What We Do:
DESPR's Prevention Research Branch will improve the nation's public health status through supporting a program of basic, clinical, and services research on the development, testing, and translation of prevention interventions that target the initiation of drug use, the progression to abuse and dependence, and the transmission of HIV infection among diverse populations and settings.
- Support high quality research on the development, testing, and implementation of prevention interventions in a variety of contexts across the course of development:
- Early intervention – Program Contact: Belinda Sims
- Preadolescent and adolescent drug abuse and HIV prevention – Program Contacts: Belinda Sims, Aria Crump
- Drug abuse and HIV prevention in the transition to adulthood and in adulthood – Program Contacts: Aria Crump, Jacqueline Lloyd, Rich Jenkins
- Drug abuse Prevention Services Research, Systems Research, and Methodology Research – Program Contacts: Belinda Sims, Rich Jenkins
Staff Biographies for Prevention Research Branch:
- Harold Perl, Ph.D. - Branch Chief
Dr. Perl is the Branch Chief of the Prevention Research Branch at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). From 2005 to 2012 he served as Senior Lead for Behavioral Research, Dissemination and Training in NIDA’s Center for the Clinical Trials Network (CCTN). Previously, he served as Chief of the Health Services Research Branch at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Prior to 1989, Dr. Perl served as the Program Director for the Prevention Research Center in the Department of Mental Hygiene at the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health. Dr. Perl earned a PhD (1987) and an MA (1981) in Clinical/Community Psychology from the University of Maryland and a BA (1974) in Psychology from the University of Rochester. Dr. Perl was named a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA) in 2009 and was honored with the APA Meritorious Research Service Commendation in 2011. He has published in scientific areas encompassing implementation of evidence-based practices, drug abuse treatment outcomes, design of treatment and services research, homelessness, and social networks.
- Jacqueline Lloyd, Ph.D., M.S.W. - Deputy Branch Chief
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 emerging and young adults and adults.
- Aria Crump, Sc.D. - Health Scientist Administrator
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 substance use prevention in ethnic minority communities and in emerging adult populations. Her current program area at NIDA focuses on the prevention of substance abuse and HIV during late adolescence and the transition to adulthood.
- Richard A. Jenkins, Ph.D. - Health Scientist Administrator
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.
- Belinda Sims, Ph.D. - Health Scientist Administrator
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.
- Syreeta Evans - Lead Extramural Support Assistant
Syreeta Evans joined the National Institute on Drug Abuse in 2008. Ms. Evans serves as the Lead Extramural Support Assistant for the Prevention Research Branch at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Ms. Evans received her undergraduate Associates degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix in 2012 and will receive her Bachelor of Science degree with a concentration in Accounting in the spring of 2015 from DeVry University. She manages various administrative duties, such as processing travel authorizations, payment vouchers, coordinating meetings and scheduling program activities. Since joining NIDA, Ms. Evans has been appointed Population Tracking POC for the DESPR division, monitoring and tracking grant population tracking records. She is involved in the planning and coordination of meeting and activities as well as handling logistical actions for the branch. Prior to coming to the government, Ms. Evans worked in the private sector as a Title Processing Manager in the Real Estate environment.