Leadership Team

  • Silvia Martins, MD, PhD

    • Associate Professor of Epidemiology; PHIOS Director, Co-Director of the Substance Abuse Epidemiology T32

    Dr. Silvia S. Martins is the Director of the Substance Abuse Epidemiology Unit of the Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. She is also the co-director of the NIDA T32 Substance Abuse Epidemiology Training Program in the department and the Course Director of Principles of Epidemiology (P6400). She is also the Department of Epidemiology Co-Principal Investigator of the IMSD program at Columbia. She has co-authored more than 170 peer reviewed epidemiological and substance abuse journal articles, served as PI or MPI of multiple NIH funded grants. Notable recent findings have focused on recent trends in marijuana use, the relationship of perceived availability of marijuana with medical marijuana laws, traffic fatalities and medical marijuana laws and increasing trends in heroin use and heroin use disorder in the general U.S. adult population. She has received several awards for her research and mentoring, including, in 2011, the Award for pioneering efforts in gambling research, in 2013, the Columbia President's Global Innovation Fund and more recently, in 2017, the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health Dean's Award for Excellence in Mentoring. Her current research focuses on consequences of medical marijuana laws in the U.S, recreational marijuana laws in Uruguay, prescription drug monitoring programs, social media and marijuana, and gambling and impulsive behaviors among minority adolescents in the U.S. She has been continuously funded by NIH since 2006 as a Principal Investigator.

  • Lisa Metsch, PhD

    • Stephen Smith Professor and Chair of Sociomedical Sciences; PHIOS Co-Director

    Dr. Lisa Rosen-Metsch '90GS is the Dean of the School of General Studies. Previously, she was the Chair and Stephen Smith Professor of Sociomedical Sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health, and is an internationally-recognized scholar in the prevention of HIV among populations with substance use disorders.

    For the past two decades, Dr. Rosen-Metsch's research program has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She was one of the early researchers in the era of antiretroviral therapy to articulate the importance of creating prevention/primary care programs for people living with HIV, not simply those at risk of infection. She also was part of the multi-site team funded by the CDC that developed and tested the first evidence-based linkage to care intervention for individuals who were newly diagnosed with HIV. Dr. Rosen-Metsch's current work focuses on developing innovative strategies to increase the uptake of testing, linkage, retention, and re-engagement in care among vulnerable populations. Her landmark research has resulted in more than 180 peer-reviewed publications and has helped shape national policy and intervention programs.

    Prior to joining the Mailman School, Dr. Rosen-Metsch was professor of Epidemiology at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine, where she served as director of the Division of Health Services Research and Policy, with secondary appointments in the Departments of Medicine and Sociology.

  • Charles Branas, PhD

    • Department of Epidemiology Chair; Gelman Professor of Epidemiology; PHIOS Co-Director

    Dr. Branas has conducted research that extends from urban and rural areas in the US to communities across the globe, incorporating place-based interventions and human geography. He has led win-win science that generates new knowledge while simultaneously creating positive, real-world changes and providing health-enhancing resources for local communities. His pioneering work on geographic access to medical care has changed the healthcare landscape, leading to the designation of new hospitals and a series of national scientific replications in the US and other countries for many conditions: trauma, cancer, stroke, etc. His research on the geography and factors underpinning gun violence has been cited by landmark Supreme Court decisions, Congress, and the NIH Director. Dr. Branas has also led large-scale scientific work to transform thousands of vacant lots, abandoned buildings and other blighted spaces in improving the health and safety of entire communities. These are the first citywide randomized controlled trials of urban blight remediation and have shown this intervention to be a cost-effective solution to persistent urban health problems like gun violence. He has worked internationally on four continents and led multi-national efforts, producing extensive cohorts of developing nation scientists, national health metrics, and worldwide press coverage.