Addictions; Drug abuse; Public Health and General Preventive Medicine
Dr. Dermen’s research agenda comprises two overarching goals. The first is to improve understanding of factors and processes that influence health-related behavior. In this area, his primary focus has been on testing theoretical models of health-related behavior, including alcohol and other drug use, risky sexual behavior and sexual aggression. The second goal of his research program is to improve behavioral methods and technologies for health promotion, prevention and treatment. In this domain, his primary focus has been on developing, evaluating and disseminating motivational and behavioral interventions for treatment of substance use disorders and for health risk reduction and health promotion in substance-using populations. His efforts have involved testing methods to facilitate AA involvement in treatment for alcohol use disorders, identifying factors that affect dissemination of an empirically-supported treatment innovation, developing and piloting a brief motivational intervention to promote oral health in the context of inpatient treatment for alcohol use disorder, and testing the impact of a protocol for tailoring treatment for alcohol use disorder on the basis of clients’ pretreatment drinking trajectories. Most recently, he has begun work on creating a web-delivered, motivational interviewing-based intervention to promote oral health.
Internal Medicine; Public Health and General Preventive Medicine
I am a primary care physician specialized in both internal medicine and preventive medicine. As a member of the UBMD Internal Medicine primary care team, I see patients at the Hertel-Elmwood Internal Medicine Center. My clinical work focuses on providing high value care for patients with acute and complex chronic conditions, including diabetes, heart failure, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and hypertension. I have worked as a physician in both Peru and the United States, and my ability to speak English and Spanish fluently—in addition to my multicultural background--allows me to relate to, and care effectively for a broad patient population. My ability to reach across cultural divides helps build trust in my patients, an essential component in rendering individualized, compassionate care. I have a special interest in translating evidence-based innovations, using quality improvement tools, to enhance the care of patients with multiple chronic diseases. I am interested in research that strives to understand the social determinants of health, i.e., how socioeconomic circumstances, neighborhood environments and psychosocial factors affect the prevention and treatment of chronic conditions. I am specifically interested in how social determinants affect the treatment of patients with Type 2 diabetes. My goal in this research is to understand the multiple factors affecting health and wellness in order to help ameliorate the disparities found in the health care of vulnerable populations. I train medical students and residents as they rotate in the Hertel-Elmwood Internal Medicine Center. I emphasize to trainees that building a healing longitudinal relationship with patients is as important as mastering the science of medicine in delivering effective and compassionate patient care. Furthermore, I encourage trainees to look not only “downstream” for the causes of diseases but “upstream” as well in order to offer holistic approaches for the prevention and treatment of diseases that affect our Buffalo and Western New York community.
Addictions; Public Health and General Preventive Medicine; Behavioral Medicine
I was trained as an experimental social psychologist but my research has involved the use of multiple methodologies including laboratory studies, longitudinal survey studies, and daily diary studies. My primary research interests are in the area of behavioral health, in particular (1) the relationship of substance use and misuse to aggression, relationship conflict, and social functioning and (2) psychological and social variables that influence quality of life among people with chronic medical disorders (IBS, cardiac arrhythmia etc).
Pediatrics; Public Health and General Preventive Medicine; Behavioral Medicine
I am an Associate Professor in the Division of Behavioral Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, State University of New York at Buffalo. With training in preventive medicine and epidemiology & biostatistics, my research focuses on maternal and child health, smoking prevention and cessation, pediatric obesity prevention, and cardio-metabolic conditions. My current research interests include father/partner involvement in pregnancy and infant care, smoking cessation during pregnancy and postpartum, breastfeeding promotion, the developmental origins (e.g. in utero, infancy, early childhood) of health and disease, and childhood growth trajectories. I have published 71 scientific journal articles related to these topics. I have been receiving several external grants as the Principal Investigator from NIH (R21 and CTSA pilot), HRSA/MCHB (2 R40s), and New York State. In particular, with a NIH CTSA (Clinical and Translational Science Award) pilot grant, I have been conducting a clinical trial to help pregnant smokers to quit smoking in early pregnancy with follow-ups until 24 months postpartum. A high smoking abstinence rate (63%) has been achieved by our multicomponent intervention. The paper on this efficacy trial has been published by Translational Behavioral Medicine. My another paper published by International Journal of Obesity from this pilot study suggested that maternal smoking cessation during pregnancy significantly decreased risk of low birth weight. It might also reduce fetal origins of obesity through reducing infant weight gain, especially if quitting smoking by 27 weeks of pregnancy. Our preliminary data from 27 pregnant women supports the importance of partner involvement during pregnancy to improve birth outcomes. For example, women with a bed partner had a lower risk of LBW (15.8% vs 37.5%) than women without a bed partner; having a partner understanding the pregnant woman’s feeling was also associated lower risk of LBW (16.7% vs 33.3%). In addition, I have an ongoing NIH-funded R21 project on postpartum smoking relapse prevention by breastfeeding promotion. Right after delivery, we randomize ex-smoking mothers who are still smoking abstinent into either the breastfeeding intervention or the attention placebo control group, and follow them until 9 months postpartum to track their smoking status. Below are my ongoing research projects: 1) Pediatric obesity prevention by maternal smoking cessation in pregnancy and lactation; 2) Postpartum smoking relapse prevention by breastfeeding promotion; 3) Snacking for Two (Impact of Changes in the Reinforcing Value of Food During Pregnancy in Smokers, Quitters, and Non-Smokers) 4) Socioeconomic disparities in early origins of childhood obesity and body mass index trajectories.