apology to Anthony Fauci, and Valerie learns that she’s technically living in the South. Read more about Seth's work here: more about Lisa's work here: Lisa and Seth's paper on applying what we know about HIV to COVID here:
Dr. Scott Hadland is a pediatrician and addiction specialist at Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine. Valerie and Carly talk with him about the importance of treating addiction during adolescence, medications for opioid use disorders, and associations between the pharmaceutical industry's opioid marketing and physicians' opioid prescribing. Valerie and Carly debate whether pharma has a hit out on Scott and nominate Scott for an official science superhero cape and magic policy wand. How does Harry Potter fit into the mix? Listen in to find out.Read more about Scott’s work here: about Scott's work on prescription marketing and overdose deaths at NYT: Follow Scott on Twitter: @DrScottHadland 
Dr. Seven Tomek is a neuroscientist who recently earned her PhD at Arizona State University. She talks with Valerie and Carly about her research on opioids and social behavior, how she became interested in a region of the brain called the insula, and why she prefers rat participants to human participants. Seven shares her underdog story of how she became a neuroscientist, and Valerie reports on how Seven’s Instagram page expanded her research assistants’ minds about what a neuroscientist can look like. Scott from the Gin Blossoms, Seven's friend, leaves a message for Carly and Valerie and they debate quitting their jobs to become roadies.Read IFL Science's coverage of Seven’s work here: her on Instagram @seventomek and Twitter @SevenTomek
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