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Department of Psychology

Opioid Research

Dr. Deranda Lester is part of an interdisciplinary team that has been awarded $897,342 by HRSA to establish the Memphis Opioid Workforce Paraprofessional Expansion Program. The three-year grant will provide training and stipends to undergraduate students in psychology, counseling, criminal justice, human services and social work who complete a certificate in substance abuse with an emphasis on opioid addiction. Dr. Melissa Hirschi of the School of Social Work is principal investigator.

Drs. Meghan McDevitt Murphy (principal investigator), James Murphy and Frank Andrasik were awarded a $1M grant from the Health and Services Administration (HRSA) to train future behavioral health services providers in substance abuse and opioid treatment. Partners for the three-year grant are Church Health Center and UT Health Science Center for Addiction.

Neurophysiological Basis of Risky Decision Making

Co-investigators Drs. Nick Simon and Helen Sable have been awarded $395,791 by NIH for a project titled "Identifying the Neurophysiological Basis of Risky Decision-Making." The research will help identify the biological mechanisms that promote compulsive reward seeking in the face of punishment.

Pregnant Moms’ Empowerment Program

Dr. Katie Howell has received an NIH grant to conduct a randomized clinical trial of the Pregnant Moms' Empowerment Program. The study will be conducted at the UofM and the University of Notre Dame. Funding is $2.5 million over the next five years.

About the Department

The University of Memphis Psychology Department consists of approximately 30 full-time faculty members, 20 adjunct faculty (psychologists in the community who teach and/or supervise our students), 5 postdoctoral fellows, 90 doctoral students, 58 masters students, and over 700 undergraduate majors and minors.

The department is also the home of the Center for Applied Psychological Research, one of the most successful of the centers created under the State of Tennessee's Centers of Excellence program.