Clinical and Social Research Team at Turning Point

In October 2020 we focused on MARC members from Clinical and Social Research Team at Turning Point.

The Clinical and Social Research team aims to address addiction issues across the spectrum of harm, establishing effective methods for supporting client journeys from initial help-seeking through to specialist treatment and recovery. The Clinical and Social Research team use an interdisciplinary framework that looks at the connection between biology, psychology and socio-environmental factors that contribute to addiction. They work to reduce stigma and harms at the community level by changing cultures, supporting family members and health care professionals, and generate insights and innovation for a more efficient and effective treatment system by trialling novel pharmacological, psychological and neuroscience-informed interventions. Several team members teach on the Monash Master of Addictive Behaviours as unit coordinators, lecturers and tutors.

There are also a number of emerging researchers working in research assistant roles across numerous projects that MARC and Turning Point collaborate on, including Isabelle Volpe, Davinia Rizzo and Ramiz Bathish.


A/Prof Victoria Manning is the Head of Research and Workforce Development. She is a chartered psychologist (UK) and holds a PhD on neurocognition and co-occurring disorders. Over the past two decades, she has worked as a clinical researcher in addictions in the UK, Asia and Australia. Her research portfolio includes clinical trials, intervention studies, training and prevalence and treatment outcome studies.

Her passion lies in trailing neurocognitive, psychological, pharmacological and other novel interventions to optimise treatment effectiveness for people with substance use disorders, co-occurring disorders and examining the role of peer support models in promoting recovery. She is a unit co-coordinator and lectures on the Masters in Addictive Behaviours course at Monash University.

A/Prof Manning currently collaborates with MARC members on the following projects:

Project NEAT- NicotinE As Treatment: A randomized controlled trial to examine the efficacy of vaporised nicotine products and telephone quitline support compared with nicotine replacement therapy and telephone quitline support following discharge from a residential withdrawal service.

MARC Co-investigators: Prof Dan Lubman (Turning Point & MARC),

A pilot randomised controlled trial (RCT) of personalised approach bias modification for methamphetamine use disorder

MARC Co-investigators: Prof Dan Lubman (Turning Point & MARC) and Dr Shalini Arunogiri (Turning Point),

‘A randomised controlled trial of telephone-delivered psychological treatment to reduce methamphetamine use’

MARC Co-investigators: Prof Dan Lubman (Turning Point & MARC), Dr Shalini Arunogiri (Turning Point), Dr Jasmin Grigg (Turning Point), and A/Prof John Reynolds (Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine).

Preventing Harm from Alcohol in Women attending Breast Screening Services

MARC Co-investigators: Prof Dan Lubman (Turning Point & MARC), Dr Jasmin Grigg (Turning Point), Prof Liam Smith (BehaviourWorks) and Prof Peter Bragge (BehaviourWorks).

A randomised controlled trial of Cognitive Bias Modification training during early recovery from alcohol dependence

MARC Co-investigators: Prof Antonio Verdejo-Garcia (Turner Institute), A/Prof John Reynolds (Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine) and Prof Dan Lubman (Turning Point & MARC).

The R2C Program: A randomised controlled trial of a telephone-based intervention for alcohol misuse

MARC Co-investigators: Prof Dan Lubman (Turning Point & MARC), A/Prof John Reynolds (Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine), and Dr Jasmin Grigg (Turning Point).


 

Dr Shalini Arunogiri is a clinical addiction psychiatrist and has extensive experience working across alcohol and other drug (AOD) and mental health services. She is a Senior Lecturer and researcher at Monash University, with research interests focusing on methamphetamine use and comorbidity, and women's health. She teaches on the Monash Masters of Addictive Behaviours course, and supervises and mentors junior medical staff and students.

Shalini is passionate about delivering better care for people with addictions and related mental health problems, and for their families and communities. Her hope is that one day (soon) people with an addiction will be able to get the evidence-based treatment they need when they seek it, without facing stigma, discrimination or barriers.

Dr Arunogiri currently collaborates with MARC members on the following projects:

‘A randomised controlled trial of telephone-delivered psychological treatment to reduce methamphetamine use’

MARC Co-investigators: Prof Dan Lubman (Turning Point & MARC), A/Prof Victoria Manning (Turning Point), Dr Jasmin Grigg (Turning Point), and A/Prof John Reynolds (Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine).


 

Dr Michael Savic is Strategic Lead of Clinical and Social Research, Turning Point and Senior Research Fellow (addiction Studies), Monash University. His research focuses on the social and cultural contexts of alcohol and other drug use, addiction concepts, treatment and experiences of intervention implementation and care across several mediums. His research is multi-disciplinary in orientation, policy and practice relevant, and often draws on critical approaches and qualitative methods. He coordinates units in the Monash University Master of Addictive Behaviours and is a Culture and Policy Theme leader at the Monash Addiction Research Centre. Michael is a co-convener of the Victorian Substance Use Research Forum, an Associate Editor at the International Journal of Drug Policy, and a Deputy Editor at Drug and Alcohol Review.

Dr Savic currently collaborates with MARC members [MS1] on the following projects:

‘Alcohol consumption practices in crisis’

MARC Co-investigators: A/Prof Steven Roberts (Sociology)

‘A Citizen Science Approach to Monitoring unhealthy industry digital marketing to young people’

MARC Co-investigators: A/Prof Steven Roberts (Sociology)

Understanding heavy alcohol consumption cultures among nurses and lawyers

MARC Co-investigators: Dr Rowan Ogeil (Turning Point) and Prof Dan Lubman (Turning Point and MARC)

‘Animating alcohol culture change amongst male hospitality students and workers’

MARC Co-investigators: Dr Tina Lam (MARC), Dr Cameron Rose (Design), A/Prof Steven Roberts (Sociology), A/Prof Suzanne Nielsen (MARC), and Prof Dan Lubman (Turning Point and MARC).


 

Dr Jasmin Grigg PhD MPH BPsych(Hons) is a Research Fellow in Addiction Studies at the Eastern Health Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences of Monash University, and Turning Point, Eastern Health. She has a research background in mental health, women’s mental health, public health and addictions treatment, with specific interest in quantitative methods and mixed-methods program evaluation. She is currently an Investigator on an Australian National Health & Medical Research Council funded trial for the treatment of methamphetamine use disorder, and a VicHealth funded trial to reduce harm from alcohol among women attending breast screening services.

Dr Grigg currently collaborates with MARC members on the following projects:

‘A randomised controlled trial of telephone-delivered psychological treatment to reduce methamphetamine use’

MARC Co-investigators: Prof Dan Lubman (Turning Point & MARC), A/Prof Victoria Manning (Turning Point), Dr Shalini Arunogiri (Turning Point), and A/Prof John Reynolds (Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine).

Preventing Harm from Alcohol in Women attending Breast Screening Services

MARC Co-investigators: Prof Dan Lubman (Turning Point & MARC), A/Prof Victoria Manning (Turning Point), Prof Liam Smith (BehaviourWorks) and Prof Peter Bragge (BehaviourWorks).

The R2C Program: A randomised controlled trial of a telephone-based intervention for alcohol misuse

MARC Co-investigators: Prof Dan Lubman (Turning Point & MARC), A/Prof Victoria Manning (Turning Point), and A/Prof John Reynolds (Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine).


 
Dr Joshua Garfield has long had an interest in the interactions between drug use, the brain, and behaviour. He completed a bachelor of science with honours in psychology at the University of Tasmania in 2002, and then a PhD in behavioural neuroscience at the University of New South Wales in 2008, where he studied animal learning theory.

 

Dr Alison Cheetham completed her PhD at The University of Melbourne in 2013 and has a research background in adolescent and young adult substance misuse, with a focus on understanding risk and vulnerability factors and identifying opportunities for early intervention and treatment. Since 2012, her role at Turning Point has included involvement in projects that identify barriers and facilitators to seeking help for AOD and mental health problems in young people, and encourage engagement with services and professional treatment.


 

Dr Anthony Barnett joined Turning Point in 2018. Working in the clinical and social research team, his work explores the social and cultural contexts of alcohol and other drug use, treatment (including novel therapeutic interventions) and policy change. His work draws on critical social science methods to provide in-depth accounts of consumers, carers and clinicians’ experience of addiction treatment, care and recovery.

In 2020, he completed his PhD thesis at Monash University which explored clinicians’ views about the brain disease model of addiction and how neuroscientific models and interventions integrate within everyday practice. His work has implications for health care delivery in drug and alcohol treatment settings along with policy development, both locally and internationally.


 

Dr Paul Sanfilippo originally trained as an optometrist before completing a PhD in ophthalmology, being the recipient of an NHMRC Early Career Fellowship from 2015 – 2018. He has a strong track record in clinical research including 50+ peer-reviewed scientific publications.

In his current role as biostatistician at Turning Point and Monash Addiction Research Centre he provides statistical support to clinicians and researchers helping to analyse and publish the findings from their research projects.