Research News

RIA seminars to examine alcohol, opioids and neuroscience


Published February 27, 2017

The Spring Seminar Series at UB’s Research Institute on Addictions will feature national experts exploring the topics of alcohol and suicide, the neuroscience behind addiction, and opioid addiction and treatment.

The four-part seminar series is free and open to the public. All seminars take place on Fridays at 10 a.m. on the first floor of RIA at 1021 Main St. on UB’s Downtown Campus.

The Spring Seminar Series kicks off March 10 with a talk by Kenneth R. Conner on the “Link between Alcohol and Suicide: Theory and Evidence.” Conner is a professor of emergency medicine and psychiatry, and co-director of the Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide at the University of Rochester Medical Center. He formerly served as director of the VA Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention based in Canandaigua, New York.

On March 31, J. David Jentsch will discuss “Reward, Interrupted: Inhibitory Control and its Relevance for Addictions.” Jentsch is the Empire Innovation Professor of Psychology (Behavioral Neuroscience) at Binghamton University. His research interests include identifying the genetic and neural mechanisms contributing to compromised self-control abilities in drug and alcohol addictions.

The series continues on April 7 with a talk by Stacey Sigmon on “Interim Buprenorphine Treatment for Reducing Illicit Opioid Use during Treatment Delays.” Sigmon is an associate professor in the departments of Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Vermont. She is director of Vermont’s first and largest opioid treatment program, which currently delivers methadone or buprenorphine maintenance treatment to approximately 1,000 residents. 

The lecture series closes on April 28 with a discussion by Janie Simmons titled “GetNaloxoneNow! Development and Impact of Online Trainings to Prevent, Recognize and Respond to Opioid Overdoses.” Simmons is an ethnographer and principal investigator with National Development and Research Institutes Inc., an affiliated researcher with the Center for Drug Use and HIV Research at New York University, and an advisory board and faculty member at the Fordham University HIV Prevention Research Ethics Institute. Her research primarily focuses on HIV and overdose prevention, and she has developed computer-based, overdose-prevention training modules for potential bystanders and for police officers, firefighters and EMTs.

For more information about RIA’s Spring Seminar Series, contact Kathleen Parks at 716-887-3301 or visit RIA’s website.