HJF Fellowship Winner Named

Bethesda, Maryland, Aug. 10, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc. (HJF) has selected a promising Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) doctoral student to receive a Fellowship for the 2017-18 academic year. This Fellowship program, established in 1998, provides a fellow with one year of salary, benefits and travel support.

Joanna Sells, a rising sixth-year doctoral student in the Medical and Clinical Psychology Graduate Program, will be awarded the HJF Fellowship in Medical Sciences. She is conducting her dissertation research in the laboratory of Dr. Andrew J. Waters, examining impaired control over addictive behavior. The study will involve a collaboration with the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism intramural research program.

Specifically, Sells is investigating the conditions and behaviors associated with the inability to resist alcohol consumption. She is assessing the validity of laboratory models used to study alcohol self-administration against drinking behavior in real world situations using smartphones. She will also examine predictors of both resisting alcohol and compulsive consumption, with the goal of developing algorithms that may predict when an individual is at risk of poor outcomes. This research may inform mobile interventions to reduce or treat addictive behavior.

Sells has also completed an internship at the White House Executive Office of the President, Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Given that alcoholism and other additive behaviors such as smoking, eating disorders and opioid use impact the physical health, psychological well-being and readiness of military personnel, a better understanding of the psychological processes underlying impaired control is intended to inform appropriate policy on prevention, intervention and treatment of addictive behaviors, with benefits to both military and civilian populations.

Through its fellowship program, HJF has assisted nearly 50 USU students in their research pursuits.

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