Jaimee Heffner, PhD, is the Director of the Tobacco-Related Health Disparities (TREHD) Research Group and an Associate Professor in the Cancer Prevention Program, Division of Public Health Sciences at Fred Hutch. A licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Heffner’s expertise is in smoking cessation interventions, with an emphasis on assisting tobacco users with co-occurring mental health conditions and substance use disorders to quit. Her secondary area of research is on interventions to reduce alcohol use. Over the past 10 years, she has served as a principal investigator, co-investigator, or as a consultant or sub-investigator on eighteen smoking cessation trials funded by National Institutes of Health, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the pharmaceutical industry—many of which were targeted interventions for smokers with co-occurring mental health conditions and/or substance use disorders. She currently serves as principal investigator on an R34 award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and an R21 from the National Cancer Institute to develop and test new digital smoking cessation interventions. Dr. Heffner received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Ohio University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in addictions treatment and research at the University of Cincinnati.
Melissa Gasser is a graduate student at the University of Washington pursuing a PhD in Clinical Psychology. She is interested in addressing health care disparities and is working with Dr. Heffner on mobile application-based interventions addressing both mental health and substance use concerns.
Raymond Ruiz is a doctoral student in the Department of Health Services at the University of Washington School of Public Health. His research focuses on understanding the reasons for the higher prevalence of tobacco use among sexual and gender minorities (SGM), including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) adult smokers. Raymond is a NCI T32 Biobehavioral Cancer Control and Prevention Training Grant Pre-Doctoral Fellow. Dr. Heffner is Raymond's co-mentor for the T32 Fellowship and a member of his dissertation committee.
Edit is a Project Manager for the Tobacco-Related Health Disparities Research Group. She has 9 years of experience in administration at Oregon Health & Science University, where she led an NIH funded research project on the effects of exercise and medication on fibromyalgia patients and provided motivational interviewing based health coaching. She received her master’s degree in Public Health from Portland State University, with a focus on Health Education and physical activity. Edit has a special interest in health behavior change and chronic illness prevention/management.
Noreen Watson, PhD, is a NIDA-funded Staff Scientist. During her graduate training, Dr. Watson focused on examining the mechanisms by which social anxiety is a risk factor for risky health behaviors—particularly cigarette smoking. Subsequently, she was awarded an NRSA F32 to: (1) develop expertise in developing and empirically testing technology-based smoking cessation interventions for the general population adult smokers as well as for smokers at high risk for developing tobacco-related health disparities and (2) develop a web-based smoking cessation intervention for smokers with social anxiety. She was recently awarded a K23 from NIDA to conduct a pilot sequential multiple assignment randomized trial (SMART) of adaptive treatment strategies to improve effective engagement with digital health interventions. Dr. Watson completed her clinical internship at the University of Washington Medical School in Behavioral Medicine/Neuropsychology and received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Texas Tech University in 2015