IPPH Faculty Profile

Faculty Research

Dr. Johnson

J. Aaron Johnson, PhD

Interim Director, Institute of Public and Preventive Health
Assistant Division Chief, Health Services Research, Institute of Public and Preventive Health
Associate Professor, Department of Psychological Sciences
Associate Professor, School of Graduate Studies

Dr. Johnson’s research is focused on the implementation of evidence-based practices in substance abuse prevention and treatment. More recently, his research has incorporated technology as a means of enacting behavior change within this field.  

Dr. Johnson has published several validation studies of brief alcohol and/or drug screening tools for use in general medical settings as well as studies examining the implementation of alcohol and drug screening and brief intervention (SBI) in medical settings including primary care, emergency department, trauma unit, and urgent care.  He is the principal investigator of one training grant and the director of evaluation on 2 additional training grants funded by SAMHSA to provide alcohol and drug screening and brief intervention training to health professionals across many disciplines. These projects have resulted in several publications and numerous presentations describing the changes in knowledge, attitudes and behavior resulting from this training.

In addition to these training grants, Dr. Johnson is currently conducting a pilot study using an existing smartphone app, developed as a recovery support tool for alcoholics leaving addiction treatment, with recent parolees identified as high risk for substance use disorders. The intervention group receives a smartphone with app while the control group receives supervision as usual. Follow-ups conducted at 1, 3, and 6 months post-release will determine if the app reduces alcohol and drug use days.

Research Interests: Addiction/Substance Abuse, Behavior and Health, Evaluation, Health Education, Health Literacy, and Health Services Research

Curriculum Vitae


Madison Gates, PhD

Assistant Professor, Institute of Public and Preventive Health
Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine, Medical College of Georgia

Dr. Madison L. Gates has experience as a health services administrator for a statewide department of correction where he designed and conducted quality improvement projects and studies related to chronic conditions, infectious diseases, the provision of care, and information technology. Dr. Gates’ experience as a correctional health services administrator has provided context and background for his research. As a correctional health investigator, Dr. Gates focuses on aging issues and continuity of care for the population that is released from prison. The intersection among social determinants, changes in weight (primarily obesity), and chronic conditions in regard to older prisoners is the primary focus of Dr. Gates’ aging research. Related to aging, Dr. Gates is also interested in the state of health among aging offenders who are released from prison and transitional services (prison-to-community) that maintain or enhance their health.

Research Interests: Aging/Older Adults, Behavior and Health, Correctional Health, Health Informatics, Health Services Research, Incarceration, Longitudinal Analysis, and Social Determinants of Health

Curriculum Vitae


Becky Stone, DrPH

Assistant Professor, Institute of Public and Preventive Health
Assistant Professor, College of Education – Kinesiology

Dr. Stone has utilized her public health education, experience in infection control and epidemiology, and training in the clinical laboratory sciences to build her research expertise in infectious disease and quality improvement. These experiences are a natural segue into research focused on risk factors associated with hospital-acquired infections and ways to improve patient safety and health outcomes in bone marrow transplant recipients and sickle cell disease.

Research Interests: Antibiotic Resistance, Clinical Research, Data Mining, Epidemiology, Health Outcomes, Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs), Infectious Diseases, Translational Research, and Quality Improvement Processes


Nancy Webb, PhD

Division Chief, Education and Program Development, Institute of Public and Preventive Health
Professor, Department of Pediatrics
Professor, School of Graduate Studies
Director, Augusta University Child Care Center

Dr. Webb’s area of expertise is in early childhood education and child development. Her research revolves around environments for young children. Currently, she is studying factors that impact school readiness in Georgia's Quality Rated Centers by identifying aspects of Georgia child care program most critical to children’s school readiness and those most susceptible to intervention.

Research Interests: Adolescent Health/Child Health and Human Development and Family Sciences

Curriculum Vitae


Wonsuk Yoo, PhD

Assistant Division Chief, Data Coordinating Center, Institute of Public and Preventive Health
Associate Professor, Institute of Public and Preventive Health
Associate Professor, Dental College of Georgia
Associate Professor, College of Nursing, Department of Physiological and Technological Nursing

Dr. Yoo has extensive range of both collaborative and methodological research experience in health science and medical research. His research is mainly focused on developing biostatistical tools and methodologies that utilize complex and large amount of data to predict the risk of complex human diseases such as Cancer, Cardiovascular Diseases, and Mental Health. His research interests include developing risk score predictive modelling, EpiGenomics approach to assess the effects of multiple polymorphisms using nonparametric data-mining methods for detecting important SNPs interactions and Environmental factors, developing statistical modeling for longitudinal biomarkers on early detection, and Meta-analysis.

Research Interests: Biostatistics, Data Science, Epigenetics and Epigenomics, Longitudinal Analysis, Modeling, Research Methods, Risk Assessment, and Statistical Modeling