Postdoctoral Fellowship Training Program

Postdoctoral Fellowship Training Program

The Postdoctoral Fellowship Training Program offers advanced training in tobacco-related research to trainees who have completed a doctorate in a health-related discipline. While the exact nature of the training is determined on an individual basis by the fellow and their faculty mentor(s), all fellows will receive mentorship in manuscript and grant preparation, assistance in the development of a program of research, and participate in monthly tobacco-related seminars. The program is strongly grounded in research training and the fellow will spend very little time conducting service-related tasks. The primary goal of the program is for the fellow to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to begin an independent research career upon completion of the program.

Specific training goals and activities are formulated at the beginning of the training year between the fellow and their mentor(s). Formal evaluation of training progress is conducted every six months to ensure that adequate progress is being made. The fellow and their mentor will meet at least weekly for individual supervision.

Theodore Wagener, PhD, serves as the Associate Director for Training at the OTRC and oversees the Fellowship. All postdoctoral fellows meet with Dr. Wagener twice a year.

Administrative Contact:
Derek Matthesen
Training Program Coordinator
Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center
655 Research Parkway, Suite 400
Oklahoma City, OK 73104-6266
derek-matthesen@ouhsc.edu
Office: (405) 271-8000, ext. 50493

Raees Shaikh

Raees Shaikh started on March 14, 2016, and his faculty mentor is Theodore L Wagener, PhD . He is a registered medical practitioner in India and has worked as a physician before coming to the US for his graduate education. He earned his MPH degree from Missouri State University and PhD in health promotion and disease prevention research from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. His PhD dissertation focused on the issue of hardcore smokers in the United States and his primary areas of research interest include tobacco control, tobacco harm reduction and epidemiology of nicotine addiction and treatment. His current research focuses on modified risk tobacco products, especially electronic cigarettes.


Emily Hébert

Emily Hébert started on August 1, 2016, and her faculty mentors are Michael Businelle, PhD, and Darla Kendzor, PhD . She earned her DrPH in Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences from the University of Texas School of Public Health. Her dissertation focused on the use of ecological momentary assessment to measure real-time tobacco marketing exposure among young adults. Her current research interests include the use of technology for health promotion, tobacco prevention and cessation, ecological momentary assessment, and the role of social media in tobacco marketing and health communication.

Elise Stevens

Elise Stevens started on August 22, 2016, and her faculty mentor is Theodore L. Wagener, PhD. She earned her PhD in mass communication with a focus on the psychological effects of health messages from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her work examines how emotional reactions to messages about health can have a subsequent effect on adopting or maintaining healthier behaviors. Her current research focuses on the cognitive and affective processes of nicotine addiction and how they may inform message design.


Bárbara Piñeiro


Bárbara Piñeiro started on May 1, 2017, and her faculty mentor is Jennifer Irvin Vidrine, PhD .  She earned her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain). Her dissertation focused on the study of factors related to smoking cessation and relapse in smokers who received a cognitive behavioral treatment for smoking cessation. She was an International Postdoctoral Fellow at the Tobacco Research & Intervention Program (TRIP) at Moffitt Cancer Center. At TRIP she gained experience in dual use of tobacco cigarettes and e-cigarettes, as well as e-cigarette use and smoking among cancer patients; tobacco-related health disparities; and interventions for smoking cessation for Spanish-speaking smokers. Her current research interests focus on tobacco use/cessation with an emphasis on tobacco-related health disparities.