NIDA Selects New INVEST Fellows

NIDA has selected postdoctoral researchers from Germany and Thailand to receive INVEST Drug Abuse Research Fellowships:

  • Laura Brandt, Ph.D. (Germany), will work with Edward Nunes, M.D., as an INVEST/Clinical Trials Network (CTN) fellow at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Brandt just completed an Erwin Schrödinger Fellowship supported by the Austrian Science Fund, where she was the principal investigator on a project that evaluated fidelity and implementation of programs to prevent opioid overdose and distribute Naloxone to opioid users. She has also conducted research on violent experiences among females diagnosed with gambling disorder. During her fellowship, Dr. Brandt plans to identify and validate surrogate endpoints for long-term opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment outcomes using an aggregate data set of four large, multisite, pragmatic CTN trials that have tested all three FDA-approved medications to treat OUD as well as an internet-delivered behavioral intervention. She hopes that the project will lay the groundwork for adopting clinically meaningful endpoints to document OUD treatment success in clinical trials, which could increase comparability across trials, clearly convey the magnitude of treatment effects to practitioners and policy makers, and ultimately help enhance the effectiveness of care for people with OUD.
  • Darika Saingam, Ph.D. (Thailand), will work as an INVEST fellow with Carl Latkin, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Saingam will use Thai data sets to study patterns and consequences of kratom use, including addictive properties of kratom, polysubstance use and potential drug interactions with kratom, and use of kratom as treatment for heroin withdrawal. She plans to improve her psychosocial and public health research skills by learning more about analysis of longitudinal and panel data, social networks, community-based interventions on risk reduction, prevention and treatment of substance abuse, and behavioral and social analysis of substance use in the academic environment. Dr. Saingam developed and validated Thai kratom dependence and withdrawal scales as part of her doctoral research. She received a 2015 Postdoctoral Scholarship for Asia Health Policy at Stanford University and is a faculty member at the School of Medicine, Prince of Songkla University.

Learn more about NIDA International Program Fellowships.