*Welcome from the President and Program Planning Committee Chair




Welcome to the SPR 2019 Annual Meeting!

This year’s conference theme Prevention Science in a Big Data World offers the opportunity to consider ways in which the prevention science community can leverage complex data and innovative technologies to open new avenues in prevention research. Recent advances in medical informatics, big data analytics, mobile health (mHealth), smartphone and portable sensor technologies, social media and web generated data, geospatial data, and administrative data from the public health, child welfare, criminal justice, and education fields have laid the groundwork for a rich data environment. Further, data integration, including integrating neurobiological and genetic data, combining data from multiple studies, and merging data on the same individuals from multiple sources (data linking), presents opportunities to leverage the power of data science in prevention.

The Planning Committee is honored and pleased that Dr. Matthew W. Gillman, Director, Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes at NIH and Ms. Gail Taylor, Vice President for External Affairs at the National Prevention Network will participate in a facilitated conversation about moving from large scale research to public health impact (Wednesday at 3:00 pm), and Dr. Robert T. Croyle, Director of the NCI Division of Cancer Control & Population Sciences will share his insights on the current challenges and opportunities in cancer prevention (Thursday at 4:45 pm).

We would like to draw your attention to the three plenary sessions that spotlight the sub-themes of this year’s conference:

Plenary I:  Using Big Data to Examine Intergenerational Transmission of Economic Disparities: Implications for Health Outcomes (Wednesday, 8:30 -10:00 am, followed by roundtable 10:15 – 11:45am). Three prominent speakers will present unique perspectives on the role of “big data” in preventing or exacerbating health inequalities or disparities in the context of economics and biomedical/health care, with implications for policy and prevention.

Plenary II: Big Data Integration (Thursday, 8:30 -10:00 am, followed by roundtable 10:15 -11:45 am). This plenary session features three prominent experts who will describe some of the many challenges and opportunities that await us as we begin to leverage complex data and innovative technologies to open new avenues in prevention research.

Plenary III: Mobile Health (mHealth) in Prevention Science: Assessment, Intervention, and Analysis (Friday, 10:15-11:45 am, followed by roundtable, 1:00-2:30 pm). This plenary session features three prevention scientists showcasing the use of mHealth (wearable sensors, smart phones, and smart home technology) in prevention-related studies to spark discussion of the related potential, limitations, and challenges.

For the third year, we had a call for abstracts for research, methodology, policy, or new data that represented “emerging, hot topics” related to the overall conference theme. There are 2 symposia, a roundtable and 5 individual posters for emerging, late-breaking topics addressing topics such as e-cigarettes (juuling), fear of deportation for immigrant youth, and marijuana retail sales. Also for the third year, it is our pleasure to designate Abstracts of Distinction. After primary scoring and a secondary review of the overall scientific impact of the research, 20 abstracts were awarded the Abstracts of Distinction designation and represent topics that are particularly salient to the conference theme. Abstracts of Distinction are highlighted in the program.

We have an especially noteworthy roundtable, The National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Priorities and Efforts to Address the Opioid Epidemic (Thursday, 3:00-4:00 pm).  This roundtable will discuss NIH’s Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEAL) initiative.

In addition to the plenary and invited sessions, please note a number of special events in the schedule. The first is the Annual NIDA International Poster Session (Tuesday evening). In addition to its annual reception (Wednesday 7:15pm – all are welcome!), the Diversity Network Committee is sponsoring an invited symposium, Addressing Racism and Discrimination in Violence Prevention Interventions on Wednesday at 1:15 pm. The ECPN has developed a number of sessions and events of particular interest to early career prevention scientists: the ECPN Luncheon: Starting And Managing A Research Portfolio (Wednesday at 11:45 am), Getting Started With Big Data (Thursday at 3:00 pm), Research-To-Policy Translation: A Primer For Prevention Scientists (Friday at 8:30 am), the annual ECPN Student Poster Contest, and its Thursday evening social networking event.  In addition to its annual networking forum the International Committee is sponsoring an invited roundtable, Linking Prevention Science to Practice-Training Substance Use Prevention Professionals on Evidence-Based Interventions and Policies (Wednesday at 10:15 am). The SPR Mapping Advances in Prevention Science (MAPS) IV Task Force on Translation Research: Recommendations for Scaling-up Evidence-based Interventions in Public Systems (Thursday, 1:15-2:45 pm) and the SPR Task Force on Reducing Health Disparities and Improving Equity through Prevention (Thursday, 10:15-11:45 am) will report on their activities over the past year. The Publications Committee is sponsoring an invited roundtable Transparency, Replication, and Open Science: Implications for the Field of Prevention Science (Friday, 8:30 am). The 13th Annual SPR Cup (Thursday, 10:15 – 11:45 am) is a friendly competition amongst teams of early career researchers and is one of the most popular annual sessions. Don’t forget to stop by one of the Special Interest Group (SIG) lunch meetings. These discussion sections, held during the Wednesday and Thursday lunch breaks, provide opportunities for informal networking and brainstorming on diverse topics related to research and evaluation, methodologies, funding and engaging people in the work of SPR.  And to learn about funding opportunities, attend the Funding Information Session: What’s New? (Thursday 12:00-1:00 pm).

We are acknowledging our new members (navy and gold ribbons) and first time attendees (red and gold ribbons).  Please look for their name badge ribbons and introduce yourself and welcome them to SPR!

The SPR Membership Communications Committee encourages you to stop by the #thisispreventionscience booth and pick up an “I’m a Prevention Scientist!” button.  Share your story of prevention science and enter the raffle. Your #thisispreventionscience blurb will be posted on Twitter in the coming months.  Share your thoughts and comments on sessions you attend on Twitter, using #SPRconf19.

It is with great appreciation that we acknowledge the support from our sponsors. Please take a moment to read the conference acknowledgements that list the organizations providing support for the annual meeting, and thank their representatives when you see them at the conference for their ongoing support!

We want to acknowledge the network of people who have volunteered their time, engaged in collaborative and innovative thinking, and shaped this year’s agenda. We would like to thank the dedicated conference committee members: SPR members Elvira Elek, 2019 Program Chair, Rico Catalano, Leslie Leve, Willy Prado, Lauren Supplee, Bethany Bray, Doug Coatsworth, Max Crowley, Phillip Graham, Laura Griner Hill, Sharon Lambert, Stephanie Lanza, Sarah Lindstrom Johnson, Mildred Maldonado-Molina, Michael Mason, W. Alex Mason, Velma McBride Murry, Rashelle Musci, Sabrina Oesterle, Nathanial Riggs, Elizabeth Robertson, Caryn Rodgers, Gail Taylor, and federal agency representatives Aleta Meyer and Laura Nerenberg (ACF), Phyllis Holditch Niolon (CDC), Della Brown White (NCCIH), Tanya Agurs-Collins and Michele Bloch (NCI), Cheryl Boyce and Jennifer Curry (NHLBI), Michael Hilton, Ralph Hingson and Mariela Shirley (NIAAA), Rosalind King (NICHD), Jacqueline Lloyd and Belinda Sims (NIDA), Denise Pintello and Eve Reider (NIMH), Xinzhi Zhang (NIMHD), Elizabeth Ginexi (OBSSR), and Dionne Godette (ODP).

A special thanks to Rashelle Musci, who organized and coordinated the review of abstract submissions and to all of the SPR members who volunteered their time to review abstracts and to participate in the thematic review subcommittees. This year we held the new Mentor/Student-Mentee abstract review program.  Thanks to the mentors and mentees who participated. Finally, we appreciate and thank the efforts of all those who helped to create ‘special’ sessions: Laura Griner Hill and Sarah Lindstrom Johnson for organizing the Annual SPR Cup, ECPN members for the sessions aimed at early career participants, Diversity Network Committee members for organizing the annual DNC reception and invited symposium, International Committee members for organizing the 11th International Networking Forum and invited roundtable, Catherine Bradshaw for organizing the invited roundtable on important issues in publishing and prevention science, and all those who submitted organized paper symposia, roundtables, papers, posters, and pre-conference workshops.

On behalf of everyone who worked on the program and all attendees, we extend our heartfelt thanks and sincere gratitude to Jennifer Lewis, the Executive Director of SPR. Jennifer’s organization, support, and guidance throughout the development of all aspects of the conference are immeasurable.

We hope you enjoy the conference, meet new people, and think about prevention science in new ways because of your experiences over the next few days!

Best regards,

Leslie Leve, PhD

Elvira Elek, PhD
Chair, 2019 Program Planning Committee