Jennifer B. Unger, PhD, is a visiting professor in preventative medicine at the Keck School of Medicine. Over the last thirteen years she has been conducting research and teaching courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels in epidemiology, research methods, and ethics. She serves as the co-principal investigator of the Tobacco Education and Material Lab (TEAM Lab), consulting and guidance on materials development particularly on the development of toolkits focused on targeting issues surrounding tobacco use among African American, Hispanic/Latino and Native American/American Indian communities.
Currently, she is funded through a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to study drug use among Hispanic/Latino adolescents in Southern California focusing on the effect of parent-child acculturation patterns on adolescent’s drug use behavior. With another grant from the California Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP), she studies the attitudes towards commercial and sacred tobacco use among American Indian adolescents in urban and rural areas of California.
Her primary area of research has had a focus on the psychosocial and cultural predictors of substance abuse among adolescents, including acculturation, cultural values, peer influences, family influences and stressful life events.
Dr. Unger earned her B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and her PhD from the University of Southern California.