Trainees

Current Trainees

carla_jones_harrellCarla Jones-Harrell
Carla Jones-Harrell is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Behavioral, Social, and Health Education Sciences (BSHES) at Emory University. Her research focuses on using spatial analysis methods to examine the place-based associations of opioid use and overdose in urban and rural environments at varying spatial scales. Her dissertation examines the relationships between land use, spatial segregation, and transportation systems to opioid-related outcomes.
Prior to joining the BSHES department, Carla worked at The Carter Center’s Mental Health Program where she managed an evaluation of a pilot program developed to improve the functioning and evaluate the effectiveness of four judicial programs in their efforts to divert adolescents from the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. She was also a Lecturer and Program Director at the University of Virginia where she taught courses such as Healthy Communities, Community Food Systems, and Global Sustainability and directed programs within the Center for Design and Health focused on cross-disciplinary research to aid the design and planning of effective environments for human health and well-being. She has graduate degrees in public health and urban planning from the University of Virginia.



lauren_bertinLauren Bertin, M.A.

Lauren Bertin is a Ph.D. candidate in the Psychology Department at Emory University. She aspires to advance personalized prevention practices and treatment by leveraging behavioral genetics to unravel individual differences that persistently emerge in the study of addictions. As a graduate student in the clinical psychology program, her time is split between training as a clinician and a researcher. Through her clinical internships, she has provided outpatient services to adolescents and emerging adults with substance use disorders at Emory Adolescent Substance Use Treatment Services under the supervision of Justine Welsh, MD. Presently, she is working with veterans who have a primary substance use diagnosis at the Domiciliary Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program at Ft. McPherson, Atlanta VA Health Care System. As a member of Dr. Rohan Palmer’s lab, she has involved herself in multiple projects that aim to address the biological and psychosocial factors that contribute to the development and maintenance of substance use disorders. In Spring 2019 for her master’s thesis, Lauren utilized secondary data collected from African American males in rural Georgia to conduct the analyses on the prospective relationship between substance use outcomes and the UPPS-P Impulsive Behavior Scale. For her upcoming dissertation, she endeavors to demonstrate that executive functioning is a precursor and genetic correlate of alcohol and cannabis use disorders by using sophisticated twin and molecular genetic methods. Prior to Emory, she gained experience in scientific journalism and research—varying from cancer genetics to neurophysiology to pharmacology—at institutions, such as Columbia University, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Upon working at CUNY Hunter College in the laboratory of Dr. Joel Erblich, while obtaining a second bachelor’s degree in psychology, Lauren finally felt as though she had found her calling to study the etiology and development of substance use disorders.



Joni Webster

Joni Webster is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology at Emory University.  Her research focus is health and inequality with an emphasis on race and ethnic relations, racism, and mental health.  She has experience working with substance and alcohol abusers in inpatient rehabilitative settings as well as conducting psychometric analysis to evaluate the health effects of intimate partner violence among women.  Her dissertation examines the mental health and health behavior outcomes of Black social media users exposed to race-based traumatic events online.

Prior to attending Emory University, Joni obtained her M.P.H. from Rutgers University with a concentration in health education and behavioral science.  While at Rutgers, Joni served as a research assistant on projects ranging from the development of a health disparities certificate program for students to food justice initiatives targeting low-income populations in New Brunswick, NJ.  As a TADA fellowship trainee, Joni looks forward to improving her network analysis and machine learning skills in order to create translational research opportunities that can be harnessed to improve Black health and mental health outcomes.