2019 Rural Drug Addiction Research and Translation Symposium

2019 Rural Drug Addiction Research and Translation Symposium

Research & Translation Symposium


About the Conference

No single field of knowledge can hold the keys to solving the addiction crisis that we face. The Rural Drug Addiction Research (RDAR) Center seeks to advance our understanding of drug addiction by linking pre-clinical studies to field-based behavioral, neural, social, and clinical research. In addition to our research partners, we are also committed to working within communities, and reaching out to the professionals directly involved with rural drug addiction – medical, mental health, treatment and recovery, law enforcement and public policy – to learn from your knowledge and experience. Center-sponsored projects will range from the microscopic world of the synapse in human biology to the social and geographical environments in which drug use interventions take place, exploring rural drug addiction from synapse to society.

The 2019 Conference was held in the Wick Alumni Center from November 1-2, 2019 with dinner Friday night at Morrill Hall in the Elephant Room. Sixty-nine attendees joined the Center in discussing rural addiction. Below find the keynote speakers, their powerpoint presentations and the list of panelists at the conference.

We hope you'll join us in the years to come.

Guest Speakers

The Rural Drug Addiction Research Center would like to send out a big thank you to all the guests and speakers who came out to learn and speak about current research going on around the midwest.

Tamara Phillips-Richards

Tamara Phillips-Richards (OHSU)Identify Genes That Impact Methamphetamine Use Disorder

Dr. Tamara Phillips received her PhD from the State University of New York in Albany and is Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience at Oregon Health & Science University and Senior Research Career Scientist at the VA Portland Health Care System in Portland, Oregon. She is the Director of the NIAAA-funded Portland Alcohol Research Center and current President of the International Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism).

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Lane Strathearn


Dr Strathearn is Professor of Pediatrics and the Division Director for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at the University of Iowa, as well as Physician Director of the Center for Disabilities and Development at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital. He holds the William E. Bell/Gail A. McGuiness Endowed Chair for Pediatric Neurodevelopment.

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Hannah Cooper


Dr. Cooper is the Rollins Chair of Substance Use Disorder Research, and Professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health. She is Co-Director of the Emory University Center for AIDS Research Prevention Sciences Core, and Director of the Rollins Program on Substance Use Disorders.

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Panel Discussion on Rural Health:

TAMMY STEVENSON, Executive Director, The Bridge Behavioral Health

CHRISTINE CHASEK, Associate Professor — UNK

DENNIS E. McCHARGUE, Associate Professor and Co-Director — Nebraska Internship Consortium in Professional Psychology

FELICIA QUINTANA-ZINN, Drug Overdose Prevention Epidemiologist — Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services

Panel Discussion on Public Policy:

ALENA A. BALASANOVA, M.D. - Nebraska Medicine’s Addiction Services Outpatient Clinic

KEN ZOUCHA, Assistant Professor — Nebraska Medical Center

KATE SPECK, Senior Research Manager — UNL Public Policy Center

THERESA BARRON-McKEAGNEY, Associate Dean — College of Public Affairs and Community Service