Center for Opioid Epidemiology & Policy Students & Fellows | NYU Langone Health

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Center for Opioid Epidemiology & Policy Center for Opioid Epidemiology & Policy Students & Fellows

Center for Opioid Epidemiology & Policy Students & Fellows

NYU Langone’s Center for Opioid Epidemiology and Policy is dedicated to training the next generation of researchers in epidemiology and public policy. Our doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows, under the aegis of the Department of Population Health, are working on solutions to address the rapidly shifting opioid epidemic in the United States.

Doctoral Students

Bennett Allen, MPA

Bennett’s current work focuses on supply-side policy responses to the opioid epidemic, opioid prescribing practices, treatment access, and overdose prevention strategies. Before joining NYU Langone, Bennett worked in New York City government on supervised injection and cannabis legalization. He earned his MPA in public and nonprofit management and policy and his BA in comparative literature from NYU.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Leah Hamilton, PhD

Dr. Hamilton’s work involves improving substance use disorder treatment and health outcomes for justice-involved populations, including probationers, drug court participants, formerly incarcerated individuals, and youth under community supervision. Her current research focuses on policies regarding state and federal take-home medication for opioid use disorder and the role of good Samaritan laws on rates of overdose. She earned her PhD in criminal justice from Temple University.

Spruha Joshi, PhD

Dr. Joshi’s work focuses on how social contexts shape substance use and substance use-related harms. Her current research examines the heterogeneity and variance of substance use policies across jurisdictions and measures their influence on substance use trends. She earned her PhD in epidemiology from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and her MPH in epidemiology from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

Madeline Renny, MD

Dr. Renny is a pediatric emergency medicine physician and medical toxicologist at NYU Langone’s Department of Pediatrics. She is also a postdoctoral fellow in the T32 Population Health Science Scholars Program. Her work focuses on pediatric poison prevention and medication safety on an individual, institutional, national, and global level. Her current research investigates the medication storage behaviors of parents who have young children in the home and trends in opioid prescribing practices for children, adolescents, and young adults.

Dr. Renny completed her toxicology fellowship training at the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Emergency Medicine at NYU Langone and the NYC Poison Control Center, her pediatric emergency medicine fellowship training at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center, and her pediatric residency at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Tarlise Townsend, PhD

Dr. Townsend studies pain, disability, and opioid use in the United States. In one line of research, she examines intended and unintended consequences of policies to address the opioid crisis, with an emphasis on racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities. In another, she studies trends in and consequences of the use of opioids to manage cancer-related pain. In other work, she examines demographic trends in disability and the pathways underlying educational disparities in disability. She earned her joint doctorate in health services organization and policy and sociology at the University of Michigan.

Former Students and Fellows

Nelou Rahai, PhD, MPH

Nelou’s work focused on the role of housing in opioid use and overdose among emergency department patients. She was a Healthcare Delivery Science and Population Health T32 predoctoral fellow at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. She earned her MPH in global health from the University of Pennsylvania and her BA in nutrition and dietetics from NYU Steinhardt. She is now a Medical Device Epidemiology Research Associate at Johnson & Johnson.

Contact Us

If you are interested in learning more about doctoral and postdoctoral opportunities with NYU Langone’s Center for Opioid Epidemiology and Policy, join our mailing list or contact Caroline Barnes, MPH, senior program manager, at