IAPHS Honors Silvia Martins with Its 2021 Mentoring Award

June 21, 2021

The Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science (IAPHS) has selected Silvia S. Martins, MD, PhD, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health associate professor of Epidemiology and director of the Substance Use Epidemiology Unit of the Department of Epidemiology, as its 2021 recipient of the IAPHS Mentoring Award. Martins, who also serves as director of the University’s Policy and Health Initiatives on Opioids and other Substances interdisciplinary group (PHIOS), and as the Columbia co-director of the NIDA T32 Substance Abuse Epidemiology Training Program was chosen from a highly competitive group of candidates. 

Martins has co-authored more than 200 peer-reviewed epidemiological and substance use articles, and more than 100 articles as first or senior author—80 of them led by her current or former mentees. Serving as principal investigator of multiple NIH-funded grants, some of her notable research findings have focused on prescription drug monitoring programs and their impact on prescription opioid and heroin overdoses, machine learning techniques, to better understand opioid policies associated with high-opioid prescribing, the effects of medical and recreational cannabis laws in cannabis use outcomes in the U.S. population, and substance use and psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents in Brazil.

She has received several highly coveted awards for her research and mentoring, including the 2017 Columbia Mailman School Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring, the 2013 Columbia President’s Global Innovation Fund, and the 2011 Award for gambling research. Most recently, a project she leads was selected for one of the School’s Calderone Health Equity Awards. In addition, she was selected as one of the School’s 2021-2023 Tow Leadership Fellows.

Martins has mentored and advised nearly 100 undergraduate students, master’s students, predoctoral students, post-doctoral fellows, and junior faculty, several of whom have received prestigious conference awards themselves. Over the years, she has also mentored graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and junior faculty from Brazil, Lebanon, France, and Chile via Columbia University Global Center internal funding, NIDA-Invest, and NIDA-INSERM funding. Her trainees have published widely in peer-reviewed journals and received several awards recognizing their scientific and service achievements. Particularly dedicated to mentoring women, under-represented minorities, and international researchers from low and middle-income countries, Martins remains committed to contributing to diversity, equity, and inclusion in academic scholarship.

Martins will be honored in October at the Plenary Session of the IAPHS annual meeting to be held in Baltimore at which time she will receive an honorarium and provide brief remarks reflecting on the topic of mentorship.