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Team

Learn more about our team at Drexel's Medical Cannabis Research Center.

Stephen E. Lankenau, PhD, Director

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Dr. Stephen E. Lankenau, a Professor and Associate Dean of Research at the Dornsife School of Public Health, has been leading research studies focused on the use and misuse of substances for over 20 years.

He is the Principal Investigator on a multi-year patient registry study funded by Agronomed that will track the health of medical cannabis patients recruited from 6 dispensaries in Pennsylvania.

He is the Principal Investigator on a 10-year longitudinal study funded by the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (NIDA) (R01DA034067) focused on the health of young adult cannabis users in Los Angeles.

He is also co-leading two studies focused on overdose prevention in Philadelphia: one funded by NIDA (R34DA044758) that developed and tested the UnityPhilly app to deliver naloxone during overdose emergencies; and second funded by Arnold Ventures that will evaluate an overdose prevention site.


Wei Du, MD, MS, Co-Director

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Dr. Wei Du is a professor and academic chair of the Department of Psychiatry in the College of Medicine at Drexel University and chair of the Department of Academic Medicine at Tower Health. Dr. Du also holds a secondary appoinment as professor in the Department of Pharmacology & Physiology at the College of Medicine.

He is the former director of the General Adult Psychiatry Residency program at Drexel University College of Medicine. He has won the Teacher of the Year Award in the department in 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. He provides lectures on psychopharmacology of depression and anxiety, and serves on the graduate student thesis committee.

Dr. Du is also involved in medical student education, providing lectures on schizophrenia, and neurobiology of depression and anxiety. He began a two-year term as the secretary of the Philadelphia Psychiatric Society in 2018.


Janna Ataiants, DrPH, Co-Investigator

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Dr. Janna Ataiants is a Senior Research Scientist in the Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University. Her research examines how gender, social contexts, and marginalization shape drug use experiences.

Her recent projects focused on opioid overdose in Philadelphia, including the investigation of personal and witnessed overdose among vulnerable women, as well as the effects of a pilot app-based overdose prevention intervention - a project supported by the National Institute for Drug Abuse (PI: Prof. S.E. Lankenau).

For the last 5 years, she has been a research analyst for a NIDA-funded cohort study of young adult cannabis users in Los Angeles (PI: Prof. S. E. Lankenau) where she was involved in data analysis and manuscript development.

Dr. Ataiants is the Co-Investigator on the PA medical cannabis patient registry study funded by Agronomed (PI: Prof. S.E. Lankenau).


Ekaterina Fedorova, DrPH, Co-Investigator

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Dr. Ekaterina Fedorova is a Senior Research Scientist in the Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University. Her work included psychological counseling and research within HIV prevention cohort studies among opioid injectors in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Since 2013 she has been a part of a research team working on the National Institute on Drug Abuse funded longitudinal cohort study of young adult medical cannabis users in Los Angeles (PI: Prof. S.E. Lankenau) where she was involved in the survey instrument development, data collection, data management and analysis, and manuscripts development.

Dr. Fedorova is the Co-Investigator on the Pennsylvania medical cannabis patient registry study funded by Agronomed (PI: Prof. S.E. Lankenau).


Jim Seaberg, MPH, Assistant Director

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Jim Seaberg earned his MPH with a concentration in Healthcare Management and Policy at Drexel University and is a graduate of Susquehanna University.

He has worked in the medical cannabis industry since 2019, working in patient education and relations. Jim has also worked in relationship management for the banking and finance industry and has lived internationally in Spain and the UAE.

He is responsible for building and managing the community and scientific advisory boards for the MCRC and is designing an ongoing guest speaker series on medical cannabis. He is passionate about developing evidence-based policy initiatives to address issues of social justice, patient access, legalization, and public health related to cannabis.


Lyric Kleber, MPH, Project Manager

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Lyric Kleber earned his MPH from the University of Michigan in 2022 with a concentration in Health Behavior and Health Education, where he also obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health Sciences.

Previously, he was a clinical subjects coordinator on an opioid use disorder prevention study with the Department of Psychiatry at MIchigan Medicine. This study employed motivational interviewing strategies in an effort to modify substance use behavior of study participants in the emergency department setting. He has also worked in fundraising for higher education and healthcare systems.

Lyric is involved with managing the day-to-day procedures of the patient registry study (PI: Prof. S.E. Lankenau). He is particularly interested in the social justice impacts that medical cannabis research can have on marginalized communities.