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The Substance Abuse Research Advisory (SARA) Committee works to foster insightful research

education experiences and to ensure that HEALTH-FAST program reflects the state-of-the-science. The SARA Committee comprises experts and community stakeholders, including local faculty researchers with content expertise and community leaders who work in relevant substance use treatment settings with individuals with substance abuse disorders. The SARA Committee members work directly with the HEALTH-FAST leadership to enhance trainee research, mentoring, and professional development experiences and maximizes the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the HEALTH-FAST Program. They also contribute to our ATOD Seminar Series.

Year 2 SARA Committee Members

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Ian Holloway, PhD, LCSW, MPH

Ian W. Holloway, PhD, LCSW, MPH is a licensed clinical social worker and professor of social welfare in the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. Professor Holloway’s applied behavioral health research examines the contextual factors that contribute to health disparities among sexual and gender minority populations. He is an expert in social network analysis and is particularly interested in how social media and new technologies can be harnessed for health promotion and disease prevention. Dr. Holloway has been a principal investigator on research studies funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Department of Defense, and the California HIV/AIDS Research Program. He currently directs the Southern California HIV/AIDS Policy Research Center, which brings the most relevant and timely evidence to bear on California’s efforts to develop and maintain efficient, cost-effective, and accessible programs and services to people living with or at risk for HIV/AIDS.

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Natasha Wade, PhD

Natasha Wade, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego. She is trained as a clinical neuropsychologist with expertise in adolescent and emerging adult substance use. She is Co-Investigator on the national, longitudinal Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study (, where a primary aim is to determine the causes and consequences of adolescent cannabis use onset. She serves on the ABCD Substance Use Workgroup, amongst other workgroups, where she oversees training on collection of substance use data and hair toxicological analyses. She is also a Co-Investigator on a neuroimaging study of emerging adult cannabis and tobacco co-users. Dr. Wade is interested the influence of patterns of substance use (e.g., co-use) and exposure to secondhand cannabis smoke on cognitive, psychiatric, and health outcomes. ​Currently she is utilizing toxicological analysis and passive sensing to study brain-behavior relationships. 


Year 1 SARA Committee Members


Kathleen Casey, Ph.D 

Kathleen Casey, Ph.D, is the Senior Director of Clinical Innovation and Development for Integral Care of Austin, 1 of the 39 local mental health authorities in Texas and has served as Co-Investigator for Taking Texas Tobacco Free initiatives for the past 5 years. Dr. Casey works to improve the behavioral health and wellness of Texans residing in Austin/Travis County through evidence-based interventions, research, and clinical innovation. As Affiliate Faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at The University of Texas at Austin’s Dell Medical School, Dr, Casey coordinates residency, fellowship, and interdisciplinary programs within Integral Care sites. In her prior position as Division Director of Adult Behavioral Health Systems at Integral Care, she led the administrative and clinical oversight of 4 large scale integrated healthcare clinics, homeless services, supportive housing, and veteran services.  She is a former Co-Chair for the Austin Central Texas Suicide Prevention Coalition and Coordinator for the disaster mental health response initiative for the City of Austin.


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Paul M. Cinciripini, PhD  

Paul Cinciripini, PhD, is a tenured Professor and Margaret & Ben Love Chair in Clinical Cancer Care at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He also serves as the Chair for the Department of Behavior Science and as the Director of the Tobacco Treatment Program. His research primarily includes studies developing novel behavioral and pharmacological treatments for nicotine dependence and those that study individual differences associated with treatment outcome. Dr. Cinciripini's research is particularly focused on psychological (negative affect. coping self-efficacy), psychophysiological (emotional reactivity), neural (EEG/fMRI), and genetic predictors of treatment outcome (pharmacogenetics).



Scott Walters, PhD  

Scott Walters, PhD, is a Regents Professor in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Systems at the University of North Texas Health Science Center. His research investigates ways to use motivational interviewing and technology as behavioral health interventions. Dr. Walters experience ranges from brief interventions for underage drinking, to adults in the criminal justice system, to heavy drinkers in hospital settings, to people at risk of cancer or genetic disorders, to community-based health navigation. In addition, Dr. Walters serves as the Steering Committee Chair for the HEALing Communities Study, a collaboration between the National Institutes of Health and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration focused on developing a national model to address the opioid crisis.


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