Center for Addiction Medicine

Randi Schuster, Ph.D.

Randi Schuster

Co-Director of Research; Director of School-Based Research and Program Development; Director of Neuropsychology; Principal Investigator, Center for Addiction Medicine; Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Schuster is a licensed clinical psychologist. She received her BA from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2007 and her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2014. She received specialized training in neuropsychology as a pre-doctoral intern and post-doctoral fellow at MGH/Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Schuster’s work aims to define the cognitive predecessors of adolescent substance use, effects of substance use on cognitive performance, and how these and other factors (e.g., genetics and environment) affect treatment engagement and functional (e.g., academic) outcomes. Her work explores the behavioral and biological mechanisms underlying risk for adverse outcomes secondary to early substance exposure, with a particular emphasis on vulnerable sub-populations including adolescents with and at risk for neuropsychiatric illness.

Dr. Schuster’s work is notably rooted in principles of community engagement and equity. Her training in community-based research is reflected in extensive ties with public schools across Massachusetts. She has surveyed over 100,000 students in school-based settings about their substance use behaviors and co-occurring mental health symptoms. Through her program of school-based research, she has also developed and tested best practice community-level early interventions (“Tier 2”) to minimize population-level impact of substance use on student health and well-being. Dr. Schuster is currently overseeing a state-funded program aimed at developing, implementing, and evaluating a novel alternative to suspension (iDECIDE; as well as a PCORI-funded clinical trial aimed at evaluating methods for improving school-based SBIRT for early substance use detection.