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Prevention Research Branch (PRB)

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.

Research Goals:

  • Support high quality research on the development, testing, and implementation of prevention interventions in a variety of contexts across the course of development:

Staff Biographies for Prevention Research Branch:

  • Bethany Griffin Deeds, Ph.D. - Branch Chief
    (301) 443-9982
    Bethany Deeds is currently the Acting Prevention Branch Chief in the Division of Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Research at the National Institute on Drug Abuse. She was also the Deputy Branch Chief within Epidemiology Branch at NIDA for 6 years where she managed the social epidemiology of drug use portfolio with responsibility for the stimulation of geospatial substance use and abuse research, new methods in drug abuse epidemiology, improved measurements of the social environment, social network/social media research and public health law and policy research related to substance use. She is also a member of the Collaborative Research on Addiction (CRAN) Coordinating Committee. Prior to joining NIDA, she has 10 years of prevention experience and was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Maryland Medical School.  Before joining NIDA, Dr. Deeds was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Maryland Medical School where her research focused on adolescent violence, substance use and HIV prevention. She also served as Director for Connect to Protect: Baltimore, one of 13 national sites affiliated with the Adolescent Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions, investigating how community partnerships can reduce adolescent HIV incidence and prevalence by making structural changes to the environment.
  • Jacqueline Lloyd, Ph.D., M.S.W. - Deputy Branch Chief
    (301) 443-8892
    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 adolescents, young adults and adults.
  • Aria Crump, Sc.D. - Health Scientist Administrator
    (301) 435-0881
    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 family-focused preventive interventions and prevention in racial/ethnic minority populations.  Her current program areas at NIDA focus on the prevention of drug abuse and HIV infection during late adolescence and the transition to adulthood, the prevention of prescription drug misuse, and on community-centered approaches to drug abuse risk-reduction in American Indian and Alaska Native populations.
  • Richard A. Jenkins, Ph.D. - Health Scientist Administrator
    (301) 443-1923
    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
    (301) 402-1533
    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.
  • Karen Sirocco, Ph.D. - Health Scientist Administrator
    (301) 451-8661
    Dr. Karen Sirocco joined the Behavioral and Brain Development Branch at the National Institute on Drug Abuse in October 2005.  Her research program interests include typical and atypical development, the consequences of drugs on brain and behavioral development and co-occurring drug abuse and mental health. Dr. Sirocco completed her doctoral studies in applied developmental psychology, including a master’s degree in school psychology, at George Mason University.  Dr. Sirocco came to NIDA from the National Institute of Health (NIH), Center for Scientific Review (CSR) where she was chief of the Biobehavioral and Behavioral Processes (BBBP) integrated review group and Scientific Review Administrator for the Child Psychopathologies and Developmental Disabilities (CPDD) study section which assesses applications related to developmental, psychopathological and substance-use disorders in children and the effects of developmental disorders in adults.  Prior to joining CSR, Dr. Sirocco spent 10 years in the Laboratory of Clinical Studies, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), where she was involved in basic and clinical biobehavioral research into the causes, prevention, and treatment of alcoholism. She has spent the last 25 years working at various Institutes and Centers that comprise the National Institutes of Health.

This page was last updated November 2015