Epidemiology Ph.D. students present to NIDA director and White House Office of National Drug Control Policy

group Zoom meeting
UF epidemiology students present their work to leadership at the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions epidemiology doctoral students presented their work on drug surveillance at two recent meetings with research and  government officials.

Nicole Fitzgerald, Andrew McCabe, Anna Wang and Nae Won, predoctoral fellows with UF’s T32 training program funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, gave a presentation July 27 to Nora Volkow, M.D., the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, on surveillance methods to identify new and emerging drugs in the United States through the National Drug Early Warning System, or NDEWS. The NDEWS Coordinating Center, housed at UF and directed by Linda B. Cottler, Ph.D., PHHP’s senior associate dean for research and dean’s professor of epidemiology, provides the field timely, salient and valuable information on emerging substance use trends.

The students shared their training experiences and discussed their continued surveillance efforts. Several other members of NIDA were present at the meeting, including Wilson Compton, M.D., the deputy director, and Marsha Lopez, Ph.D., chief of the epidemiology research branch.

Fitzgerald, McCabe, Wang and Won, along with Paul Morris, a doctoral candidate at Florida Atlantic University, discussed their work with NDEWS at the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s Webinar on Opioids & Synthetic Drugs on August 25. The webinar is part of a monthly series with public health and safety experts working on the opioid and synthetic drug crises at state, local, tribal, federal and international levels. The UF and FAU doctoral students presented their novel surveillance methods used to identify new and emerging substances to 150 participants from federal and local agencies across the United States.