Robert Leeman, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department of Health Education & Behavior

  • Postdoctoral Fellowship in Substance Abuse, Yale School of Medicine (2007)
  • Ph.D. in Psychology, University of Pennsylvania (2005)
  • M.A. in Psychology, University of Pennsylvania (2002)
  • B.A. in Psychology and Screen Studies, Clark University (1998)

Leeman CV

Contact Info

FLG 14
P.O. Box 118210
Gainesville, FL 32611-8210
(352) 294-1808 | robert.leeman@ufl.edu


Biography

Robert Leeman, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Education and Behavior at the University of Florida and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Clark University, followed by an M.A. and Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. After his Ph.D., Dr. Leeman spent a decade at Yale School of Medicine, first as a post-doctoral fellow, then as a faculty member. During his time at Yale, he also spent three years as a research scientist with the VA MIRECC in West Haven, CT before joining the faculty at UF.  

His primary research interest is in relationships between various difficulties with self-control and addictive behaviors, particularly alcohol use, though he also has also conducted research on opioid misuse, tobacco use and gambling. He has particular interests in impaired control over alcohol use (i.e., difficulty adhering to limits on use), disinhibition/impulsivity, relationships between alcohol use and sexual health behaviors/HIV risk, and cognitive biases. Using human laboratory, survey and randomized controlled trial methods, Dr. Leeman tests novel interventions and attempts to learn more about risk factors for substance misuse, particularly in adolescent and young adult populations. In his recent research, these novel interventions have been primarily technology-based including web-based interventions, devices and smartphone applications.

Current grant-funded projects include a study to test a smartphone breathalyzer device and accompanying smartphone app as a moderate drinking tool in comparison with two other forms of technology. This study combines human laboratory alcohol self-administration with data collection in actual drinking situations. In another grant-funded study, Dr. Leeman’s group is conducting a web-based survey, followed by a series of focus groups and a small pilot study to lay the groundwork for a multi-component mobile intervention to reduce alcohol use, enhance sexual health behaviors and increase uptake and adherence to pre-exposure prophylaxis among young adult men who have sex with men. Shortly, Dr. Leeman will collaborate with Dr. Yan Wang from the Epidemiology Department on a new study to test wrist-worn alcohol biosensors among HIV positive and negative individuals. This study will also combine human laboratory with “real world” data collection.

Dr. Leeman and two collaborators from other Colleges at UF were recently awarded a five-year T32 institutional training grant on translational research in alcohol and HIV, which will provide training opportunities for pre- and postdoctoral trainees. One of Dr. Leeman’s roles is to coordinate a weekly didactic seminar for the trainees, which covers alcohol and HIV research along with professional development issues.

In addition to HEB, Dr. Leeman’s UF affiliations are with the Center for Addiction Research and Education (CARE), where he is research faculty and serves on the Executive Board and the Southern HIV and Alcohol Research Consortium (SHARC) where he is core faculty and a member of the Executive Board.

Research Interests

  • Relationships between difficulties with self-control and addictive behaviors
  • Novel interventions for addictive behaviors
  • Cognitive biases underlying addictive behaviors
  • Adolescent and young adult populations
  • Human laboratory methods

Recent Publications

  • A human alcohol self-administration paradigm to model individual differences in impaired control over alcohol use (Link)
  • Impulsivity, sensation seeking and part-time job status in relation to substance use and gambling in adolescents (Link)

  • Relationships between impulsivity and subjective response in an IV ethanol paradigm (Link)

  • Reduction of alcohol drinking in young adults by naltrexone: A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial of efficacy and safety (Link)

  • Randomized controlled trial of a very brief, multicomponent web-based alcohol intervention for undergraduates with a focus on protective behavioral strategies (Link)

  • Relationships among impulsivity, subjective response, alcohol use and related problems (Link)