A headshot photo of Laura R. Lander.

Laura R. Lander, MSW, LICSW

Associate Professor/ Section Chief - Social work

Contact Information

PO Box 9137
930 Chestnut Ridge Road
Morgantown, WV 26505


  • Department of Behavioral Medicine & Psychiatry
  • Department of Neuroscience
  • Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute

Graduate Training

  • MSW, Columbia University, 1994

Research Interests

Ms. Lander’s primary research focus is clinical translational research in the area of opioid use disorders (OUD) and developing effective ways to measure and improve clinical outcomes. She is currently an Associate Professor in the West Virginia University (WVU) School of Medicine, with a dual appointment in the Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry and Department of Neuroscience. Ms. Lander is recognized as a national expert on medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for OUD and served on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Committee on MAT for OUD from 10/2018-3/2019.  She is a Co-Investigator in the National Institute on Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network in the newly formed Appalachian Node.  Her additional research in the last 15 years has primarily focused on developing effective psychosocial interventions for the treatment of substance use disorders among both men and women, pregnant women, and adolescents. She has incorporated the use of genetics, neuroimaging and adjunctive treatments such as yoga and mindfulness-based relapse prevention to measure and improve treatment effectiveness.  The treatment of pregnant women with OUD and assessment of neonatal outcomes is also an area of clinical and research focus. She is currently Co-Investigator on several SAMHSA State Opioid Response grants including MAT expansion in WV, initiation of buprenorphine in the ED using Peer Recovery Coach Support and is a member of the Addictions Center of Excellence at WVU. In addition, she has over 25 years of clinical experience in the field of mental health and substance abuse and has worked to develop a nationally recognized innovative model of group-based MAT with buprenorphine for individuals with OUD, and an integrated MAT Centering model specifically for the treatment of pregnant and post-partum women. From this clinical experience, she has developed a deep understanding of the challenges faced by patients with substance use disorders and their families and the barriers to treatment.  Through her research efforts, she strives to develop ways to develop evidence-based treatments for patients struggling with substance use disorders.



Jennings LK, Lander L, Lawdahl T, McClure EA, Moreland A, McCauley JL, Haynes L, Matheson T, Jones R, Robey TE, Kawasaki S, Moschella P, Raheemullah A, Miller S, Gregovich G, Waltman D, Brady KT, Barth KS. Characterization of peer support services for substance use disorders in 11 US emergency departments in 2020: findings from a NIDA clinical trials network site selection process. Addict Sci Clin Pract 2024;19(1):26. PMID: 38589934. PMCID: PMC11003047. DOI: 10.1186/s13722-024-00453-x

Stocks C, Lander LR, Zullig KJ, Davis S, Lemon K. Pre-COVID Trends in Substance Use Disorders and Treatment Utilization during Pregnancy in West Virginia 2016-2019. J Womens Health (Larchmt) 2024. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 38572925. DOI: 10.1089/jwh.2023.0888

Zheng W, Cavrak M, Bowles H, Deng Y, Wen S, Gao S, Lander L, Berry J, Winstanley EL. 10-year retention of a comprehensive treatment model of buprenorphine for opioid use disorder. J Addict Dis 2024:1-8. PMID: 38400724. DOI: 10.1080/10550887.2024.2315366


Herczyk JM, Zullig KJ, Davis SM, Mallow J, Hobbs GR, Davidov DM, Lander LR, Theeke L. Association of Loneliness and Mindfulness in Substance Use Treatment Retention. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2023;20(16):6571. PMID: 37623157. PMCID: PMC10454177. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph20166571

Rezai AR, Mahoney JJ, Ranjan M, Haut MW, Zheng W, Lander LR, Berry JH, Farmer DL, Marton JL, Tirumalai P, Mears A, Thompson-Lake DGY, Finomore VS, D'Haese PF, Aklin WM, George DT, Corrigan JD, Hodder SL. Safety and feasibility clinical trial of nucleus accumbens deep brain stimulation for treatment-refractory opioid use disorder. Journal of Neurosurgery 2023:1-9. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37329519. DOI: 10.3171/2023.4.JNS23114


Cox J, Reid N, Lander L. Long-term effects of medication for opioid use disorder in children. JAAPA 2022;35(4):1-4. PMID: 35348547. DOI: 10.1097/01.JAA.0000823148.49509.67

Mills R, Zullig KJ, Theeke LA, Lander LR, Hobbs GR, Herczyk J, Davis SM. Assessing Loneliness among Adults Receiving Outpatient Treatment with Medication for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD). Int J Environ Res Public Health 2022;19(20):13481. PMID: 36294057. PMCID: PMC9602554. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph192013481

Stoltman JJK, Lander LR, Patrick JH, Terplan M, Jones HE. Interest in Co-located Reproductive and Sexual Health Services Among Women and Men Receiving Medication for Opioid Use Disorder in an Outpatient Treatment Clinic. Front Psychiatry 2022;13:910389. PMID: 35873229. PMCID: PMC9299362. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyt.2022.910389

Wang K, DiChiacchio T, Fang W, Lander L, Feinberg J, Xie C, Winstanley EL, Ubolrat Piamjariyakul. Longitudinal study of impact of medication for opioid use disorder on Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. J Affect Disord 2022;297:148-155. PMID: 34670131. DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2021.10.018

Winstanley EL, Thacker EP, Choo LY, Lander LR, Berry JH, Tofighi B. Patient-reported problems filling buprenorphine prescriptions and motivations for illicit use. Drug and Alcohol Dependence Reports 2022;5:100091. DOI: 10.1016/j.dadr.2022.100091


Mahoney JJ, Haut MW, Hodder SL, Zheng W, Lander LR, Berry JH, Farmer DL, Marton JL, Ranjan M, Brandmeir NJ, Finomore VS, Hensley JL, Aklin WM, Wang GJ, Tomasi D, Shokri-Kojori E, Rezai AR. Deep brain stimulation of the nucleus accumbens/ventral capsule for severe and intractable opioid and benzodiazepine use disorder. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology 2021;29(2):210-5. PMID: 34043402. DOI: 10.1037/pha0000453

Mahoney JJ, Winstanley EL, Lander LR, Berry JH, Marshalek PJ, Haut MW, Marton JL, Kimble WD, Armistead, Wen S, Cai Y, Hodder SL. High prevalence of co-occurring substance use in individuals with opioid use disorder. Addictive Behaviors 2021;114:106752. PMID: 33348147. DOI: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2020.106752

Winstanley EL, Lander LR, Zheng W, Law KB, Six-Workman A, Berry JH. Rapid Transition of Individual and Group-based Behavioral Outpatient Visits to Telepsychiatry in Response to COVID-19. Journal of Addiction Medicine 2021;15(3):263-265. PMID: 33105168. DOI:10.1097/ADM.0000000000000748

Zullig KJ, Lander LR, Tuscano M, Garland M, Hobbs GR, Faulkenberry L. Testing Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention with Medications for Opioid Use Disorder Among Adults in Outpatient Therapy: a Quasi-experimental Study. Mindfulness (N Y) 2021;12(12):3036-3046. PMID: 34659584. PMCID: PMC8504564. DOI: 10.1007/s12671-021-01763-w