Areas of Research

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FNA contributions in adolescent SUD research have led to widespread use of the CTN0014 family-based treatment for behavioral problems and at-risk youth. To advance adolescent substance prevention and treatment, we use also use novel e-approaches to integrate behavioral treatments into medical care and scale up interventions to prevent or stop substance use. Led by Drs. Jose Szapocznik, Viviana Horigian and Paula Riggs (University of Colorado), the FNA’s Families and Adolescents research agenda seeks to develop and evaluate interventions to 1) early identify, provide brief intervention and refer adolescents to SUD treatment, 2) integrate SUD treatment into the mainstream of primary care and 3) improve SUD treatment outcomes.

Comorbid Mental Health Conditions: Depression & Anxiety

FNA tackles challenges in the care of patients with comorbid mental health conditions through research on comorbid stimulant use and depression and testing of models that integrate mental health and SU care in syringe exchange programs. We also focus on Comorbid Drug Use and Mental Health Disorders Treatment in Primary Care.

Comorbid Medical Conditions: HIV & Hepatitis-C

Led by Drs. Lisa R. Metsch, Daniel J. Feaster and Carlos del Rio (Emory University), the FNA’s HIV research agenda seeks to build on its successful accomplishments in HIV and SUD treatment research by 1) testing interventions that can improve adherence to HIV treatment in patients with SUDs, 2) addressing comorbidities that heighten risk and adherence to treatment among patients with HIV and SUDs and 3) generating patient-centered, provider-centered and clinically meaningful findings that will help to guide the decision-making of providers, policy makers and patients. FNA addresses needs of patients with comorbid medical conditions by focusing on hospitalized persons with SUD and detectable HIV viral load and by initiating SUD treatment and HIV care at bedside. Building on our CTN0049 trial, we aim to test a SUD treatment/HIV care intervention at the hospital bedside for untreated opioid and stimulant users with uncontrolled HIV infection. FNA research will also address the mental health comorbid conditions of patients receiving services at syringe exchange programs. Furthermore, our recently completed HCV/HIV study demonstrated the effectiveness of an intervention to move co-infected drug users along the HCV care continuum.

Data Science and Use of Context

The FNA research agenda engages our network of health care, SUD specialty providers, as well as treatment, implementation, and data science experts to build research evidence for new approaches to mainstream-integrated SUD services. We pursue studies which emphasize context, e.g., using virtual reality treatment and registries and that use data science tools such as machine learning and geocoding techniques for environmental variables to improve predictions of treatment response.


The FNA studies among Hispanics have led to our mentoring the conceptualization and launching of a national clinical trials network for SUD and mental health care in Mexico, changing SUD practice in Mexico and leading to fully bilingual studies that address disparities in inclusion of minorities in research. The FNA also has access to large Hispanic pediatric populations. Familias Unidas is a family-centered, evidence-based SU and sexual risk behavior prevention intervention for Hispanic youth and their families evaluated in two efficacy studies and one effectiveness study, all funded by NIDA. Familias Unidas targets risk and protective factors at family, peer, and school levels by providing Hispanic parents with the skills to discuss drug use and sexual risk behaviors with their adolescents in a caring context.

Cross Cutting Areas

Psychopharmacology – Led by Dr. Ihsan Salloum (University of Miami)

eTechnology – Led by Dr. David Gustafson (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Bioinformatics, Electronic Health Records and Quality Outcomes – Led by Steven DeGenaro (University of Miami)

Health Economics – Led by Dr. Kathryn McCollister (University of Miami)

Protocol Participation

For more information on the Florida Node Alliance (FNA) and past and current protocol participation, click here.

Each protocol is linked to the overview and objectives, primary findings, publications, and related studies.

FNA Scientists


  • Guillermo Prado, Ph.D.
  • Paula Riggs, M.D.

Medical Comorbidities

  • Carlos del Rio, M.D.
  • Jonathan Colosanti, M.D.
  • Jorge Santana-Bagur, M.D.
  • Allan Rodriguez, M.D.
  • Hansel Tookes, M.D.
  • Carrigan Parrish, Ph.D.
  • David Serota, Ph.D.

Mental Health Comorbidities

  • Ihsan Salloum, M.D.
  • Hendricks Brown, Ph.D.
  • Carmen Albizu, M.D.
  • Hannah Cooper, Sc.D.
  • Adam Carrico, Ph.D.

Data Science and Bioinformatics

  • Raymond Balise, Ph.D.
  • Tyler Bartholomew, Ph.D.
  • Yue Pan, Ph.D.
  • Sunil Rao, Ph.D.
  • David Reis, Ph.D.

Health Economics

  • Kathryn McCollister, Ph.D.