Behavioral health expert Traci Green appointed new director of Opioid Policy Research Collaborative

October 30, 2019

WALTHAM, MA—The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University has appointed Traci Green to join the faculty as professor and director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative (OPRC) on January 1, 2020.

Green joins the Heller School from Boston University, where she was previously an associate professor of emergency medicine and deputy director of the Boston Medical Center Injury Prevention Center. In addition to her position at BU, Green held faculty positions at Brown University’s schools of medicine and public health. Green has over 17 years of experience as a faculty member and epidemiologist focusing on the areas of drug use, addiction and overdose prevention.

Traci Green

“This is a pivotal time in the opioid crisis,” says Green. “We need real science and informed policy now more than ever. I am delighted to be joining the faculty and leadership of the Heller School to shape the future of opioid policy research.”

Green helped cofound and for access to the overdose antidote naloxone. She co-led the development of a strategic plan for the Rhode Island Governor’s Task Force on opioids and overdose and holds expert advisory roles for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. She served on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Guidelines on Prescription Opioids for Chronic Pain workgroup and the National Academies of Sciences committee studies on Pain Management and Regulatory Strategies to Address Prescription Opioid Abuse and on Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder.  

Her research leverages novel approaches to public health surveillance and aims to expand access to evidence-based harm reduction and treatment for people using opioids. Her work is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, among others. Green holds a PhD in chronic disease epidemiology from Yale University and a master of science in epidemiology and biostatistics from McGill University. 

“When it comes to promoting policy solutions and interventions to reduce drug-related harms, Traci’s research is at the vanguard,” says Constance Horgan, director of the Institute for Behavioral Health (IBH) and chair of the search committee. “Her extensive portfolio displays a truly interdisciplinary approach to opioids and overdose, which we believe is central to the OPRC’s work and the Heller School’s research mission.”

The OPRC, founded in 2017, is a major subdivision of the Heller School’s Schneider Institute for Behavioral Health. It advances policy research on interventions to address the opioid addiction epidemic and serves as a convener and collaborator for state and federal health officials, policymakers and private organizations. Green will be leading a team anchored by OPRC Medical Director Andrew Kolodny, and Senior Scientist Peter Kreiner.

“The Institute for Behavioral Health has conducted world-class research into opioid addiction and treatment for many years before it became a tragic national news story,” says Heller Dean David Weil. “That in-house expertise, combined with Traci Green’s leadership as a social scientist, will continue this important legacy and help identify new solutions to this epidemic. We are thrilled for her to join our community, and I am certain that she will bring bold new ideas to the Heller School.”