What We Do:
The Services Research Branch supports a national program of health services research to improve the quality of the drug abuse treatment system.
- Increase the proportion of individuals with substance use disorders who enter evidence-based treatment and receive an optimal course of treatment
- Develop and test systematic and replicable strategies aimed at optimizing the sustainability and scalability of evidence-based practices, including leveraging technologies to speed implementation.
- Identify the effects of changes in the health care system on patient outcomes, including reduced substance use and sustained recovery, as well as the quality of treatment for those with substance use disorders.
Staff Biographies for Services Research Branch:
- Dionne J. Jones, Ph.D. - Acting Branch Chief
Dionne J. Jones, Ph.D. is currently Acting Chief of the Services Research Branch, Division of Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Research. She joined NIDA in 1998 and has served as a Health Scientist Administrator and Deputy Branch Chief where she assumed additional responsibilities to ensure that administrative tasks were performed efficiently. Her program areas cover: health disparities, women and gender issues, HIV/AIDS, criminal justice, and co-occurring disorders. She is also the Lead Program Coordinator of the African American Researchers and Scholars Work Group in NIDA’s Office of Diversity and Health Disparities (ODHD). Her responsibilities include identifying gaps and opportunities to promote and conduct health disparities research and to help develop the pipeline of new investigators. Before joining NIDA, Dr. Jones served in a number of administrative and research capacities at nonprofit and for profit organizations, including the National Urban League, Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation and The Lewin Group. In addition, she was managing editor of The Urban League Review, a semi-annual policy research journal of the National Urban League. She received her Ph.D in educational psychology and Master of Social Work degree from Howard University, Washington, DC. She is an active member in the American Psychological Association and has served as an officer for the Society for the Psychology of Women.
- Samia Noursi, Ph.D. - Health Scientist Administrator and Acting Deputy Branch Chief
Dr. Noursi joined NIDA's Services Research Branch (SRB) in 2015. At NIDA, Dr. Noursi manages a portfolio of grants that focuses on treatment services for women including drug treatment court, women and HIV and tobacco use among pregnant women. Dr. Noursi received her Ph.D. in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Maryland in 1995. Upon graduation, she was awarded a Post-Doctoral fellowship at NICHD during which she led a longitudinal study on the effects of domestic violence on children’s development. She then moved to work on several projects focused on children’s development among them directing research for the National Child Welfare Resource Center on Legal and Judicial Issues at the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law. In 2006, Dr. Noursi joined NIDA as a Health Scientist Administrator and the Women and Sex/Gender Differences Research Deputy Coordinator where she assists the NIDA’s Women and Sex/Gender Differences Research Coordinator in providing leadership for NIDA’s Women and Sex/Gender Differences Research Program. In addition, she served as Program Officer with a portfolio that focused on sex/gender differences in the antecedents and consequences of drug abuse, and the study of vulnerability to drug abuse and the behavioral effects of prenatal exposure to drugs. Dr. Noursi has presented numerous papers at national professional conferences and authored a number of articles in both peer-reviewed journals and books. She recently served as the guest editor of the Journal on Women’s Health, 2015; 24(1). Intimate Partner Violence, Consequences on Women's Health, and Promising Interventions and is currently a board member of the National Partnership to End Interpersonal Violence (NPEIV).
- Sarah Q. Duffy, Ph.D. - Associate Director for Economics Research, DESPR
Dr. Duffy joined NIDA's Services Research Branch (SRB) in 2006, where she is responsible for NIDA's economics, opioid use disorder treatment services research, and quality measurement portfolios. Prior to joining NIDA she spent eight years as a senior research economist at the Office of Applied Studies at SAMSHA where she used data from large national data collection project, including the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) and Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS), to conduct economic and health services research on substance abuse treatment and costs. Prior to joining SAMHSA, Dr. Duffy worked for the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission and the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality where she published several articles in the substance abuse treatment, health services research, and economics literatures. She received her Ph.D. in economics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
- David Thomas, Ph.D. - Health Scientist Administrator
After 12 years as a pain and opioid researcher, in 1995 Dr. Thomas joined the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) where he has managed much of NIDA’s pain and opioid research efforts. He currently is chair of the NIDA Prescription Opioids and Pain workgroup, which fosters pain and opioid research and education. He is also a founding member of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Pain Consortium, which promotes and pain research across the NIH. He is also a member of the Department of Health and Human Services Behavioral Health Coordination Committee Prescription Opioids Subcommittee, Emerging Opioid Overdose Strategic Group, National Pain Strategy working group on Provider Education, and the Interagency Pain Research Coordination Committee. Dr. Thomas is also the lead on the NIH Pain Consortium Centers of Excellence in Pain Education which is promoting pain education in medical, dental, nursing, pharmacy and other professional schools.
- Tisha Wiley, Ph.D. - Health Scientist Administrator
Tisha Wiley, Ph.D. joined the Services Research Branch in 2012. Dr. Wiley’s grant portfolio emphasizes drug abuse treatment in criminal justice and juvenile justice settings, implementation science, technology, methodology, and measurement development. Dr. Wiley also handles several SBIR-STTR grants. Dr. Wiley serves as a science officer on NIDA’s Juvenile Justice Translational Interventions for Adolescents in the Legal System (JJ-TRIALS). She previously served as a science officer for NIDA’s Criminal Justice Drug Abuse Treatment Studies (CJ-DATS) cooperative research program and the NIH Common Fund Patient Reported Outcome Measurement Information System (PROMIS) initiative. Prior to joining NIDA, Tisha was a Society for Research in Child Development Fellow and American Association for the Advancement of Science Policy (SRCD/AAAS) Fellow at the Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where she worked several methodological initiatives, including leading the offices’ efforts around data visualization and visual analytics. Before coming to the NIH, Tisha was the Assistant Director of Research at the Juvenile Protective Association, a non-profit social service agency in Chicago focusing on child welfare. She has served as a consultant for the Chicago Children's Advocacy Center and the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services. Dr. Wiley received her Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC).