NIH: Office of Disease Prevention

The Role of Opioids in the Treatment of Chronic Pain, Pathways to Prevention. September 29-30, 2014

header image for Polyscistic Ovary SyndromeBack row, left to right: Takamaru Ashikaga, David C. Steffens, Christopher M. Callahan
Front row, left to right: David M. Murray, David B. Reuben, G. Anne Bogat, Anika A.H. Alvanzo, Victoria Ruffing

The workshop panel is a multidisciplinary body of non-federal representatives that includes an individual representing public-centered values and concerns as well as representatives from many of the following disciplines: biostatistics, epidemiology, practicing and academic health, clinical trial research, and other fields relevant to the topic. Panel members must have no vested financial or intellectual interest in the topic under review.

Panel Chairperson

  • David B. Reuben, M.D.
    Division of Geriatrics
    Multicampus Program in Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology
    Professor of Medicine
    Division of Geriatrics
    David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles
    Los Angeles, California
  • Anika A. H. Alvanzo, M.D., M.S.
    Assistant Professor of Medicine
    Medical Director
    Substance Use Disorders Consultation Service
    Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
    Baltimore, Maryland
  • Takamaru Ashikaga, Ph.D.
    Biometry Facility
    University of Vermont College of Medicine
    Burlington, Vermont
  • G. Anne Bogat, Ph.D.
    Department of Psychology
    Michigan State University
    East Lansing, Michigan
  • Christopher M. Callahan, M.D.
    Professor of Medicine
    Cornelius and Yvonne Pettinga Professor
    Indiana University (IU) School of Medicine
    Director and Research Scientist
    IU Center for Aging Research
    Research Scientist
    Regenstrief Institute, Inc.
    Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Victoria Ruffing, R.N., CCRC
    Director of Patient Education
    Director of Nursing
    Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center
    Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
    Adjunct Faculty
    Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing
    Baltimore, Maryland
  • David C. Steffens, M.D., M.H.S.
    Professor and Chair
    Department of Psychiatry
    University of Connecticut Health Center
    Farmington, Connecticut

Panel Biographies

David B. Reuben, M.D.

Dr. Reuben is the Director of the UCLA Multicampus Program in Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology and Director of the UCLA Claude Pepper Older Americans Independence Center. He is a geriatrician-researcher with expertise in studies linking common geriatric syndromes (e.g., functional impairment, sensory impairment, malnutrition) to health outcomes such as mortality. He also has extensive experience with interventional research (e.g., comprehensive geriatric assessment) that has focused on health care delivery to older persons. His most recent work focuses on developing more precise prediction models for high-cost health care utilization and the evaluation of geriatric interventions related to undernutrition.

Anika A. H. Alvanzo, M.D., M.S.

Dr. Alvanzo is a graduate of the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences and holds a master’s degree in biostatistics from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is board certified in both Internal Medicine and Addiction Medicine. Dr. Alvanzo is an Assistant Professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where she is also the Medical Director of the Substance Use Disorders Consultation Service. Dr. Alvanzo is also the Director of the Substance Use Disorders Rotation for the Johns Hopkins Medicine–Pediatrics Urban Health and Urban Health Primary Care Residency programs. Her research interests include gender and race/ethnicity differences in the risk for substance use disorders, screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment in diverse settings, and the association between psychological trauma, traumatic stress, and substance use. In particular, she is interested in the mechanisms by which history of physical and/or sexual violence confer increased risk for substance use disorders and in the development of interventions for co-occurring traumatic stress and substance misuse in women.

Takamaru Ashikaga, Ph.D.

Dr. Ashikaga’s research background includes the application of biostatistical and epidemiological approaches to studies that range from the basic sciences to clinical and translational trials, including behavioral studies as well as biostatistical method works. For many years, he has served as the Biometry Facility Director for the University of Vermont (UVM) College of Medicine, and the Biostatistical Core Director for the Vermont Cancer Center, the NHLBI Vermont SCOR, and the NHLBI Vermont Lung Center. Dr. Ashikaga is familiar with computer machine and compiler languages, statistical and database software systems, and computer simulation languages. He has extensive curriculum development and teaching background covering graduate and undergraduate courses in multivariate methods, nonparametric methods, biostatistical methods in epidemiology, survey sampling methods, linear and nonlinear models, introductory methods, applied probability models, and exact methods. Dr. Ashikaga’s administrative record includes serving at multiple levels of leadership both at UVM and Adelphi University, with the bulk of his efforts directed toward the successful development and expansion of biostatistical and epidemiological support for biomedical investigators at UVM. He has successfully mentored multiple faculty members, technical staff, and graduate students. Dr. Ashikaga’s service contributions include serving on multiple NIH Data and Safety Monitoring Boards and serving on and chairing multiple standing and ad hoc NIH study sections for Center- and individual investigatorinitiated applications and a range of contract reviews for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Cancer Institute, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and National Institute of Mental Health.

G. Anne Bogat, Ph.D.

Dr. Bogat’s current research focuses on the developmental consequences of intimate partner violence (IPV) on women and young children. Along with her collaborators (Levendosky, Davidson, and von Eye), she conducted a 10-year longitudinal study of IPV, beginning data collection when women were pregnant and following them and their children almost every year until the children were 10 years old. She is interested in trajectories of risk and resilience among the children. Current work (with Levendosky, Lonstein, and von Eye) explores the biological correlates of trauma related to IPV and how, during pregnancy, factors such as cortisol might affect development pre- and post-natally.

Dr. Bogat has also written about person-oriented methods, and she is working on a practical guide to assessment with Dr. Hopwood.

Christopher M. Callahan, M.D.

Dr. Callahan’s major research interest is improving the care of older adults with late-life depression, dementia, and related conditions. His studies seek ways to enable primary care physicians to deliver excellent care to older adults.

Victoria Ruffing, R.N., CCRC

Ms. Ruffing has been a member of the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center since 2000, currently serving as the Nurse Manager. She is a critical member of the patient care team. She has been involved in numerous clinical trials for biological and nonbiological therapies in arthritis. Ms. Ruffing’s position in the Arthritis Center has allowed her to develop numerous educational initiatives for patients, staff, faculty, and fellows. These initiatives include written and video development of unbranded medical education for all patients with rheumatic diseases, as well as fellows lectures on educating patients and how to discuss medications and their risks and benefits. She has developed written protocols for biologic use. She has been a course director for the annual Division of Rheumatology Continuing Medical Education course for 2010 and 2011.

Ms. Ruffing was a founding member of the Rheumatology Nurses Society (RNS), incorporated in 2007 as a resource for the growing number of registered nurses entering the field of rheumatology. Under her leadership as president from May 2008 through August 2010, the society grew to 400 members. She has been successful in promoting Rheumatology Nursing as a new field of nursing and is working toward development of a certification process for nurses in this discipline, developing curriculum and training standards. She has developed and directed three conferences for the RNS.

David C. Steffens, M.D., M.H.S.

Dr. Steffens became chair of the University of Connecticut (UConn) Psychiatry on July 1, 2012, after more than 20 years at Duke University School of Medicine, where he had served as a Professor of Psychiatry, Vice Chair for Education and Head, Division of Geriatric Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Steffens is the President of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, has authored more than 250 peer-reviewed papers, and is the co-editor of the leading textbook in geriatric psychiatry. Dr. Steffens also has considerable experience in medical education and mentoring aspiring physicians and junior faculty.

A graduate of Rice University and the University of Texas Health Science Center School of Medicine, Dr. Steffens moved to Duke in 1988, where he completed his internship and residency in psychiatry. Since that time, his career has focused on mood and cognitive disorders in older adults. Dr. Steffens received a Master’s of Health Science in Clinical Research from Duke in 2000. He currently holds an NIMH -supported Mid-Career Development Award, and his major research project, known as Neurocognitive Outcomes of Depression in the Elderly (NCODE), has been continuously supported by National Institute of Mental Health/National Institutes of Health. At UConn, Dr. Steffens has continued his research pursuits with a new study focusing on stress and depression in older adults. He is developing a clinical geriatric mental health service that will focus on assessment and treatment of anxiety, depression, and cognitive disorders in the elderly.