Dan Werb


Scientist, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute

Email: dwerb@ucsd.edu
Twitter: @dmwerb


Dan Werb, PhD, is an epidemiologist and policy analyst with expertise in Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), addictions, and drug policy. Dr. Werb is a Research Scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute (LKSKI) at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. He is also an Assistant Professor in the Division of Global Public Health at the University of California, San Diego, where he is Principal Investigator of PRIMER: Preventing Injecting by Modifying Existing Responses, a five-year multi-site cohort study tasked with developing interventions to preventing entry into injection drug use. This study is funded through the inaugural United States National Institute on Drug Abuse Avenir Award, a USD$1.5 million research grant for creative new investigators proposing highly innovative research at the intersection of HIV and substance use. At the LKSKI, Dr. Werb is Director and Scientific Board Chair of the International Centre for Science in Drug Policy (ICSDP; www.icsdp.org), a recognized global leader in cutting edge policy research and communications. Dr. Werb has published dozens of studies on issues related to health policy and addictions, with a focus on preventing the transition of street youth into injection drug use, as well as on identifying the impact of policy and public health interventions on street-based drug-using populations. At the ICSDP, Dr. Werb is a sought after source of expertise on drug policy, and has appeared in media related to his work in every global hemisphere. He has helped oversee communications campaigns around such high profile projects as the Vienna Declaration (www.viennadeclaration.com). He has also published extensively on global drug policy and HIV policy. Dr. Werb is a former Trudeau Foundation Scholar and a Canadian Institutes of Health Research postdoctoral fellow. He conducts extensive knowledge translation on drug policy and public health, through print and radio journalism, and is the winner of a 2014 Canadian National Magazine Award for his popular science writing.

Please note: Dr. Werb is not taking any summer students.

Recent Publications

  1. Bouck, Z, Jain, S, Sun, X, Milloy, MJ, Werb, D, Hayashi, K et al.. Recent incarceration and risk of first-time injection initiation assistance: A prospective cohort study of persons who inject drugs. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2020;212 :107983. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2020.107983. PubMed PMID:32380374 .
  2. Maghsoudi, N, Bowles, J, Werb, D. Expanding access to diacetylmorphine and hydromorphone for people who use opioids in Canada. Can J Public Health. 2020; :. doi: 10.17269/s41997-020-00315-4. PubMed PMID:32221867 .
  3. Maghsoudi, N, McDonald, K, Stefan, C, Beriault, DR, Mason, K, Barnaby, L et al.. Evaluating networked drug checking services in Toronto, Ontario: study protocol and rationale. Harm Reduct J. 2020;17 (1):9. doi: 10.1186/s12954-019-0336-0. PubMed PMID:32204713 PubMed Central PMC7092475.
  4. West, BS, Abramovitz, DA, Gonzalez-Zuniga, P, Rangel, G, Werb, D, Cepeda, J et al.. Drugs, discipline and death: Causes and predictors of mortality among people who inject drugs in Tijuana, 2011-2018. Int. J. Drug Policy. 2020;75 :102601. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2019.11.009. PubMed PMID:31775080 PubMed Central PMC6957706.
  5. Marks, C, Borquez, A, Jain, S, Sun, X, Strathdee, SA, Garfein, RS et al.. Opioid agonist treatment scale-up and the initiation of injection drug use: A dynamic modeling analysis. PLoS Med. 2019;16 (11):e1002973. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1002973. PubMed PMID:31770373 PubMed Central PMC6879119.
  6. Orkin, A, Campbell, D, Handford, C, Hopkins, S, Klaiman, M, Leece, P et al.. Protocol for a mixed-methods feasibility study for the surviving opioid overdose with naloxone education and resuscitation (SOONER) randomised control trial. BMJ Open. 2019;9 (11):e029436. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-029436. PubMed PMID:31722937 PubMed Central PMC6858090.
  7. Meyers, SA, Smith, LR, Luisa Mittal, M, Strathdee, SA, Garfein, RS, Guise, A et al.. The role of gender and power dynamics in injection initiation events within intimate partnerships in the US-Mexico border region. Cult Health Sex. 2019; :1-16. doi: 10.1080/13691058.2019.1651903. PubMed PMID:31625809 .
  8. Lake, S, Kerr, T, Werb, D, Haines-Saah, R, Fischer, B, Thomas, G et al.. Guidelines for public health and safety metrics to evaluate the potential harms and benefits of cannabis regulation in Canada. Drug Alcohol Rev. 2019;38 (6):606-621. doi: 10.1111/dar.12971. PubMed PMID:31577059 .
  9. Mittal, ML, Guise, A, Rafful, C, Gonzalez-Zuñiga, P, Davidson, P, Vashishtha, D et al.. "Another Person Was Going to Do It": The Provision of Injection Drug Use Initiation Assistance in a High-Risk U.S.-Mexico Border Region. Subst Use Misuse. 2019;54 (14):2338-2350. doi: 10.1080/10826084.2019.1648514. PubMed PMID:31389282 PubMed Central PMC6883155.
  10. Olding, M, Werb, D, Guise, A, Small, W, McNeil, R. Navigating social norms of injection initiation assistance during an overdose crisis: A qualitative study of the perspectives of people who inject drugs (PWID) in Vancouver, Canada. Int. J. Drug Policy. 2019;69 :24-33. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2019.04.004. PubMed PMID:31029914 PubMed Central PMC7059802.
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Affiliations & Other Activities

  • Assistant Professor, Division of Global Public Health, University of California San Diego Director, International Centre for Science in Drug Policy