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Jon Morgenstern, Ph.D.

Jon Morgenstern, Ph.D. is Professor of Psychiatry at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, Director of Addictions Treatment at Northwell Health, a Senior Scientist at National Center of Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA), and Director of CASPIR. Dr. Morgenstern is an internationally recognized expert on the treatment of Substance Use Disorders (SUD). Prior to joining Northwell, Dr. Morgenstern was a professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University and the Director of Addiction Treatment at New York Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Morgenstern’s career has focused on developing effective treatments for SUD and ensuring that such treatments are widely available in the healthcare system.  He has published over 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles and his research program has been funded continuously by the National Institutes of Health for the last 27 years. His current research focuses on population health approaches to treating alcohol problems, understanding the factors that underlie successful recovery and working with state governments to develop health system models that integrate substance use disorder treatment and medical care. 

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Frederick Muench, Ph.D.

Frederick Muench, Ph.D. is the Director of Digital Health Interventions at Northwell Health in Behavioral Health/Psychiatry. Fred is a clinical psychologist who focuses on digital health research with special emphasis on its application in the addictions. Through NIH funding he developed the first continuing care text messaging system for individuals transitioning from substance abuse treatment and is currently the PI on a study comparing different types of mobile messaging on reducing heavy drinking. In collaboration with Cornell Tech, he is currently the PI of the Robert Wood Johnson Pioneer grant entitled, The Digital Marshmallow Test, which is designed to understand how people regulate their impulses through an innovative Research Kit and Research Stack application. Fred has extensive experience building digital health interventions as the Founder of Mobile Health Interventions and as the Director of Research at Helicor. Fred is an adjunct Assistant Professor at NYU in the Interactive Telecommunications Program where he teaches a class on using technology to build mindfulness and meditation tools.

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Nehal Vadhan, Ph.D.

Nehal Vadhan, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and researcher at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell. His research focuses on the neuropsychiatric sequelae of substance use, including marijuana, stimulants, and alcohol, and he has authored/coauthored numerous articles and book chapters in this area. At Feinstein/CASPIR, he is the Project Director for the Adaptive Interventions study and is also developing a human neuropsychopharmacology laboratory. His research has been funded through grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, Columbia University Medical Center and the Feinstein Institute. Clinically, Dr. Vadhan specializes in cognitive-behavioral treatment of substance use disorders in adults, as well as neuropsychological evaluation of adults and children. (CV)

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Andrew C. Chen, M.D., Ph.D.

Andrew C. Chen, M.D., Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Director of Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell. He serves as the Medical Director at CASPIR. He is double certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in Psychiatry and American Board of Addiction Medicine. His primary research interests are personalized treatment for alcohol and other substance use disorders, psychopharmacology, and biomarkers for psychiatric disorders. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and others. He received his M.D. from Taipei Medical University in Taiwan, and Ph.D. in molecular psychiatry from the University of London in England. He completed his residency and chief residency in Psychiatry at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York, and research fellowship at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. He has authored or co-authored over 40 peer-reviewed original research articles, and a few reviews, book chapters on genetics, biomarkers, and neuropharmacology of psychiatric disorders.

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Svetlana Levak, Ph.D.

Svetlana Levak, Ph.D. is a Research Scientist and Project Director at CASPIR. She is a licensed clinical psychologist, who received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Hofstra University in 2015. She has several years of training and clinical experience in evidence-based treatments for patients suffering from a variety of psychiatric disorders. She received specialized training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for individuals with mood, substance use, and severe and chronic psychotic disorders as well as anger and aggression problems. Since 2007, Dr. Levak has also conducted research in developing interventions for problem drinkers. She is primarily interested in goal setting as it relates to drinking reduction and/or moderation. Currently, she is directing projects, implementing and integrating behavioral interventions for Alcohol Use Disorders into medical settings via in-person and digital health methods.

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Kaerensa Craft, LCSW

Kaerensa Craft, LCSW, is the clinical care supervisor and a project psychotherapist with CASPIR. She has provided clinical care for alcohol use disorders in treatment clinics and research studies since 2002. Ms. Craft received her master’s degree in social work at Columbia University in 1999, and certification from New York State in Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counseling (CASAC) in 2008. She has completed 5 years of psychoanalytic training at the Institute for Psychoanalytic Education and the Stephen Mitchell Center for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. She has delivered numerous training workshops in the areas of domestic violence, alcohol and substance abuse treatment, and motivational interviewing, and has taught Health and Mental Health at Hunter College School of Social Work. In addition to working with CASPIR, she is presently in private practice in Manhattan.

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Anna Jadanova, M.A.

Anna Jadanova, M.A. is a senior research assistant at CASPIR and a doctoral candidate in the Long Island University Ph.D. Program for Clinical Psychology. She received her Bachelors from Hofstra University, where she studied psychology and dance. Anna’s research interests focus on the recovery process after psychological trauma and the factors that maintain long-term post-traumatic stress symptoms. Anna has also explored the relationship between anxiety, dissociation, and trauma for her Master’s Thesis at Long Island University. She has conducted therapy and psychological assessment at various hospitals and clinics throughout her graduate training, including Heights Hill Mental Health Services, St. Dominic’s Home, South Beach Psychiatric Center and Jacobi Medical Center. In the future, Anna plans to integrate her passion for clinical work with her interest in psychotherapy research. During her spare time, Anna loves being out in nature, spending time with her dog, going out with family and friends, snowboarding, dancing, cooking and traveling.

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Danusha Selva Kumar, B.A.

Danusha Selva Kumar, B.A. is a Research Coordinator at CASPIR. Danusha worked closely with participants and worked on the data collection and analysis of Project Motion. Currently, she is working primarily on the Adaptive Interventions study as well as a side research project on binge drinking. Danusha received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from New York University in 2015. Prior to joining the CASPIR team, Danusha was a volunteer research assistant at several psychology labs in NYU. She worked on an independent research project in Dr. Tessa West’s Interpersonal Perception Lab, where she explored gender biases in group settings. She also worked at the NYU Motivation Lab, and the NYU Social, Perception, Action & Motivation Lab. Danusha intends to pursue a degree in Clinical Psychology. Her primary research interest is in binge drinking, and she is also very interested in exploring the different treatments and interventions for substance use.

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Sijing (S.J.) Shao, M.S.

Sijing (S.J.) Shao, M.S. is the Data Analyst at CASPIR. She received her Master’s degree in Mathematics from New York University in 2014. She received her training in longitudinal data analysis in clinical trials in substance use disorders.  Currently, she uses statistical techniques to analyze complex data to help develop effective and efficient interventions for problem drinkers. Her interest is using dynamical systems modeling to help understand underlying mechanisms of intrapersonal behavior change.

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Rachel P. Vitale, BA

Rachel P. Vitale, B.A. is a Research Coordinator at CASPIR, working closely on Adaptive Interventions (AI) and the Digital Marshmallow Test (DMT). Rachel received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Creative Writing from New York University in 2015. During her undergraduate career, she volunteered in the Trope Lab and the Conceptual Development & Social Cognition Lab at NYU studying construal-level theory and how children perceive social morals, respectively. Rachel is the former Associate Editor of the International Body Psychotherapy Journal with publications in Somatic Psychotherapy Today and the International Journal of Psychotherapy. In the future, she intends to pursue a degree in social work and undergo training in psychoanalysis. Rachel is thrilled to learn more about the interventions used to treat substance use disorders and enjoys writing poetry, traveling to unlikely places, and spending time with friends and family.

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Zhaoxin (Judy) Wu, B.A.

Zhaoxin (Judy) Wu, B.A. is the Mobile Applications Developer in CASPIR. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Japanese from SUNY Binghamton University in 2014. Previously she worked in the Small Data Lab at Cornell Tech, building a healthcare research interface for collecting mobile data. Currently, she is in charge of the development and server management of all IT platforms and mobile applications innovated in the lab. mPulseDMT, funded by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is a mobile application collaborated with CornellTech designed for daily assessment in surveys and cognitive tasks. JITAI Master (Just In Time Adaptive Innovation Master) is an SMS web-based software for researchers to send reminders or enable text interaction with participants. 

Are you worried about your drinking?

CASPIR is a research center at Northwell Health that may help. Our clinical research programs are designed to help people reduce their drinking without giving up alcohol altogether.