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.