Spotlight on Research

FRI Researcher Receives New R01 Award

Jan Gryczynski


For over 50 years, researchers at FRI have received federal, state, county, and private funding to conduct studies in the fields of substance abuse, health, HIV/AIDS, mental health, and criminal justice. Recent research has focused on the development and assessment of innovative strategies in pharmacotherapy, psychosocial treatments, biobehavioral HIV interventions, and prevention. Research at FRI is conducted by an interdisciplinary group of social scientists, whose work has garnered widespread recognition resulting from its contribution to both scientific knowledge and clinical practice. Presently, research studies and clinical trials are being conducted by FRI investigators both within the U.S. and throughout other parts of the world. Throughout its history and into the future, FRI is committed to contributing to the well-being of society through studies designed to alleviate health and social problems facing communities.


FRI has provided education and outpatient substance abuse counseling services for adolescents and adults for over 35 years in Baltimore County, Maryland, through Epoch Counseling Center. These services have been funded through federal, state, and county grants and contracts. FRI operates four centers and serves community residents through a variety of services. In addition to individual, group and family counseling, FRI offers state-certified DUI/DWI education and treatment programs, on-site drug screening, substance abuse evaluations, educational presentations, HIV testing and counseling, and support groups for family and friends. FRI is currently expanding its services for specific populations to include buprenorphine administration, anger management services, trauma care, and treatment for clients with co-occurring disorders.

Grants Administration

By managing all of the functions of grants administration, beginning with the pre-award process through completion of the research project, FRI allows scientists to focus on their research. This division of labor relieves the researchers of the necessary, but extremely time-consuming, work of grants management and allows them to concentrate on their work. FRI’s sound management practices ensure that program objectives are met and that project funds are disbursed in accordance with regulations. FRI’s successful history of grants management has always depended on its ability to build and maintain productive and respectful professional relationships with investigators and by offering a multitude of administrative services to support their research objectives.

Researcher Profiles
  • Robert P. Schwartz, M.D., FRI’s Medical Director, is an addiction psychiatrist and former Director of the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse ...  More
  • Frank J. Vocci, Ph.D., FRI’s President and Senior Research Scientist, spent 11 years at the FDA, rising to the level of Chief of the Drug Abuse Staff ...  More
  • Barry S. Brown, Ph.D. has worked in the fields of mental health, criminal justice, and substance abuse as both clinician and researcher for the past 45 years. More
  • Thomas E. Hanlon, Ph.D. has had an extensive career in behavioral assessment and treatment evaluation, beginning in 1956 ... More
  • Jerome H. Jaffe, M.D. is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry in the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse, University of Maryland School of Medicine,...  More
  • Timothy W. Kinlock, Ph.D. has considerable expertise and experience in developing, implementing, and evaluating innovative drug abuse treatment interventions for ... More
  • Cathy J. Reback, Ph.D. focuses on the intersection of HIV risk behaviors, substance use, sexual identity and gender identity.  More
  • Steven B. Carswell, Ph.D. focuses on community and environmental factors and their relationship to the incidence and prevalence of youth and adult...  More
  • Michael S. Gordon, D.P.A. conducts substance abuse and HIV research with criminal justice populations. Dr. Gordon’s research is focused on drug abuse ... More
  • Shannon Gwin Mitchell, Ph.D. is a Community Psychologist specializing in health promotion and disease prevention research ... More
  • Sharon M. Kelly, Ph.D. investigates ways of improving substance abuse treatment services, implementation, and delivery for opioid-dependent individuals. More
  • Dr. Gryczynski came to FRI in 2006 as a research assistant to work on disease prevention issues in American Indian communities...  More
News and Announcements
  • FRI Named Top Workplace 2013 Top Workplace 2013Friends Research Institute was recently named to the list of “The Baltimore Sun Top Workplaces” for 2013. This is FRI’s third year in a row for making the list.
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  • COG Analytics Website Debut
    FRI is pleased to announce the debut of the COG Analytics website, indicated on the FRI homepage by a new tab. Founded in 2012, through a partnership with FRI, COG Analytics is a research and technology company committed to identifying and addressing the social and environmental determinants that contribute to poor health outcomes. The company’s focus is on the development of technologies that are designed to promote healthy behaviors.
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  • Dr. Frank Vocci Delivers Annual Andrew G. DuMez Memorial Lecture Frank VocciFrank J. Vocci, President and Senior Research Scientist at FRI, delivered the annual Lecture at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy on April 8, 2013.
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  • FRI Named Top Workplace 2012 Top Workplace 2012Friends Research Institute was recently named to the list of “The Baltimore Sun Top Workplaces” for 2012. FRI had a high survey response rate from its employees.
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  • New Senior Research Scientist Joins FRI Jami OberMayerDr. Jami Obermayer, formerly the Director of Research at PICS, Inc., has accepted a position as a Senior Research Scientist at FRI.
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  • New Research Scientist Joins FRI Dr. PetersDr. Peters is a clinical psychologist specializing in treatment efficacy, human laboratory, and natural history studies for marijuana and tobacco cessation.
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  • FRI President Joins Journal of Addiction Medicine Frank VocciDr. Frank Vocci has been named as the third Co-Editor of Journal of Addiction Medicine, the official journal of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM).
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  • FRI employee, Jan Gryczynski, Awarded Doctoral Degree Jan GryczynskiJan Gryczynski, Research Scientist at FRI, recently received his Ph.D. in Public Policy from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
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  • FRI is pleased to welcome Dr. Melicia Whitt-Glover as an Affiliated Senior Research Scientist. Melicia Whitt-GloverDr. Whitt-Glover is President and CEO of Gramercy Research Group in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
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  • FRI Named Top Workplace 2011 Top WorkplaceFriends Research Institute was recently named to the list of “The Baltimore Sun Top Workplaces” for 2011. FRI had a high survey response rate from its employees.
    [ More ]

  • Medical Director Robert Schwartz presented research findings in Russia. [ More ]

  • Dr. Robert Schwartz Invited to Serve on Editorial Board of the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment (JSAT) [ More ]

  • Dr. Robert Schwartz Invited to Serve As IAS-NIDA Fellowship Mentor for prospective fellows in the 2012 Round. [ More ]
Recent Publications
  • In Press Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment Fletcher, J. B., & Reback, C. J. Antisocial Personality Disorder Predicts Methamphetamine Treatment Outcomes in Homeless, Substance-dependent Men Who Have Sex with Men. [More]
  • Journal of Offender RehabilitationGordon, M. S., Kinlock, T. W., Couvillion, K. A., Schwartz, R. P., Wilson, M. E., & O’Grady, K. E. Gender differences among prisoners with pre-incarceration heroin dependence participating in a randomized clinical trial of buprenorphine treatment. [More]
  • AIDS and BehaviorGordon, M. S., Kinlock, T. W., McKenzie, M., Rich, J. D., & Wilson, M. E. Rapid HIV testing for individuals on probation/parole: Outcomes of an intervention trial. [More]
  • The Prison JournalGordon, M. S., Kinlock, T. W., Schwartz, R. P., Couvillion, K., Schwartz, R. P., & O'Grady, K. E. The severity, frequency and variety of crime in heroin-dependent prisoners enrolled in a buprenorphine clinical trial. [More]
  • American Journal on Addictions Gryczynski, J., Jaffe, J. H., Schwartz, R. P., Dusek, K. A., Gugsa, N., Monroe, C. L., O’Grady, K. E. Olsen, Y. K., & Mitchell, S. G. Patient perspectives on choosing buprenorphine over methadone in an urban equal access system. [More]
  • Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment Gryczynski, J., Mitchell, S. G., Jaffe, J. H., Kelly, S. M., Myers, C., O'Grady K. E., Olsen, Y. K., & Schwartz, R. P. Retention in methadone and buprenorphine treatment among African Americans. [More]
  • Encyclopedia of Street Crime in AmericaThousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Kinlock, T. W. Open-air drug markets. In J. I. Ross (Ed.) [More]
  • Journal of Offender Rehabilitation Kinlock, T. W., Gordon, M. S., Schwartz, R. P., & O’Grady, K. E. Individual patient and program factors related to prison and community treatment completion in prison-initiated methadone maintenance treatment (MMT). [More]
  • Journal of Urban HealthLandovitz, R. J., Tseng, C., Weissman, M., Haymer, M., Mendenhall, B., Rogers, K., Veniegas, R., Gorbach, P., Reback, C. J., & Shoptaw, S. Epidemiology, sexual risk behavior, and HIV prevention practices on men who have sex with men using GRINDR in Los Angeles, California. [More]
  • Journal of Drug IssuesMitchell, S., Gryczynski, J., Kelly, S., O'Grady, K., Jaffe, J., & Olsen, Y. Treatment outcomes of African American buprenorphine patients by parole and probation status. [More]
  • Health PsychologyMurtaugh, K. L., Krishnamurti, T., Davis, A. L., Reback, C. J., & Shoptaw, S. Spend today, clean tomorrow: Predicting methamphetamine abstinence in a randomized controlled trial. [More]
  • Journal of HomosexualityReback, C. J., Veniegas, R., & Shoptaw, S. Getting off: The development of a model program for gay and bisexual male methamphetamine users. [More]
  • American Journal of Public HealthSchwartz, R. P., Gryczynski, J., O’Grady, K. E., Sharfstein, J. M., Warren, G., Olsen, Y., Mitchell, S. G., & Jaffe, J. H. Opioid agonist treatments and heroin overdose deaths in Baltimore, Maryland from 1995-2009: a tale of expansion and reduction. [More]
  • Journal of Substance Abuse TreatmentSerpelloni, G., Gomma, M., Genetti, B., Zermiani, M., Rimondo, C., Mollica, R., Gryczynski, J., O'Grady, K. E., & Schwartz, R. P. Italy's electronic health record system for opioid agonist treatment. [More]

  • 2013Journal of Addiction MedicineKelly, S. M., O'Grady, K. E., Jaffe, J. H., Gandhi, D., & Schwartz, R. P. (2013). Improvements in outcomes in methadone patients on probation/parole regardless of counseling early in treatment. [More]
  • Journal of Substance Abuse TreatmentMitchell, S. G., Gryczynski, J., O'Grady, K. E., & Schwartz, R. P. (2013). SBIRT for adolescent drug and alcohol use: Current status and future directions. [More]
  • Drug and Alcohol DependenceMitchell, S. G., Gryczynski, J., Schwartz, R. P., O'Grady, K. E., Olsen, Y. K., & Jaffe, J. H. (2013). A randomized trial of intensive outpatient (IOP) vs. standard outpatient (OP) buprenorphine treatment for African Americans. [More]
  • Experimental and Clinical PsychopharmacologyPeters, E. N., Petry, N. M., Lapaglia, D. M., Reynolds, B., & Carroll, K. M. (2013). Delay discounting in adults receiving treatment for marijuana dependence. [More]
  • Journal of Sex ResearchReback, C. J., & Larkins, S. (2013). HIV risk behaviors among a sample of heterosexually identified men who occasionally have sex with another male and/or a transwoman. [More]
  • Journal of Substance Abuse TreatmentSchwartz, R. P., Stitzer, M. L., Feaster, D. J., Korthuis, P. T., Alvanzo, A. A., Winhusen, T. M., Donnard, L., Snead, N., & Metsch, L. R. (2013). HIV rapid testing in drug treatment: comparison across treatment modalities. [More]