Celebrating Achievements, Collaborations, and Exciting Plans Ahead

Dear RARC Community, 

As we wrap-up the semester and move into the holiday season, we wanted to share a recap of the RARC activities and celebrate our collective achievements this semester: 

Collaborative Grant Submissions 

  • In collaboration with the Center of Alcohol and Substance Use Studies, we submitted a proposal to be one of NIDA’s new National Patient Engagement Resource Centers, with a focus on trauma and substance use disorders. As part of this project, we would establish a community advisory board, develop training materials to support best-practices for community-engaged work, and create a consultation model to make this resource broadly available to the field. The grant would also fund research to better understand experiences of individuals with co-occurring trauma and substance use, and conduct community-engaged pilot research projects to overcome barriers to treatment. 
  • We submitted a R25 to develop an undergraduate research program that would engage teaching and research faculty across all three Rutgers campuses to upskill and diversify the next generation of addiction scientists via interdisciplinary coursework, lab internships, and career readiness activities, to promote a more diverse addiction research field. 

Launched YouTube Channel

This semester marked the launch of the RARC YouTube Channel, providing a platform to showcase our research experts, field clinicians, and community members. Check out this semester’s videos featuring new faculty members, introductions to our clinical partners, and spotlights of Rutgers centers with varying missions related to addiction.


Science Communication 
The RARC launched the Science Communication Workgroup, led by Jessica Hamilton and Allison Bond, to enhance the reach and impact of our research through improved science communication. In October, we hosted the RU Communicating Science Workshop, featuring interactive activities and an introduction to the foundations of science communication. If you’re interested in learning more or getting involved, please reach out to Jessica L. Hamilton (  

Interest Group on Cannabis 

The Interest Group on Cannabis, focusing on creating an inventory of ongoing cannabis research at Rutgers and actively fostering collaboration among Rutgers’ cannabis researchers, through bi-monthly meetings that feature presentations from faculty members and postdocs. If you’re interested in learning more or getting involved, please reach out to Mary Bridgeman (  

Fall Symposium  

Thanks to the over 100 attendees that made the annual Fall Symposium a success!  It featured keynote speaker Dr. Rohan Palmer, an overview of addiction clinical services across Rutgers, research presentations, a poster session, and an evening reception. 

Training in Addiction Research Program 

We launched a new T32 “Rutgers Training in Addiction Research Program” (TARP; PI Chris Pierce) and recruited 3 predocs and 3 postdocs. TARP hosts monthly meetings and is open to all faculty and trainees.  If you’re interested in learning more or getting involved, please reach out to Chris Pierce (

New Faculty 

Welcome to RARC Associate Director of Epidemiology, Etiology, and Prevention and Professor of Psychiatry, Dr. Kristina Jackson and RARC Member and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Dr. Jill Rabinowitz, who joined Rutgers this fall!  In recent news, Dr. Marilyn Piccirillo has accepted an offer to join the RARC as an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry starting May 2024. Thanks to everyone who has been a part of these recruitments!

Ongoing Faculty Recruitments 

Following successful virtual interviews, plans are underway to invite candidates for the Associate Director of Treatment and Recovery position for in-person visits this spring. The Associate Director of Public Policy search is also underway. 

External Speakers 

We hosted external speaker, Dr. Jennifer Edelman, from Yale for a virtual seminar, addressing the intersection between substance use and HIV. 

In collaboration with the Department of Psychiatry and University Behavioral Health Care, we are organizing virtual talks for the new Marlene and Barry Brandt Behavioral Health Treatment Center and Residence. Speakers this year included Dan J. Stein and Tracey E. Wilson. Be on the lookout for more virtual presentations and in person visits by candidates for the Research Director of the Brandt Center this spring.  

Pilot Grants Program 

Another round of RARC Pilot Grants has been launched, with applications accepted until December 22, 2023. This year’s program particularly encourages applications fostering new interdisciplinary research collaborations between faculty and clinical/community partners. 

Coming this Spring 

  • In-person visits for the Associate Director of Treatment and Recovery position candidates 
  • Eating Disorders Lectureship featuring Dr. Cynthia Bulik, Distinguished Professor and Founding Director of the UNC Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders 
  • Presentation on psychedelics research at Rutgers led by Drs. Caroline Dorsen and Joanna Kempner 
  • Monthly TARP meetings (first Thursday of each month)  
  • 1st TARP Annual Symposium with plenary speaker Dr. Rita Goldstein (Save the Date: April 17, 2024) 
  • Bi-monthly Interest Group on Cannabis meetings  
  • Additional speakers focusing on adolescent mental health in partnership with the new Marlene and Barry Brandt Behavioral Health Treatment Center and Residence 

Stay tuned for a comprehensive spring events calendar!  

We extend our heartfelt thanks for your ongoing commitment and enthusiasm. Wishing you a successful conclusion to the semester and a rejuvenating break.  Happy holidays!  We are grateful for you.