EDAR Inaugural Mentors

Kathryn Bottonari, Ph.D.

Dr. Bottonari is a clinical psychologist at the Ralph H. Johnson VAMC and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at MUSC. Dr. Bottonari's clinic and research leadership has led to advancements in addictions treatment access among rural and underserved Veterans and reduction of access disparities in this population. She plays a key role in internship applicant evaluations and supervises interns in the Charleston Consortium internship program.

Sarah Feldstein Ewing, Ph.D.

Dr. Feldstein Ewing is a clinical psychologist and the James Prochaska Endowed Professor of Population Health in the Department of Psychology at the University of Rhode Island. In addition to being PI of an NIAAA-sponsored K24 award, she has developed a highly-innovative NIH-funded line of translational research evaluating the connection between basic biological mechanisms (e.g., brain structure, function, connectivity; genetic factors) and youth health risk behavior (e.g., clinical symptoms, treatment outcomes) including alcohol and drug use.

Chanita Hughes-Halbert, Ph.D.

Dr. Hughes-Halbert is a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Associate Dean for Assessment and Evaluation in the College of Medicine at MUSC. Dr. Hughes-Halbert's extensive research program focuses on identifying social, biological, and clinical determinants of racial disparities in cancer outcomes and to translate this information into practical, scalable interventions that are delivered in clinic and community settings. She has an extensive track record of over two decades in mentoring junior investigators in behavioral science research design and methods.

Cristina Lopez, Ph.D.

Dr. Lopez is an Associate Professor and clinical psychologist with a dual appointment in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the College of Nursing at MUSC. Dr. Lopez serves as the Diversity Officer in the College of Nursing and Co-Director of the NIH- funded Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) Special Populations Core. She is active in mentoring predoctoral psychology interns and postdoctoral fellows focused on health disparities and has received federal funding to investigate evidence-supported treatment modalities for underserved populations including individuals at high risk for or living with HIV.

Robert Miranda, Jr., Ph.D.

Dr. Miranda is a clinical psychologist and accomplished alcohol researcher and mentor. His program of research focuses on understanding the pathogenic mechanisms of alcohol (and other substance) use and abuse during adolescence and improving innovative therapeutics to treat youth during the early stages of addiction. He has an ongoing NIAAA-sponsored K24 award, under which he become a certified trainer/facilitator in the NIH-supported National Research Mentoring Network skills in culturally responsive mentoring.

Antonio Morgan-Lopez, Ph.D.

Dr. Morgan-Lopez is a quantitative psychologist and Fellow within the Substance Use Prevention, Evaluation and Risk (SUPER) Program at RTI International. Dr. Morgan-Lopez’s research focuses on developing advances in measurement and analysis in behavioral intervention contexts using his specialized expertise in novel design and quantitative methods. He leads a monthly mentorship and writing group which focuses on racial/ethnic disparities as part of an NIAAA sponsored virtual clinical trial project that is harmonizing data from over 4,000 participants.

Rosaura Orengo-Aguayo, Ph.D.

Dr. Orengo-Aguayo is an Assistant Professor and bilingual clinical psychologist at the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center (NCVC) in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at MUSC. Dr. Orengo-Aguayo's federally-funded program of research focuses on the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based interventions in low resourced environments within the U.S., Latin and Central America, and the Caribbean, and addressing mental health disparities for underserved trauma-exposed youth. She provides clinical and research supervision to psychology interns, NIH-funded postdoctoral psychology fellows, and psychiatry fellows, most of whom are trainees from underrepresented backgrounds.

Megan Patrick, Ph.D.

Dr. Patrick's research program focuses on the development and consequences of adolescent alcohol and drug use and risky sexual behaviors. Her interests include motivation and decision-making, the prevention of health risk behaviors, statistical methods for modeling behavior and behavior change, and mobile and web-based survey methodology. She has been the PI and Co-I of numerous NIH-funded projects. Her current studies focus on high-intensity drinking, simultaneous alcohol and marijuana use, and interventions to reduce consequences of young adult substance use.

Lara Ray, Ph.D.

Dr. Ray is a clinical psychologist and Professor in the Department of Psychology at UCLA. Dr. Ray's prolific program of research combines clinical and experimental psychopharmacology with the goal of developing more effective alcohol treatments. She is an NIAAA K24 awardee and an accomplished mentor to junior alcohol investigators from diverse backgrounds.

Elizabeth Santa Ana, Ph.D.

Dr. Santa Ana is a clinical psychologist at the Charleston VAMC and Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at MUSC. Dr. Santa Ana is Associate Director of the Charleston Health Equity and Rural Outreach Innovation Center (HEROIC), and Co- Director of the VA Advanced Fellowship in Mental Illness Research and Treatment (MIRECC) at the Charleston VAMC. Her research focuses on testing new modalities to improve delivery of evidence-based interventions, particularly innovative methods for delivering treatments in ways that are practical, feasible, and provide greater accessibility for patients with addictive disorders.

Amelia Tally, Ph.D.

Dr. Tally is a social-personality psychologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Texas Tech University. Her program of research focuses on investigating predictors of alcohol use among sexual minority populations. Dr. Talley recently assumed the role of Co-Chair of the Diversity Committee in the Research Society for Alcoholism (RSA).

Rachel Tomko, Ph.D.

Dr. Tomko is a clinical psychologist and Assistant Professor in the Addiction Sciences Division of the Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at MUSC. Dr. Tomko conducts federally-funded research aimed at 1) understanding the person-specific mechanisms that maintain alcohol and drug use, identifying predictors of treatment response, and developing treatment decision-making algorithms, and 2) removing methodological barriers in the research process to expedite novel treatment development. She participates actively in internship application evaluations and mentors interdisciplinary trainees at the pre and post-doctoral levels.

Rose Marie Ward, Ph.D.

Rose Marie Ward, PhD examines college student alcohol consumption and sexual assault. In addition, she has examined the relationship between social media use and alcohol consumption. When examining alcohol-related consequences, she is particularly interested in alcohol-related blackouts.

Sylia Wilson, Ph.D.

Dr. Wilson's research examines the developmental etiology of psychopathology, with a particular focus on substance use and depression. Her research integrates developmental, clinical, and neuroscience methods, and takes a lifetime developmental perspective that includes infants, children, adolescents, and adults. She uses study designs that are causally and genetically informative, including longitudinal, high-risk family, and twin designs, and takes a multimodal approach that includes behavioral, observational, neurocognitive, psychophysiological, and MRI methods.