Office: 3520 Forbes Avenue, Parkvale Annex 203,

Phone: 412-383-6089

Email: levent@pitt.edu

I received an M.A. degree in mathematical statistics (1985) and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees (1982 and 1990) in applied statistics. Following a staff position at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School, I was appointed to the faculty in 1995 as Assistant Professor. I was promoted to Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Psychiatry in 2003 and Professor in 2010, and tenured in 2013. I have been Co-Principal Investigator and Director of the Methodology and Statistics Core of the NIDA-funded Center for Education and Drug Abuse Research since 1995. I am the recipient of Independence Scientist Award since 2005.

My primary expertise and research focus are devising and evaluating psychometric tools. With support from Independent Scientist Award since 2005,he has spearheaded development of an interval scale to measure the psychological components of SUD liability common across the DSM-IV categories. Employing item response theory, in conjunction with longitudinal multivariate modeling, a scale termed the liability index has been provisionally validated to quantify SUD risk at ages 10-12, 12-14, 16 and 19 in boys and age 10-12 in girls. This research will be extended in the forthcoming period of the K02 to encompass the period of risk up to age 30 in males and age 28 in females.

Notably, my work in instrument development has been integrated into investigations of SUD etiology, including measurement of social cognition, decision making and biological mechanisms. In this facet of my research, I have focused on a cardinal component of the SUD liability phenotype, termed neurobehavior disinhibition. This research has been informative for elucidating the neurological, endocrinoIogical, and social contextual aspects of SUD etiology as well as longitudinally distinct trajectories to SUD. I have also conceptualized and empirically validated a novel framework for measuring substance use topology during adolescence and proposed a model of symptom definitions for adolescent SUD.





Development of instruments utilized in substance abuse; item response theory; mixed modeling; structural equation modeling.

Most recent publications.

157. Kirisci, L., Reynolds, M., and Tarter, R. (2014). Quick screen to detect substance use disorder in adolescent females. International Journal of Person-Centered Medicine, 3, 280-285.
158. Kirillova, G., Reynolds, M., Kirisci, L., Mosovsky, S., Ridenour, T., Tarter, R., Vanyukov, M. (2014). Familiality of addiction and its developmental mechanisms in girls. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 143, 213-218.
159. Tarter R, Kirisci L, Reynolds M. (2014). A New Approach to Researching the Etiology of Cannabis Use Disorder: Integrating Transmissible and Non-Transmissible Risk within a Developmental Framework. Substance Abuse. Special Issue, 35, 336-343.
160. Stewart C., Kirisci, L., Long, A.L., Giancola, P. (2015). Development and psychometric evaluation of the Child Neglect Questionnaire. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 30(19), 3343-3366.
161. Cornelius, J.R., Kirisci, L., Clark, D., Reynolds, M., Vanyukov, M., Tarter, R. (2015). Does the transmissible liability index (TLI) assessed in late childhood predict suicidal symptoms at young adulthood? The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 20, 1-5.
162. Kirisci, L., Tarter, R., Ridenour, T., Reynolds, M., Horner, M., Vanyukov, M. (2015). Externalizing Behavior and Emotion Dysregulation are Indicators of Transmissible Risk for Substance Use Disorder. Addictive Behaviors, 42, 57-62.
163. Vanyukov, M., Kirisci, L. (2015). Genetic relationship between the addiction diagnosis in adults and their childhood measure of addiction liability. Behavior Genetics, 45, 1-11.
164. Horner, M., Reynolds, M., Braxter, B., Kirisci, L., Tarter, R. (2015). Temperament disturbances measured in infancy progress to substance use disorder 20 years later. Personality and Individual Differences, 82, 96-101.
165. Smithburger, P.L., Buckley, M.S., Lat, I., Culver, M., Handler, S., Kirisci, L., Sokol, S., & Kane-Gill, S. (2015). A multicenter evaluation of off label medication use and adverse drug reactions in adult medical intensive care units. Critical Care Medicine, 43(8), 1612-21.
166. Tarter, R., Kirisci, L., Reynolds, M., Horner, M., Zhai, Z. Gathuru, I., Vanyukov, M. (2015). Longitudinal modeling of the association between transmissible risk, affect during drug use and development of substance use disorder. Journal of Addiction Medicine,9, 464-469.


167. Hasler, BP, Kirisci, L., Clark, B.D. (2016). Restless sleep and variable sleep timing during late childhood accelerate the onset of alcohol and drug involvement. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drug,77, 649-655.
168. Balsamo, D.N., Salloum, I.M., Douaihy, A., Cornelius, J.R., Daley, D., Kirisci, L., Hyman, S.M., Salloum, IM. (2016). Differential impact of depressive and manic mood states on alcohol craving in comorbid bipolar-alcoholism: Preliminary findings. Addictive Disorders and Their Treatment, 15, 107-110.
169. Salloum, I., Mezzich., J., Kirisci, L. (in press). Applicability, internal structure, and clinical patterns of a multicultural quality of life index in psychiatric patients experiencing comorbid substance use disorders. International Journal of Person-Centered Medicine.
170. Cornelius, JR, Chung, T, Douaihy, AB, Kirisci, L, Glance, J, Kmiec, J, FitzGerald, D, Wesesky, M, and Salloum, I. (2016). Mirtazapine in comorbid major depression and an alcohol use disorder: a double-blind placebo-controlled pilot trial. Psychiatry Research, 242, 326-330.
171. Mezzich, JE., Appleyard. J, Botbol, M., Salloum, IM, Kirisci, L. (2016). Conceptualization and metrics in person centered medicine. International Journal of Person Centered Medicine, 6(4), 213-218.
172. Mezzich, JE, Kirisci, L., Salloum, IM, Trivedi, J., Kar, SK, Adams, N, Wallcraft, J. (2016). Systematic conceptualization of person-centered medicine and development and validation of a person-centered care index. International Journal of Person-Centered Medicine, 6(4), 218-246.
173. Kirisci, L., Vanyukov, M., Mezzich, J. (2016). Introduction to metrics in person centered medicine research. International Journal of Person-Centered Medicine, 6(4), 247-248.
174. Kirisci, L., Tarter, R., Reynolds, M., Vanyukov, M (2016). Item response theory analysis to assess dimensionality of substance use disorder abuse and dependence symptoms. International Journal of Person-Centered Medicine, 6(4), 249-258.
175. Vanyukov, M., Cornelius, M., De Genna, N., Reynolds, M., Kirillova, G., Maher, B., Kirisci, L. (2016). Measurement of liability to addiction: Dimensional approaches. International Journal of Person-Centered Medicine, 6(4), 250-259.
176. Vanyukov, M., Kirisci, L. (2017). Association of Cognitive Function and Liability to Addiction with Childhood Herpesvirus Infections: A Prospective Cohort Study. Development and Psychopathology, 19, 1-10.
177. Smithburger, P., Weaver, C., Kane-Gill, S., Gunn, S., Kirisci, L. (submitted). A retrospective analysis of the effectiveness of antipsychotics in the treatment of ICU delirium. Journal of Critical Care.








Independent Scientist Award (K02): Quantifying and Tracking Risk for Substance Use Disorder
National Institute on Drug Abuse
Levent Kirisci, PhD

212. Reynolds, M., Kirisci, L., Cornelius, M., Tarter, R. Liability for cannabis use disorder in adolescent girls. Paper presented at the annual meeting of Society for Prevention research, May 27-30, 2016, Washington, DC.
213. Kirisci, L., Benedict, N., Wong, A., Reynolds, M., Gill-Kane, S. Pharmacological Management and Outcome of Patients with Severe Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms: A Propensity Score Application to Medical Archival Database. A paper is presented at the annual meeting of International College of Person-centered Medicine, Geneva, Switzerland, April 9-13, 2016.
214. Salloum, I., Cornelius, J., Douaihy, A., Kirisci, L., Gracia, A., Miao, F. Gender differences in alcohol treatment response in alcoholism with comorbid mood disorders (major depression and bipolar disorders). Paper presented at the annual meeting of Research Society of Alcoholism, New Orleans, Louisiana, June 25-29, 2016.
215. Kirisci, L., Hayes, J., Mezzich, J. Application of propensity score to analyze observational data. Paper presented at the annual meeting of International College of Person-centered Medicine, Geneva, Switzerland, April 9-13, 2016.
216. Reynolds, M., Tarter, R., Vanyukov, M., Kirisci, L. Parental substance use, adolescent physical activity, and cannabis use disorder in young adulthood. Paper presented at the annual meeting of College on Problems of Drug Dependence Annual Meeting, Montreal, CA, June 17-22, 2017.

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