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Jessica Merlin

Jessica Merlin

Program: Biobehavioral Cancer Control

(215) 806-1888 4012 Ewing Street
Pittsburgh PA

I am a Tenured Professor of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, the director of Pitt's CHAllenges in Management and Prevention of Pain (CHAMPP) center, and the PI of a NIDA-funded research center, Tailored Retention and Engagement for Equitable Treatment of OUD and Pain (TREETOP), the goal of which is to improve treatment for comorbid opioid use disorder (OUD) and chronic pain. I am a PhD-trained behavioral scientist and an addiction medicine and palliative care physician who treats individuals with opioid misuse/OUD and chronic pain, including chronic cancer-related chronic pain. I have expertise in medical cannabis and have published 5 peer-reviewed paper related to cannabis policy and the use of cannabis among patients with cancer. I and my team recently published a paper in JAMA Oncology on developing consensus among palliative care and addiction specialists on the appropriateness of various opioid management strategies in individuals with advanced cancer-related pain and opioid misuse or OUD. I have also received an NIH-funded K24 grant, entitled "Mentoring the next generation of researchers at the intersection of opioid use disorder and chronic pain," which will not only assist in the mentorship of a new cadre of professionals, but proposes a new research project that leverages existing Delphi-based preliminary data to develop an implementation strategy bundle to promote the adoption and equitable application of evidence-based approaches for managing opioid misuse/OUD and metastatic cancer-related pain.

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