Jefferson University Hospitals

Obstetrics & Gynecology

Research Program

Leading state-of-the-art research that translates into evidence-based care


MATER is a research program with a federally funded research agenda dedicated to advancing substance use treatment. Our research has attracted national and international attention and continues to impact treatment standards for substance use disorders worldwide.

For external investigators interested in research collaboration opportunities, please refer to the MATER External Investigator Policy and contact our MATER Research Committee Chair, Dr. Vanessa Short, at

Current Research Studies

Determinants of Breastfeeding Intention, Initiation and Continuation among Women Receiving Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid-Use Disorder

The objective of this National Institute of Child Health and Human Development-funded R03 is to identify determinants of breastfeeding decisions and behaviors among women in treatment for OUD through the longitudinal collection of patient-reported and clinical data. For more information, please email Principal Investigator, Dr. Vanessa Short.

Study period: 2018-2020

Doula Care Services for Pregnant and Parenting Women in Drug Treatment

This study, funded by the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Public Health, aims to evaluate the impact of receipt of doula care services on delivery and birth outcomes for pregnant and parenting women in treatment for substance use disorders. For more information, please email Principal Investigator, Dr. Meghan Gannon.

Study period: 2019-2020

Group Well Child Care Intervention for Infants of Mothers in Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder

This 5-year, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality-sponsored R18 aims to adapt, implement and evaluate a family-centered pediatric group primary health care model integrated within the MATER Program. For more information, please email Principal Investigator, Dr. Vanessa Short.

Study period: 2020-2025

Supporting Women and Children in Substance Use Recovery – A Family Unity Approach (SWC-FamU)

SWC-FamU is a 5-year study designed to study the impact of an innovative multifaceted intervention on health and parenting outcomes in women who are pregnant or who have young children and who are in residential substance-use treatment. Intervention components include: Mindfulness-Based Parenting, Mindfulness-Based Family Support, Pediatric Centering, Prenatal Centering, Family Therapy and Expanded Family Engagement. For more information, please email Principal Investigator, Dr. Diane Abatemarco.

Study period: 2019-2024

Supporting Engagement and Recovery in Families Affected by Stimulant Use (SUPER) 

SUPER is a project funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Drug & Alcohol Programs to provide and evaluate the effectiveness of comprehensive support services for pregnant and parenting women who use cocaine, amphetamine, and/or methamphetamine and their families. Participants will receive care management for physical and behavioral healthcare (e.g., prenatal and well-child care), Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention, Mindfulness-Based Family Support, Mindfulness-Based Parenting, contingency management, employment coaching and support, and connection with community supports. For more information, please email Principal Investigator, Dr. Dennis Hand

Study period: 2020-2021