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Joëlla W. Adams



PhD, Epidemiology, Brown University
MPH, Epidemiology, Drexel University
BA/BS, Psychology and International Relations, College of William and Mary

Joëlla W. Adams is an epidemiologist in the Center for Applied Public Health Research in the Biostatistics and Epidemiology Division at RTI. Dr. Adams’ expertise includes simulation modeling, cost-effectiveness analyses, surveillance, and longitudinal cohort data to inform public policy. She currently manages parameterization efforts for a National Institute on Drug Abuse-funded project developing models to simulate opioid use. She is also the lead epidemiologist for the North Carolina Modeling Infectious Diseases Project, an agent-based model that simulates the spread of SARS-CoV-2 within communities, hospitals, and nursing home facilities.

Dr. Adams’ research leverages mathematical modeling to evaluate interventions and public health policy related to infectious disease and opioid use disorder. As a postdoctoral research fellow within Boston University’s Clinical HIV/AIDS Research Training Program, she used a state-transition cohort model to estimate the impact of expanding low-threshold buprenorphine-naloxone treatment programs within syringe service programs on the incidence of fatal opioid overdose in Massachusetts. In addition, she leveraged a microsimulation model of the natural history of injection opioid drug use to compare antibiotic strategies for treating drug-use-associated endocarditis.

As a doctoral student at Brown University’s School of Public Health, Dr. Adams was awarded the Ruth L. Kirschstein Pre-doctoral Fellowship from the National Institute of Mental Health to conduct research examining the impact of mass incarceration on HIV transmission risk for community-dwelling African American women in Philadelphia.

Before she became a doctoral student, Dr. Adams was the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System Data Manager for the AIDS Activities Coordinating Office for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. She was also a Global Health Fellow within USAID, providing technical support to the USAID Tanzania team to improve reporting on HIV/AIDS indicators. Dr. Adams is fluent in Dutch and French.

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