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Division of Research

Research Division Group Picture

The Division of Research in the Department of Family and Community Medicine supports the generation of research, scholarship and innovations that enhance the quality of care for patients, families and communities.

We are known for our commitment to facilitate the research development of medical students, residents and faculty members. All clinical faculty members participate in research and several have significant protected time to lead projects and obtain grant funding. In 2017, the department was ranked in the Top 20 for NIH Funding, and in Spring 2019, our Research Director, Dr. Jeffrey Scherrer, received a $3.2 million NIH grant to study chronic opioid use and mood disorders.

Who We Are

The Division of Research has three Ph.D. faculty and two clinician researchers spanning expertise in epidemiology, qualitative and quantitative research, clinical trials, behavioral health, and social sciences. We are supported by three Masters-trained and experienced research coordinators and a senior biostatistician.

The Division of Research is an outstanding resource for training, with two doctoral student research fellows who support the research goals of the department while developing their dissertations and future independent research careers.

All clinical faculty members participate in research and several have significant protected time to lead projects and obtain grant funding. In 2017, the department was ranked in the Top 20 for NIH Funding, and in Spring 2019.

Research Faculty & Areas of Interest

Dr. Jefferey F. Scherrer, Ph.D., professor & Director of Research, focuses on the mental health consequences of pain and prescription opioid use, and the interface of physical and psychiatric conditions.

Dr. Richard Grucza, Ph.D. & professor, is interested in the epidemiology of substance use disorders. Current projects focus on the early detection of alcohol use disorder and opioid use disorder treatment outcomes.

Dr. Carissa van den Berk-Clark, Ph.D., M.S.W. & assistant professor, uses community-participatory methods to better understand implementation of health and social service policies among vulnerable populations, particularly those with behavioral health issues.

Dr. Sarah Gebauer, M.D., M.S.P.H. & assistant professor, focuses on the social determinants of health, particularly how neighborhoods influence health outcomes for painful conditions, such as back pain or osteoarthritis.

Dr. Jennifer R. Bello-Kottenstette, M.D. & assistant professor, is interested in identifying and addressing the unique reproductive health needs of women and men with substance use disorders, particularly among individuals involved with the criminal justice system. 

Recent Funding

What We Do

In addition to conducting research on actively-funded projects, the division provides hands-on support for Department of Family and Community Medicine faculty, residents and medical students. We help with research design, methods, analyses, presentations, manuscript development and IRB applications, all of which encourage research productivity in our effort to advance evidence-based medicine.

Research Scholarship Education and Training Series:  

The ReSET Series engages faculty, fellows, research staff and doctoral students in brainstorming, professional development and journal club. This cycle repeats monthly to engender an exchange of ideas that strengthens existing collaborations, launches new ones and helps junior faculty develop in all aspects involved in an academic research career. A reboot of the Tuesday Series, ReSET Series is held every Wednesday at 9 AM between September and June. 

Research Division News:  

  • Recent: Annual North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG) Conference
  • Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM) Annual Spring Conference
    • Coming soon