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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 2014 FRI AwardsFRI recently held its biennial Awards Reception at the Ritz-Carlton Residences, Inner Harbor in Baltimore.  During the reception several awards were presented to successful nominees.
    [ More ]

  • The connection between New Year's resolutions and a landmark study regarding heroin addiction among returning Vietnam War veterans. Jerome JaffeRead a 2012 NPR article that refers to FRI Senior Research Scientist, Dr. Jerome Jaffe, about a connection between New Year’s Resolutions and the landmark study about heroin addiction among returning Vietnam War veterans commissioned by Dr. Jaffe and led by the late Dr. Lee Robins.
    [ What Vietnam Taught Us About Breaking Bad Habits ]

  • FRI Named Top Workplace 2014 Top Workplace 2014Friends Research Institute was recently named to the list of “The Baltimore Sun Top Workplaces” for 2014. FRI is honored to be included for a fourth year in a row and to work with such a great group of employees!
    [ More ]

  • 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.
    [ More ]

  • 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.
    [ More ]

  • 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.
    [ More ]

  • 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.
    [ More ]

  • 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.
    [ More ]

  • 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.
    [ More ]

  • 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).
    [ More ]

  • 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.
    [ More ]

  • 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.
    [ More ]

  • 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 Archives of Sexual Behavior Fletcher JB, Kisler KA, Reback CJ. Housing status and HIV risk behaviors among transgender women in Los Angeles. [More]
  • Health Psychololgy Fletcher JB, Reback CJ. Depression Mediates and Moderates Effects of Methamphetamine Use on Sexual Risk Taking Among Treatment-Seeking Gay and Bisexual Men. [More]
  • Drug and Alcohol Dependence Gordon, M. S., Kinlock, T.W., Schwartz, R. P., Fitzgerald, T. T., O'Grady, K. E., Vocci, F. J. A randomized controlled trial of prison-initiated buprenorphine: prison outcomes and community treatment entry. [More]
  • Addiction Gryczynski J, Kelly SM, Mitchell SG, Kirk A, O'Grady KE, Schwartz RP. Validation and performance of the Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST) among adolescent primary care patients. [More]
  • Journal of Substand Abuse Treatment Gryczynski J, Mitchell SG, Gonzales A, Moseley A, Peterson TR, Ondersma SJ, O'Grady KE, Schwartz RP. A randomized trial of computerized vs. in-person brief intervention for illicit drug use in primary care: Outcomes through 12months. [More]
  • Drug and Alcohol Dependence Gryczynski, J., Schwartz, R. P., Mitchell, S.G., O'Grady, K. E., Ondersma, S. J. Hair drug testing results and self-reported drug use among primary care patients with moderate-risk illicit drug use. [More]
  • Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis Holtyn, A. F., Koffarnus, M. N., DeFulio, A., Sigurdsson, S. O., Strain E. C., Schwartz R. P., Silverman, K. Employment-based abstinence reinforcement promotes opiate and cocaine abstinence in out-of-treatment injection drug users. [More]
  • Preventive Medicine Holtyn AF, Koffarnus MN, DeFulio A, Sigurdsson SO, Strain EC, Schwartz RP, Leoutsakos JM, Silverman K. The therapeutic workplace to promote treatment engagement and drug abstinence in out-of-treatment injection drug users: a randomized controlled trial. [More]
  • Journal of Addiction Medicine Lee, J.D., McNeely, J., Grossman, E., Vocci, F., Fiellin D. A. Clinical case conference: unobserved "home" induction onto buprenorphine.
  • Journal of Addiction Medicine Lee, J.D., Vocci, F., Fiellin, D. A. Unobserved "home" induction onto buprenorphine. [More]
  • Substance Abuse Mitchell, S. G., Kelly, S. M., Gryczynski, J., Myers, C. P., O'Grady, K. E., Kirk, A. S., Schwartz, R. P . The CRAFFT Cut-Points and DSM-5 Criteria for Alcohol and Other Drugs: A Reevaluation and Reexamination. [More]
  • Substance Abuse Mitchell SG, Schwartz RP, Alvanzo AA, Weisman MS, Kyle TL, Turrigiano EM, Gibson ML, Perez L, McClure EA, Clingerman S, Froias A, Shandera DR, Walker R, Babcock DL, Bailey GL, Miele GM, Kunkel LE, Norton M, Stitzer ML. The Use of Technology in Participant Tracking and Study Retention: Lessons Learned from a Clinical Trials Network Study. [More]
  • Western Journal of Nursing Research Nyamathi A, Reback CJ, Salem BE, Zhang S, Shoptaw S, Branson CM, Leake B. Correlates of Self-Reported Incarceration Among Homeless Gay and Bisexual Stimulant-Using Young Adults. [More]
  • Community Mental Health Journal Nyamathi AM, Reback CJ, Shoptaw S, Salem BE, Zhang S, Farabee D, Khalilifard F. Impact of Community-Based Programs on Incarceration Outcomes Among Gay and Bisexual Stimulant-Using Homeless Adults. [More]
  • AIDS Care Pines HA, Gorbach PM, Reback CJ, Landovitz RJ, Mutchler MG, Mitsuyasu R. Commercial lubricant use among HIV-negative men who have sex with men in Los Angeles: implications for the development of rectal microbicides for HIV prevention. [More]
  • AIDS and Behavior Reback CJ, Fletcher JB, Shoptaw S, Mansergh G. Exposure to Theory-Driven Text Messages is Associated with HIV Risk Reduction Among Methamphetamine-Using Men Who have Sex with Men. [More]
  • Journal of Palliative Medicine Rothenberg LR, Doberman D, Simon LE, Gryczynski J, Cordts G. Patients surviving six months in hospice care: who are they? [More]
  • Addiction Schwartz, R. P., Gryczynski, J., Mitchell, S. G., Gonzales, A., Moseley, A., Peterson, T. R., Ondersma, S. J., O'Grady, K. E. Computerized versus in-person brief intervention for drug misuse: a randomized clinical trial. [More]
  • Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse Ward, B.W., Allen, A., & Gryczynski, J. Racial/ethnic differences in the relationship among cigarette use, religiosity, and social norms for U.S. adolescents. [More]

  • 2014 Behavioral Neurology Bellamoli, E., Manganotti, P., Schwartz, R. P., Rimondo, C., Gomma, M., Serpelloni, G. (2014). rTMS in the treatment of drug addiction: an update about human studies. [More]
  • Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment Fletcher, J.B., Dierst-Davies, R., Reback, C. J. (2014). Contingency management voucher redemption as an indicator of delayed gratification. [More]
  • Ment Health Subst Use Fletcher, J. B., Shoptaw, S., Peck, J.A., Reback, C. J. (2014). Contingency Management Reduces Symptoms of Psychological and Emotional Distress among Homeless, Substance-dependent Men Who Have Sex with Men. [More]
  • Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment Gryczynski, J., Mitchell, S.G., Jaffe, J. H., O'Grady K, E., Olsen Y. K., Schwartz R. P. (2014). Leaving buprenorphine treatment: patients' reasons for cessation of care. [More]
  • Drug and Alcohol Dependence Kelly, S. M., Gryczynski, J., Mitchell, S. G., Kirk, A., O'Grady, K. E., Schwartz, R. P. (2014). Concordance between DSM-5 and DSM-IV nicotine, alcohol, and cannabis use disorder diagnoses among pediatric patients. [More]
  • Pediatrics Kelly, S. M., Gryczynski, J., Mitchell, S. G., Kirk, A., O'Grady, K. E., Schwartz, R. P. (2014). Validity of brief screening instrument for adolescent tobacco, alcohol, and drug use. [More]