Michele Pergadia, PhD
Research Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine
Dr. Pergadia's research interests, which center on testing biopsychosocial models for nicotine withdrawal and smoking cessation failure, lie at the interface of genetics, psychiatry, and cancer prevention and control. Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable causes of death, and contributes to approximately 44% of male and 27% of female cancer related deaths at ages 35-69. Severity of withdrawal symptoms is believed to contribute to smoking cessation failure.Thus, her research focusing on gaining a greater understanding of both phenotypic and genetic characteristics of nicotine withdrawal may be important in decreasing morbidity and mortality in dependent and relapsing smokers.
For over 13 years, Dr. Pergadia has been involved in clinical, laboratory, epidemiologic or genetic studies involving smoking related behavior. In addition to research, she acts as a Mentor/Research Supervisor for undergraduates, and has acted as a guest lecturer.
What opportunities do you see for interdisciplinary collaboration on public health initiatives in the future?
"Given that cigarette smoking and tobacco dependence is key public health issue, I hope to join with researchers from other fields, e.g, economics, community health, and policy in an effort to assemble multidisciplinary perspectives and teams to address this major problem. I hope to provide a clinical, etiologic, epidemiologic and genetic view that might foster collaborations with others dedicated to this problem. A long-term goal might include development of a tobacco-control center that pulls together experts from various essential fields across this university and others."