My research program centers on the development of nicotine dependence in adolescents and young adults. My primary research interest is investigating factors which mediate nicotine addiction in adolescence. If we can understand the pathways to addiction, it may be possible to find ways to prevent nicotine addiction before it occurs. My current projects focus on electronic cigarette (e-cig) use and the co-use of tobacco and cannabis in adolescents.
The Teen Vaping Study investigates the effect of nicotine metabolism on adolescent smoking behaviors including e-cigs. The study participants are adolescent e-cig only users. The rate of nicotine metabolism (how fast the body breaks down nicotine) for each participant is assessed at baseline. Then we follow the participants to evaluate the effect on dependence and the potential uptake of traditional cigarette smoking. We are also examining the urine from subjects to look for potential toxicants. I have also developed studies to look at the co-use of cannabis in adolescent light tobacco users and the effect on nicotine addiction.
The goal of this study was to examine the associations between the rate of nicotine metabolism and cigarette consumption, addiction and withdrawal symptoms.
New York University, B.F.A, 1990, Film & Television Yale University School of Medicine, M.D., 1997, Medicine Yale New Haven Hospital, Residency, 2000, Internal Medicine University of California, San Francisco, Fellowship, 2003, Adolescent Medicine