KU series to feature expert in addiction and health disparities in racial, ethnic minorities

LAWRENCE – The Cofrin Logan Center for Addiction Research & Treatment at the University of Kansas will kick off its spring seminar series featuring a talk on community-responsive interventions for addictive behaviors.

Monica Webb Hooper from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities will offer the talk at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 19. Free registration for the virtual presentation, which will be held via Zoom, is available.

Hooper is a renowned translational behavioral scientist and clinical health psychologist. Her area of research focuses on the effect of smoking and tobacco use on racial and ethnic minorities. She has focused on developing culture-based and community responsive interventions for chronic illness and health behavior.

Hooper’s research spans behavior and addiction among African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, people with HIV/AIDS and people with socioeconomic disadvantages. Her group’s research on developing culturally specific interventions for African American smokers is the first to successfully develop an intervention method that moves beyond the standard approaches for minority populations. She became the deputy director at the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, a part of the National Institutes of Health, in 2020. 

Additional talks in the series are as follows:

Hugh Garavan, University of Vermont, at 10:30 a.m. March 12. Garavan is a professor of psychiatry and psychology at the Department of Psychological Sciences. His research mainly focuses on using structural and functional brain imaging to study cognitive control and reward processes and how the changes in these systems can affect drug addiction.

Katie Witkiewitz, University of New Mexico, at 10:30 a.m. April 6. Witkiewitz is a regent’s professor at the Department of Psychology, and her research expertise is empirically supported treatments for substance use disorders, along with the mechanisms of behavior change in the use of alcohol, illicit drugs and gambling. 

“The seminar series is a key component of the educational and outreach missions of the Cofrin Logan Center,” said Michael Amlung, associate director for training at the center and associate professor in the KU Department of Applied Behavioral Science. “By inviting world-class addiction scientists and clinicians to present their work at our seminars, we hope to highlight pressing issues in addictions research and treatment, draw attention to barriers to effective care for specific population groups and educate the public about the science of addictions to reduce stigma.”

Based at the KU Life Span Institute, the Cofrin Logan Center brings together researchers, practitioners, KU students and community partners to address challenges in addiction. Researchers affiliated with the center explore a wide range of behavioral health challenges, while clinical staff members of the center deliver direct addiction treatment and therapy services to individuals in the community, as well as arts-based therapy programs.

The center was established in 2018 following a gift to KU Endowment from KU alumnus Dan Logan (’75) and his wife, Gladys Cofrin. In addition to research focused on a broad range of addictive behaviors – including vaping, tobacco, alcohol, and food – the center’s faculty and graduate students also seek to engage at-risk populations including medically underserved communities, survivors of domestic violence, veterans and university students.

Wed, 02/10/2021


Jen Humphrey

Media Contacts

Jen Humphrey

Life Span Institute