Thomas Stopka

Thomas Stopka

(617) 636-2110
136 Harrison Avenue
Research/Areas of Interest: Dr. Stopka's current research focuses on the intersection of opioid use disorder, overdose, and infectious diseases (HCV, HIV, STIs, COVID-19). He employs GIS, spatial epidemiological, qualitative, biostatistical, and laboratory approaches in multi-site, interdisciplinary studies and public health interventions. He currently leads and contributes to clinical trials and observational studies funded by the NIH, CDC, and SAMHSA to assess the effectiveness of a mobile, telemedicine-based HCV treatment and harm reduction model for rural opioid users in Northern New England, to reduce opioid overdose deaths by 40% in Massachusetts, and to evaluate the overdose prevention impacts of administration of medication for opioid use disorder in houses of correction. Dr. Stopka is also Co-PI of the Tufts research priority group focused on equity in health, wealth, and civic engagement. He teaches courses in GIS and spatial epidemiology, research methods for public health, and epidemiology. He enjoys mentoring research assistants, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty in ongoing research studies and collaborative publications.

Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of California, Davis, Davis, United States, 2012
  • Master of Health Science, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, United States, 1999
  • Bachelor of Science, Fairfield University, Fairfield, United States, 1992

Biography

Dr. Stopka is an Associate Professor with the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine and the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at the Tufts University School of Medicine. His major research interests are in the area of opioid overdose and infectious disease epidemiology and prevention, geographic information systems (GIS), spatial epidemiology, health disparities, and global health. Through his research, Dr. Stopka explores the interconnectedness of substance use and misuse, social and behavioral risk factors, and overdose and infectious disease outcomes among high-risk, and often hidden populations through community-engaged, interdisciplinary, multi-methods, applied epidemiological research studies. Dr. Stopka has contributed to and led a number of multisite studies in which he has employed qualitative, quantitative, spatial epidemiological and statistical modeling approaches to better understand and curb the overlapping opioid overdose, HIV, and hepatitis C virus (HCV) epidemics. He is currently MPI on a NIDA, SAMHSA, and CDC-funded clinical trial (4UG3-UH3 DA044830-03) to assess the effectiveness of a mobile HCV telemedicine-based treatment intervention among rural opioid users in New England. He is a Co-I on the NIDA-funded HEALing Communities trial (UM1DA04912) to reduce opioid overdose deaths by 40% in Massachusetts, and the site PI for the NIH and SAMHSA-funded Massachusetts Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network study (UG1DA050067), evaluating administration of medication for opioid use disorder (OUD) in seven houses of correction. Finally, Dr. Stopka is the PI of a CDC-funded (1NU1ROT000018-01-00) opioid vulnerability study in 11 states, in which his team is modeling regional vulnerabilities related to opioid overdose, HIV, and HCV.