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:
Tisha Wiley, Ph.D. - Branch Chief; Associate Director for Justice Systems
Tisha Wiley, Ph.D. joined the Services Research Branch in 2012. She became the Services Research Branch Chief in 2018. Prior to assuming leadership of the branch, Dr. Wiley oversaw a broad portfolio in the Services Research Branch that emphasized substance use treatment in criminal justice and juvenile justice settings, implementation science, technology, methodology, small business grants, and measurement development. Dr. Wiley was also named NIDA’s Associate Director for Justice Systems in 2018. In this role, Dr. Wiley provides leadership across NIDA on justice-related issues. This includes leading NIDA’s Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network (JCOIN). Dr. Wiley previously served as NIDA’s science officer on earlier justice initiatives, including Juvenile Justice Translational Interventions for Adolescents in the Legal System (JJ-TRIALS) and Criminal Justice Drug Abuse Treatment Studies (CJ-DATS) cooperative research programs. Dr. Wiley has co-chaired an interagency workgroup focused on justice and addiction issues since 2014. 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).
Sarah Q. Duffy, Ph.D. - Associate Director for Economics Research, DESPR; Deputy Branch Chief, SRB
Dr. Duffy is principally responsible for NIDA's economics, opioid use disorder treatment services research, and treatment quality measurement and management portfolios. She is also a member of NIDA’s Research Training Committee. Prior to joining NIDA, she was a senior research economist at the Office of Applied Studies (now Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality) at SAMSHA where she used data from large national data collection projects, 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. Dr. Duffy has also 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.
Lori J. Ducharme, Ph.D. – Health Scientist Administrator
Dr. Ducharme has been a program officer at NIH since 2008, having worked at both NIDA and NIAAA. She oversees a portfolio of research, small business, and training grants that explore ways to increase the adoption and sustained use of evidence-based treatments, enhance the integration of addiction treatment in general medical settings, improve service access and utilization, and build organizational linkages between the criminal justice and public health systems. While at NIAAA, she led the development of the Institute’s Alcohol Treatment Navigator®, an online resource offering a strategy to help individuals find evidence-based alcohol treatment services. Prior to joining NIH, she worked in both academic and contract research settings, studying the evolution of the U.S. addiction treatment system in response to changes in financing, regulation, and the introduction of novel medications and behavioral therapies. Dr. Ducharme received her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Georgia.
Minnjuan Flournoy Floyd, Ph.D. – Health Scientist Administrator
Dr. Minnjuan W. Flournoy Floyd joined SRB as a Program Official in 2018. Prior to joining SRB, Dr. Flournoy Floyd spent over 5 years at SAMHSA, most recently, as a public health advisor in the Office of the Director in the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), and as a social science analyst (staff fellow) in the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality (CBHSQ).Dr. Flournoy Floyd was responsible for providing evaluation and measurement expertise for SAMHSA programming and worked alongside contracting officer representatives, government project officers, and contractors to ensure that SAMHSA program evaluations were sound and rigorous, emphasizing efficient data collection strategies and meaningful data utilization. While in CSAT, Minnjuan liaised with agency staff and advised executive and senior leadership on the direction, status, needs, and implementation of data-related training and technical assistance for Center grants, while informing leadership on issues regarding potentially controversial or challenging matters, or issues with far-reaching implications. She also provided technical advice and guidance for project needs and problem areas while providing timely performance-directed technical assistance to staff, management, or grantees as an advisor, COR or ACOR on a number of projects including the State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Evaluation. Dr. Flournoy Floyd has taught a number of undergraduate and graduate courses in public health, health services research, behavioral health, health policy and research ethics. Dr. Floyd earned an MBA, a Ph.D. in Health Services, Policy, and Management, and a Bachelor of Science in Biology.
Keisher Highsmith, DrPH – Health Scientist Administrator
Dr. Keisher Highsmith comes to NIH/NIDA from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Dr. Highsmith is a Scientist/Epidemiologist in the U.S. Public Health Service and has been a public health practitioner for over 14 years. Dr. Highsmith’s tenure at HRSA included serving as Deputy Director in the Bureau of Primary Health Care. Her portfolio consisted of special initiatives and technical assistance investments that supports HRSA funded health centers with clinical quality practice transformation and service expansion activities such as mental health and substance abuse. Dr. Highsmith also served as the Director of Special Initiatives and Program Planning and Evaluation in the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB). She provided scientific leadership and support for the development and implementation of innovative, multidisciplinary programs in the area of maternal, child and women’s health. Dr. Highsmith established The Maternal Health Initiative (MHI) which is a comprehensive national strategy to improve women’s health and ensure the quality and safety of care. She also conceptualized, launched, and led The Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health: Improving Maternal Health and Safety which is a national initiative to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality through quality improvement of patient safety in birthing facilities. Dr. Highsmith served as a subject matter expert on maternal/women’s health on HRSA State MCH Title V Block Grant Transformation Steering Committee and Chaired the State Needs Assessment Workgroup. As a result, this historical program portfolio now include four (4) national outcome and performance measures focused on women and maternal health. Dr. Highsmith received her Doctorate in Public Health from Morgan State University.
Carrie F. Mulford, Ph.D. – Health Scientist Administrator
Dr. Mulford joined the Services Research Branch in 2018 where she oversees a range of research projects related to the adoption of evidence-based drug treatment practices, particularly in the justice system. Prior to joining NIDA in 2018, Dr. Mulford was a Social Science Analyst in the Office of Research and Evaluation at the National Institute of Justice for 14 years. While at NIJ, she initiated and led research portfolios in elder mistreatment, teen dating violence and hate crime. Dr. Mulford served on numerous interagency workgroups, including chairing the Federal Interagency Workgroup on Teen Dating Violence and serving as NIJ’s Forum member on the Forum for Child and Family Statistics. Over the past two decades, Dr. Mulford has been involved with research on juvenile justice, justice-involved young adults, teen dating violence, elder mistreatment, hate crime, and the victim-offender overlap. She has co-authored numerous scholarly articles, primarily focused on violence and victimization across the lifespan. Dr. Mulford has expertise in implementation science, evaluation research and longitudinal research designs. She received her Ph.D. in community and developmental psychology from the University of Virginia in 2004.
Shelley Su, Ph.D. – Health Scientist Administrator
Dr. Su has prior training and experience in animal behavioral paradigms used to investigate the complex behavioral and neurobiological features of Substance Use Disorders (SUDs). She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, where she studied memory reconsolidation, context-induced drug seeking and relapse in animal models of drug abuse. She then completed graduate training at the University of California, Santa Barbara where she conducted research on the neurobiology of positive and aversive effects induced by drugs of abuse, the influence of extended access or escalation on cocaine-associated opponent process actions, and sex differences. During post-doctoral training, she investigated the role of cognitive flexibility in SUDs. She joined NIDA as a program officer in the Division of Neuroscience and Behavior in 2014 where she administered a portfolio of grants on marijuana abuse and dependence, the role of negative affective processes in drug abuse, cognitive flexibility, and sex differences in addiction. In 2018, she transitioned to the Services Research Branch to administer a portfolio on implementation science, mHealth and technological interventions, services for nicotine and cannabis use disorders, and leads the translational efforts bridging neuroscience and services research.
Julia Zur, Ph.D. – Health Scientist Administrator
Dr. Julia Zur joined the Services Research Branch in 2019 as a program officer working primarily on the Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network (JCOIN). She comes to NIDA from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), where she led the organization’s opioids-related work, and her efforts focused primarily on understanding Medicaid's role in addressing the opioid epidemic. Prior to her time at KFF, she worked at SAMHSA, where she worked on the federal regulation that increased the buprenorphine patient limit from 100 to 275 and on the Protecting Our Infants Act Report to Congress, which outlined federal efforts aimed at addressing prenatal opioid exposure and neonatal abstinence syndrome and proposed a strategy for continuing to address these issues. She also completed a fellowship at The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, where she worked on a range of projects related to understanding how Medicaid expansion and other changes under the Affordable Care Act affected access to health care, including behavioral health services, among vulnerable populations. Earlier in her career, she worked at the Treatment Research Institute, where she worked on an NIAAA-funded study aimed at improving access to wrap-around services for individuals in substance use disorder treatment. Dr. Zur received her PhD in Mental Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and her BS in Neuroscience and Psychology from Muhlenberg College.