John J. Curtin, Ph.D.

Position title: Professor, Director of Clinical Training


Phone: 608-262-0387

Office: 326 Psychology


John Curtin

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Ph.D., Florida State University, 2000
Clinical Internship, Brown University Clinical Psychology Training Program, 2000
B.A., Johns Hopkins University, 1991

Curriculum Vitae


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I am a clinical psychologist who has substantial expertise in the mechanisms involved in the etiology of addiction and the motivational processes that underlie alcohol and other drug (AOD) craving, use, and relapse.  My research program has included numerous projects that recruited clinical samples of patients with AOD use disorders, with many of these projects following patients longitudinally with both laboratory and real-world (in situ) measurements.  This research program has been funded by NIAAA, NIDA, NCI, and NIMH since 1998. My laboratory uses a multi-method approach to indexing the processes that are underlie AOD craving, use, and relapse. These methods include psychophysiological approaches in the laboratory (e.g., startle response potentiation, event related brain potentials; R01 AA15384, R01 AA024388). More recently, these methods also include in situ measurement via mobile technology including ecological momentary assessments and other novel, passive (low assessment burden) measurements including GPS, cellular communications (voice calls, text messages), and social media activity to index social interactions, stressor/drug cue exposures, and other addiction relevant experiences (R01 DA033809; R01 AA024391; R01 DA042093). We are applying machine learning techniques to these highly informative “big data” to pursue harm reduction for patients with substance use disorders. These harm reduction efforts include efficient psychiatric classification (e.g., early diagnosis of AOD use disorders via social media) to support early intervention; temporally precise AOD relapse risk prediction to allow for “just-in-time” interventions; and personalized interventions (e.g., precision medicine) that allow us to adapt our treatments to both characteristics of the patient and that moment in time.

More generally, I have substantial expertise in quantitative methods.  I have served as a statistical consultant on numerous empirical papers in the social and medical sciences.  I also teach a two semester graduate course on the General, Generalized, and Multi-level linear models and a graduate course on applied machine learning.  I have served as a regular member of the NIH Risk, Prevention and Intervention for Addictions study section and ad hoc on numerous other study sections continuously since 2003. I have mentored numerous trainees/fellows through the National Institutes of Health’s Individual National Research Service Award (F31), Institutional National Research Service Awards (T32), and the Drug Abuse Dissertation Award (R36) programs.  I have also mentored fellows through the National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) and the Graduate Research Fellowship (GRFP) programs.  These fellows include J. Hogle (T32, R36), R. Gloria (T32), C. Moberg (T32, F31), K. Hefner (T32, F31), M. Starr (T32), D. Bradford (T32), and J. Kaye (GRFP; F31), K. Magruder (T32), S. Sant’Ana (NRT) and G. Fronk (NRT).