Alicia M. Allen, PhD, MPH

Assistant Professor, Clinical Translational Sciences
Assistant Professor, Family and Community Medicine
Assistant Professor, Family and Community Medicine (Banner)
Assistant Professor, Public Health

Alicia M. Allen, PhD, MPH

Academic / Professional Bio: 

Alicia Allen, PhD, MPH, began working in clinical research on substance use disorders in 2001 as an undergraduate student. This experience prompted her to obtain her masters in community health education, graduate certification in addiction studies and doctorate in social and behavioral epidemiology, all from the University of Minnesota.  She also completed a fellowship at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the area of prenatal smoking. As a behavioral epidemiologist, she is particularly interested in research study design and evaluating causality.  She has conducted randomized clinical trials, controlled cross-over trials, and cross-sectional online surveys, as well as analyzed data from large epidemiological datasets. Dr. Allen's current research focuses on topics that occur in the intersection between substance misuse (e.g., nicotine/tobacco, cannabis, opioids) and women's health (e.g., pregnancy, postpartum, hormonal contraceptive use).  Alicia has received funding from the National Institutes of Health, ClearWay Minnesota, and University of Arizona. She has published over 45 peer-reviewed manuscripts to-date, primarily with Addictive Behaviors, Nicotine and Tobacco Research, Addiction, and Journal of Addiction Medicine.  She is an associate editor with Nicotine Tobacco Research (NTR), the clinical director with Society for Research on Nicotine Tobacco University (SRNT-U), and co-director of the Resident Scholarly Project Program (RSPP). In 2020, Dr. Allen received the prestigious National Institutes of Health’ New Innovator Award to explore how postpartum hormones influence relapse to opioids.

2020-2021 Courses:

Current Projects as Principal Investigator:

  • Hormonal Response to Infant Caregiving: A Novel Strategy to Break the Opioid Relapse Cycle during the Postpartum Period (New Innovator Award Funded by National Institutes of Health, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development)
  • Modifying Progesterone and Estradiol Levels to  Prevent Postpartum Cigarette Smoking Relapse and Reduce Secondhand Smoke Exposure in Infants and Children (R01 Funded by National Institutes of Health, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development)
  • A Novel Approach to  Help Women of Reproductive Age Quit Smoking (Funded by Prevent Cancer Foundation)
  • Development of an Adjunctive Behavioral Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder during the Postpartum Period (Funded by University of Arizona)
Research Interests: 
  • Addiction
  • Substance Misuse
  • Substance Use Disorders
  • Health behavior change
  • Sleep
  • Stress
  • Pregnancy
  • Postpartum
  • Ovarian hormones
  • Hormonal contraceptives
  • Women's health
  • Research methodology
  • Epidemiology
Degrees: 
BS: University of Minnesota, 2003
MPH: University of Minnesota, 2006
PhD: University of Minnesota, 2012
Honors and Awards: 
Women & Gender Junior Investigator Award, College of Problems on Drug Dependence and National Institute of Drug Abuse, 2009
Dean’s PhD Scholar Award, University of Minnesota, 2012
Outstanding Junior Mentor Award, Clinical and Translational Science Institute at University of Minnesota, 2014
Fellowship: 
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Prenatal Smoking, 2006-2007