Institute for Translational Research Education in Adolescent Drug Abuse (ITRE)

National Advisory Board

The purpose of the National Advisory Board will be to support the ITRE's progress to oversee the larger vision of the Institute. The NAB Members will serve as Content Experts for the graduate certificate coursework and help define and conduct curriculum that will expose our Scholars to national perspectives.

Current NAB Members

Richard Dembo, Ph.D.Richard Dembo, Ph.D.

Richard Dembo, Ph.D. is a Professor of Criminology at the University of South Florida. Dr. Dembo has directed a number of NIDA-funded projects addressing drug abuse, mental health, and related needs among youths having contact with the justice system.  He has conducted extensive research on the relationship between drug use, delinquency, and public health issues, has published three books and over 250 articles, book chapters, and reports in the fields of criminology, substance use, mental health, and program evaluation. He is currently involved in a NIDA funded, family intervention project for Haitian youth having contact with the justice system in Miami-Dade County, Florida. He earned his Ph.D. in Sociology from New York University.

Michael Dennis, PhDMichael L. Dennis, Ph.D.
(Chair of National Advisory Board)

Michael L. Dennis, Ph.D. (Chair of National Advisory Board) is a Senior Research Psychologist and Director of the Global Appraisal of Individual Needs (GAIN) Coordinating Center at Chestnut Health Systems in Bloomington, IL. He was the coordinating center principal investigator of the largest adolescent treatment experiment to date, the Cannabis Youth Treatment (CYT) study. Over the past decade, he has been coordinating center director or Co-PI of over a dozen adolescent treatment research projects and grant programs funded by the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Dr. Dennis is the primary developer of the GAIN: a standardized biopsychosocial to help make clinical decisions about diagnosis, placement, and treatment planning; it is a key piece of infrastructure to bridge the gap between clinical research and moving practice towards evidence based practice. Under his direction, the GAIN Coordinating Center has provided training and support to use GAIN for over 500 adolescent and adult research studies, demonstration grants, states, and agencies throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico. He earned his Ph.D. in Psychology, Methodology and Evaluation Research from Northwestern University.

John Lowe, PhDJohn Lowe, Ph.D., RN, FAAN

John Lowe, Ph.D., RN, FAAN is a McKenzie Professor in Health Disparities Research and Director of the Center for Indigenous Nursing Research for Health Equity (INRHE) at the Florida State University, College of Nursing. He is one of only 23 American Indian & Alaskan Native (AI/AN) doctoral prepared nurses within the USA. He has conducted NIH-funded intervention studies for the prevention of substance use and related risk behaviors for AI/AN and Indigenous populations globally. He has significant expertise in cultural competence, health disparities, and evidence-based practices. Models that have emerged from his funded research are used to promote the health and well-being of Native Americans and Indigenous peoples globally. He was recently appointed to the National Institutes of Nursing Research (NINR) Advisory Council.

Aaron Lyon, PhDAaron R. Lyon, Ph.D.

Aaron R. Lyon, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and Associate Professor in the University of Washington’s (UW) Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. He is also Director of the UW School Mental Health Assessment, Research, and Training (SMART) Center. Dr. Lyon’s research focuses on improving the implementation and impact of mental health interventions for children, adolescents, and families; delivered within contexts (e.g., schools) that routinely provide care to chronically underserved populations (e.g., low socioeconomic status and ethnic minority youth). Dr. Lyon is currently principal investigator on grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute of Justice, Institute of Education Sciences, and various local and national foundations across the U.S. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Child Psychology at DePaul University.

Kenneth J. Martinez, Psy.DKenneth J. Martinez, Psy.D.

Kenneth J. Martinez, Psy.D. is a retired child psychologist and Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at the Health Sciences Center, University of New Mexico where he has been on the faculty in various capacities for over 40 years. Dr. Martinez previously served as a Principal Research Analyst at the American Institute for Research (AIR) in Washington DC., where he provided technical assistance to over 70 federally funded children's mental health grantee sites. He has extensive clinical, policy, administrative, and academic expertise. In addition, Dr. Martinez previously served as the children's behavioral health director for the State of New Mexico and past national chair of the Children, Youth, and Families Division of the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors. He earned his Bachelors degree in Psychology at Stanford University and his Doctorate of Psychology in Child Clinical Psychology at the University of Denver where he was a Ford Foundation Fellow.

Rachel Shelton, ScD, MPHRachel Shelton, ScD, MPH

Rachel Shelton, ScD, MPH is an Assistant Professor of Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and is a social and behavioral scientist with expertise is in the areas of implementation science, health equity, and community-engaged research.. Dr. Shelton has been funded as Principal Investigator for 10 years in implementation science and health equity, with funding through American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute, NCATS, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, and National Institute on Aging. She has taught a course in implementation science since 2013, and is currently leading a campus-wide Initiative on Implementation Science at Columbia University through Columbia’s CTSA.

Charles Mendez IIICharles Mendez, III



Past NAB Members

Dean Fixsen, PhDDean L. Fixsen, PhD

Dean L. Fixsen, PhD is Founder (with Karen Blase) of the National Implementation Research Network. He also serves as Senior Scientist at Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is Co-Director of the National Implementation Research Network and Co-Director of the State Implementation and Scaling Up Evidence-based Practices Center. He and his colleagues have been working to expand the science and practice of implementation for several decades across nearly all human services fields as well as education, community health, and public health to increase the knowledge base for implementation. His research has been funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), and the W.T. Grant Foundation. He earned his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology and completed a NIMH Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship in Human Development from the University of Kansas.

Junius J. Gonzales, M.D.Junius J. Gonzales, MD, MBA


Junius J. Gonzales, MD, MBA is the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the New York Institute of Technology. Before then, he served as Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Dr. Gonzales has extensive experience with mental health and drug abuse services research across multiple sectors. Under his tenure at NIMH as Services Research Branch Chief and Division Director, the Disparities Research Program was created. He also co-developed the only joint Services Research-Basic Science Research Workshop, bringing together applied researchers with basic behavioral and social scientists to better address the work on provider decision-making. He is the PI of a NIDA funded R13 titled “Toward an Integrative Behavioral Health Services Research Platform.” This project is a multi-disciplinary scientific conference effort to develop a collaborative and strategic research agenda to improve behavioral health services to people who suffer from drug use/abuse problems and mental health problems, and to engage partnerships between researchers and other stakeholders to contribute to and implement the strategic research agenda. He earned his M.D. at the University of Pennsylvania and his M.B.A. at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland.

Mario Hernandez, PhDMario Hernandez, PhD


Mario Hernandez, PhD is Professor and Chair of the Department of Child and Family Studies (CFS) within the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences at the University of South Florida. He provides leadership and management for a variety of research and technical assistance projects at the local, national, and international levels. He has almost 30 years of expertise, experience, and knowledge in child and adolescent behavioral health systems and services research. He has extensive knowledge in cultural competence, systems of care, and diversity in training and services delivery in children's mental health. His research interests include accessibility of mental health services for diverse children and families and identifying and measuring organizational factors associated with reducing mental health disparities. Models that have emerged from his research are used to promote the mental health and well-being of children and adolescents across the nation.

Roger Peters, PhDRoger Peters, PhD

Roger Peters, PhD is a Professor in the Department of Mental Health Law and Policy at the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute (FMHI) at the University of South Florida. Dr. Peters served as Chair of the department from 2004-2011 and as Associate Chair from 2002-2004. He has served as Principal Investigator and Director for numerous grant projects, including a NIDA P30 Research Core Center award to establish the USF Center on Co-Occurring Disorders, Justice, and Multidisciplinary Research (CJM Center). He also served as PI on the SAMHSA-funded Suncoast Practice and Research Collaborative (SPARC) project. He served from 1995-2004 as the lead consultant to the National GAINS Center for People with Co-occurring Disorders in the Justice System. He earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Florida State University, following completion of a pre-doctoral internship at the University of North Carolina, School of Medicine.

Jennifer P. Wisdom, PhD, MPHJennifer P. Wisdom, PhD, MPH

Jennifer P. Wisdom, PhD, MPH is the director of Jennifer Wisdom Consulting, a full service firm to help executives and other leaders lead with wisdom, achieve clarity, and reach their greatest potential. She has developed an interest in how organizational perspectives can inform efforts to improve the quality of care, particularly in substance abuse and mental health treatment. She was involved in a national study to improve the quality of care of substance abuse treatment and is just completed a NIDA funded K23 career development award to study improving the quality of care for adolescents in substance abuse treatment. She is Co-I of "Developing Center for Innovation in Services and Intervention Research." This project advances knowledge about effective implementation strategies for improving the uptake of evidence-based practices in a state-funded public mental health system. She earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at George Washington University and completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Health Services Research along with an MPH in Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Oregon Health and Science University.



The Institute for Translational Research Education in Adolescent Drug Abuse is supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health under award number R25DA031103.