About Us

We conduct clinical services and research to help people stop or moderate their alcohol use and stop drug use using in-person therapy and technology based interventions such as text messaging, mobile apps, and video-therapy.


Jon Morgenstern, PH.D.

Jon Morgenstern, Ph.D. is a Professor of Psychiatry and Director of Substance Abuse Services at North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System, and is the Director of CASPIR. He received his Doctorate in clinical psychology from New York University in 1987. He has authored or co-authored over 100 articles, books, and book chapters on the treatment of alcohol and other substance abuse, and has served on local, state, and national advisory panels related to substance abuse treatment and research.





Frederick Muench, Ph.D

Frederick Muench, Ph.D is the Director of Digital Health Interventions at North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System. Fred is a clinical psychologist who focuses on digital health research with special emphasis on its application in the addictions. Through NIH funding he developed the first continuing care text messaging system for individuals transitioning from substance abuse treatment and is currently the PI on a study comparing different types of mobile messaging on reducing heavy drinking. Fred has extensive experience building digital health interventions as the Founder of Mobile Health Interventions (2009), Director of Research at Helicor. Fred is an adjunct Assistant Professor at NYU in the Interactive Telecommunications Program where he teaches a class on using technology to build mindfulness and meditation tools.


Nehal Vadhan, Ph.D.

Nehal Vadhan, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and researcher at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Hofstra-Northwell School of Medicine. His research focuses on the neuropsychiatric sequelae of substance use, including marijuana, stimulants and alcohol, and he has authored/coauthored numerous articles and book chapters in this area. At Feinstein/CASPIR, he is the Project Director for the Adaptive Interventions study and is also developing a human neuropsychopharmacology laboratory. His research has been funded through grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, Columbia University Medical Center and the Feinstein Institute. Clinically, Dr. Vadhan specializes in cognitive-behavioral treatment of substance use disorders in adults, as well as neuropsychological evaluation of adults and children. (CV)

Publications: click_pubmed


Jessica Houser, Ph.D

Jessica Houser, Ph.D is Research Scientist and Project Director at CASPIR where her primary role is directing Project Motion and building clinical services. She is a substance use specialist who has been treating adults and adolescents in research, academic, and clinical settings since 2006. Her specific research and clinical interests in the area of substance use treatment include the impact of self-reflection on impulse control as well as risk and resilience factors in development and their impact on substance use. She has researched and written on the use of specific behaviors (e.g. overeating) to modulate emotions in an interpersonal context. Dr. Houser received her doctorate in clinical psychology at Long Island University in Brooklyn. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and adolescent substance use at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital.


Andrew C. Chen, M.D., Ph.D.
Andrew C. Chen, M.D., Ph.D.

Andrew C. Chen, M.D., Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Director of Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine at Hofstra University, and is the Medical Director at CASPIR. He is double certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in Psychiatry and American Board of Addiction Medicine. His primary research interests are personalized treatment for alcohol and other substance use disorders and psychopharmacology. He received his M.D. from Taipei Medical University in Taiwan, and Ph.D. in molecular psychiatry from the University of London in England. He completed his residency and chief residency in Psychiatry at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York, and research fellowship at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. He has authored or co-authored over 40 original research articles, and a few reviews, book chapters on genetics, biomarkers, and neuropharmacology of psychiatric disorders.


Svetlana Levak, Ph.D.

Svetlana Levak, Ph.D. is a Research Scientist and Project Director at CASPIR. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Hofstra University. She has several years of training and clinical experience in evidence-based treatments for patients suffering from a variety of psychiatric disorders. Since 2007, Dr. Levak has also conducted research in developing interventions for problem drinkers. She is primarily interested in goal setting as it relates to drinking reduction and/or moderation. Currently, she is directly involved in the implementation and integration of behavioral interventions for Alcohol Use Disorders in medical settings.


Kaerensa Craft, LCSW

Kaerensa Craft, LCSW, is a project psychotherapist and clinical supervisor with CASPIR. She has provided clinical care for alcohol use disorders in treatment clinics and research studies since 2002. Ms. Craft received her master’s degree in social work at Columbia University in 1999, and certification from New York State in Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counseling (CASAC) in 2008. She has completed 5 years of psychoanalytic training at the Institute for Psychoanalytic Education and the Stephen Mitchell Center for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. She has delivered multiple training workshops in the areas of domestic violence, alcohol and substance abuse treatment, and motivational interviewing. In addition to working with CASPIR, she is presently in private practice in Manhattan and is an adjunct faculty for Hunter College School of Social Work, teaching Health and Mental Health.


Anna Jadanova, M.A.

Anna Jadanova, M.A. is a senior research assistant at CASPIR and a doctoral candidate in the Long Island University Ph.D. Program for Clinical Psychology. She received her Bachelors from Hofstra University, where she studied psychology and dance. Anna’s research interests focus on the recovery process after psychological trauma and the factors that maintain long-term post-traumatic stress symptoms. Anna has also explored the relationship between anxiety, dissociation and trauma for her Master’s Thesis at Long Island University. She has conducted therapy and psychological assessment at various hospitals and clinics throughout her graduate training, including Heights Hill Mental Health Services, St. Dominic’s Home, South Beach Psychiatric Center and Jacobi Medical Center. In the future, Anna plans to integrate her passion for clinical work with her interest in psychotherapy research. During her spare time, Anna loves being out in nature, spending time with her dog, going out with family and friends, snowboarding, dancing, cooking and traveling.


Danusha Selva Kumar, B.A.

Danusha Selva Kumar, B.A. is a Research Coordinator at CASPIR, working primarily on Project Motion. Danusha received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from New York University in 2015. Prior to joining the CASPIR team, Danusha was a volunteer research assistant at several psychology labs in NYU. She worked on an independent research project in Dr. Tessa West’s Interpersonal Perception Lab, where she explored gender biases in group settings. She also worked at the NYU Motivation Lab, and the NYU Social, Perception, Action & Motivation Lab. Danusha intends to pursue a degree in Clinical Psychology. She is very interested in exploring the different treatments and interventions for substance use disorders, as well as mood disorders.


Rachel P. Vitale, B.A.

Rachel P. Vitale, B.A. is a Research Assistant at CASPIR, working closely on Adaptive Interventions (AI). Rachel received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Creative Writing from New York University in 2015. During her undergraduate career, she worked in the Trope Lab and the Conceptual Development & Social Cognition Lab at NYU studying construal-level theory and how children perceive social morals, respectively. Rachel is the former Associate Editor of the International Body Psychotherapy Journal with publications in Somatic Psychotherapy Today and the International Journal of Psychotherapy. In the future, she intends to pursue degrees in both Social Work and Clinical Psychology. Rachel is thrilled to learn more about the interventions used to treat substance use disorders, and enjoys writing poetry, traveling to Eastern Asia and Europe, and spending time with friends and family.


Sijing (S.J.) Shao, M.S.
Sijing (S.J.) Shao, M.S.

Sijing (S.J.) Shao, M.S. is the Data Analyst at CASPIR. She received her degree in Mathematics from New York University in 2014. She performs qualitative analysis on big datasets by programming (SAS, SPSS and Excel).



Zhaoxin (Judy) Wu, B.A.

Zhaoxin (Judy) Wu, B.A. is the Mobile Applications Developer at CASPIR. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Japanese from SUNY Binghamton University in 2014. Previously she worked in the Small Data Lab at Cornell Tech, building their healthcare research platform. Currently she develops healthcare research applications.