- Postdoctoral Associate in Medicine (AIDS), Yale School of Public Health
Dr. Polonsy's career goal is to become an interdisciplinary researcher at the interface of decision sciences and public health. He completed his doctoral training in marketing and behavioral economics, and holds a graduate certificate in quantitative research methods in psychology. He is analytically skilled in multivariate analyses, multi-level modeling, longitudinal analyses, and structural equation modeling. Because of his expertise in behavioral statistics and marketing, he worked on a national CDC-funded study of alcohol advertising effects on youth drinking at a NIMH-funded Center for Health Intervention and Prevention at the University of Connecticut. The project addressed a continuing policy concern about whether to limit alcohol advertising to underage drinkers. From 2010 to present, he and his colleagues have been examining the effects of a model’s body size and pricing on advertising effectiveness, and body-related disturbances. This research resulted in two publications on which he was lead author.
His current position as a postdoctoral associate at Yale School of Medicine has allowed him to receive more exposure to public health, addiction medicine, and infectious diseases. Being awarded the NIH/Fogarty Global Health Equity Scholars (GHES) Fellowship for two consecutive years allowed him to focus on studying prejudice and skepticism toward change and on applying persuasion techniques to promote acceptability of opioid substitution therapy (OST) in the criminal justice setting. To address the existing negative attitudes held by Ukrainian prison staff toward OST (as well as intolerance toward people with AIDS and drug addiction), he successfully designed and tested an attitude change intervention, results of which are currently being used to design a larger OST-attitude intervention to reverse the negative attitudes about OST, thereby improving treatment acceptance, access, availability, and retention by both providers and patients alike.