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Scott Novak

Senior Developmental Epidemiologist

Scott Novak, PhD, holds research interests in the causes, correlates, and consequences of substance use, including the behavioral and psychiatric sequelae. He currently directs the program of research on prescription drug abuse within RTI's behavioral health epidemiology program. He is also active in studies investigating the epidemiology of new synthetic/designer drugs of abuse in the United States and internationally.

Dr. Novak leads a large data coordinating center from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to track performance measures for clients in 600 substance abuse treatment facilities across the United States. He also works on a federal initiative to create community-level estimates for illicit drug abuse from 22 local antidrug coalitions. In addition, he is the principal investigator for a surveillance system in eight European Union countries to monitor prescription drug abuse.

Dr. Novak's expertise is in novel statistical and methodological approaches to the analysis of epidemiological and clinical data, including extensions of the generalized linear mixed model (e.g., HLM) to classification, measurement, and diagnosis of disease. His methodological interests also involve the application of new social media technologies for data collection and analysis. He is the principal investigator on several NIH grants and commercial projects, and has authored more than 100 papers and presentations.

Before coming to RTI in 2004, he was on the faculty of Brown University in the Department of Community Health, and was a Robert Wood Johnson Faculty Fellow in the Department of Health Care Policy/Maternal and Child Health at Harvard University.


PhD, Quantitative Sociology, University of Kentucky at Lexington; MA, Medical Sociology, University of Kentucky at Lexington; MS, Statistics (Honors), Harvard University; BS, Statistics, University of Wisconsin at Madison; BA, Sociology, University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Latest Publications

Reed, E., Myers, B., Novak, S.P., Browne, F.A., & Wechsberg, W.M. (2015). Experiences of violence and association with decreased drug abstinence among women in Cape Town, South Africa. AIDS and Behavior, 19 (1):192-198.
Zule, W., Myers, B., Carney, T., Novak, S.P., McCormick, K., & Wechsberg, W.M. (2014). Alcohol and drug use outcomes among vulnerable women living with HIV: Results from the Western Cape Women's Health CoOp. AIDS Care, 26 (12):1494-1499.
Wechsberg, W.M., Zule, W.A., Ndirangu, J., Kline, T.L., Rodman, N.F., Doherty, I.A., Novak, S.P., et al. (2014). The biobehavioral Women's Health CoOp in Pretoria, South Africa: Study protocol for a cluster-randomized design. Biomed Central Public Health, 14 :1074.
Novak, S.P., Wenger, L., Lorvick, J., & Alex, K.H. (2014). The Misuse, Abuse and Diversion of Opioid Replacement Therapies (ORT): A Study of Street Abusers, Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety, 23 (Suppl. 1):347-347.
Martinez, A.N., Mobley, L.R., Lorvick, J., Novak, S.P., Lopez, A., & Kral, A.H. (2014). Spatial analysis of HIV positive injection drug users in San Francisco, 1987 to 2005. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 11 (4):3937-3955.
View all publications by Scott Novak (40)