2018 Avenir award recipient to study how social networks affect people who use drugs


Image of the AIDS red ribbon.
Image by Ben Lawson/CC BY-NC-ND

A proposal to study how drug users who are part of social networks influence their own communities has been given the 2018 Avenir award for HIV/AIDS research by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The Avenir (the French word for “future”) awards provide grants to early stage investigators who propose highly innovative studies. Winners receive up to $300,000 per year for five years to support their projects. NIDA is part of the National Institutes of Health.

This year’s awardee is Ashley Buchanan, DrPH, Assistant Professor of Biostatistics at the University of Rhode Island, where she specializes in the areas of Biostatistics and Epidemiology. Dr. Buchanan’s proposal is designed to advance HIV prevention and treatment research by studying drug users who are part of social networks or communities that may exert biological or social influence on their members. Current methodological approaches to estimate and evaluate how prevention and treatment interventions permeate a risk network or community of drug users are limited. Her research will improve the quality of information obtained from network-based studies and the implementation of interventions by: expanding the knowledge base of HIV preventative and treatment best practices among this subpopulation; and leveraging network-based effects to reduce risk and improve HIV prevention and treatment.

The Avenir Award Program for Research on Substance Abuse and HIV/AIDS supports scientists interested in pursuing pioneering research approaches for improved prevention and treatment, long term retention in care, and ultimately, eradication of HIV within substance using populations infected with, or at risk for, HIV/AIDS.

Dr. Buchanan’s project, Causal Inference Methods for HIV Prevention Studies Among Networks of People Who Use Drugs, is funded under grant number DA046856-01.

Read more about the Avenir Award Program. For information about NIDA’s AIDS Research Program, go to www.drugabuse.gov/AIDS.

For more information, contact the NIDA press office at media@nida.nih.gov or 301-443-6245. Follow NIDA on Twitter and Facebook.

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About the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): NIDA is a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIDA supports most of the world’s research on the health aspects of drug use and addiction. The Institute carries out a large variety of programs to inform policy, improve practice, and advance addiction science. For more information about NIDA and its programs, visit www.nida.nih.gov.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

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