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Cari Megerian Headshot

Cariné (Cari) Megerian

Research Public Health Analyst


MPH, Public Health, University of Pennsylvania
BA, Sociology, University of Virginia


Cariné (Cari) Megerian is a public health analyst whose research focuses on drug use behaviors, harm reduction practices, and evaluation of policies and programs such as syringe services programs, naloxone distribution programs, and overdose prevention centers. Using qualitative, quantitative, and implementation science methods, she conducts policy-relevant, community-based research with populations that have been historically marginalized—such as people who use drugs—to examine health and social outcomes associated with illicit drug use and harm reduction interventions. 

At RTI, Ms. Megerian is currently the study director of two National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) funded community-based studies that work with people who use drugs to assess the relationship between drug use, criminal legal system involvement, homelessness, use of harm reduction interventions, infectious diseases, and overdose. One NIDA investigation assesses the reach, effectiveness, adoption, implementation, and maintenance of existing and emerging harm reductions services designed to improve the health of people who inject or smoke illicit drugs in San Francisco, California. The other NIDA-funded study aims to determine motivations for methamphetamine use—as well as its associations with co-use with fentanyl and infectious disease risk—in the San Francisco Bay Area.

As a part of her work, Ms. Megerian helps design community-based epidemiologic, evaluation, and exploratory studies related to drug use and harm reduction interventions. She develops quantitative survey questionnaires and qualitative interview guides, along with other measurement tools for data collection. She manages all aspects of data collection, and then determines ways to disseminate study findings—whether through presentations or peer-reviewed journal articles. Ms. Megerian establishes relationships on the ground that enhance collaborations with community stakeholders, which aides in facilitating critical public health research. 

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