A graphic for the 2024 reimagine Health Research Symposium

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Symposium Objective

The 6th Annual reimagine Health Research Symposium, Opioids: How the Science of Pain Management and Addiction Can Impact Abuse, concerns the approximately 50 million people in the U.S. that live with chronic pain, as well as the 140 people that die each day in the U.S. from opioid overdoses.

In Arizona alone, there are more than 1,900 deaths from opioid overdoses each year, and the numbers are increasing by nearly 10% per year. The main objective of the 6th Annual reimagine Health Research Symposium is to learn the most recent scientific and medical advances that have been made in our understanding of pain; how we can better manage it for those who suffer from chronic pain; and how discoveries of the molecular mechanisms of addiction can inform the treatment of opioid abuse, alleviating deaths from opioid overdose.


The reimagine Health Research Symposium is co-sponsored and planned by the Arizona Biomedical Research Centre, the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix Research Office and the Flinn Foundation.


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Keynote Speaker

Andrew Kolodny, MD
​​​Andrew Kolodny, MDSenior Scientist and Medical Director,
Opioid Policy Research Collaborative
Institute for Behavioral Health
Schneider Institutes for Health Policy & Research
Heller School for Social Policy & Management
Brandeis University

​​​​​Presenting: Responding to the Opioid Crisis: An Epidemic of Addiction.

Dr. Andrew Kolodny is one of the nation's leading experts on the prescription opioid and heroin crisis. His primary area of focus is the prescription opioid and heroin crisis devastating families and communities across the country. Dr. Kolodny's testimony before for the United States Congress is available here. 

Dr. Kolodny has been serving as an expert witness on behalf of state governments in litigation against opioid manufacturers, distributors and retailers. These efforts have resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in settlement funds and have helped raise awareness about the role the defendants played in causing the opioid crisis. 

He is currently the President of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP) and Vice President – Federal Affairs for Responsible Opioid Prescribing, an organization with a mission to reduce morbidity and mortality caused by overprescribing of opioid analgesics.

Dr. Kolodny previously served as Chief Medical Officer for Phoenix House, a national nonprofit addiction treatment agency and Chair of Psychiatry at Maimonides Medical Center in New York City. Dr. Kolodny has a long-standing interest in public health. He began his career working for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in the Office of the Executive Deputy Commissioner. For New York City, he helped develop and implement multiple programs to improve the health of New Yorkers and save lives, including citywide buprenorphine programs, naloxone overdose prevention programs and emergency room-based screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment (SBIRT) programs for drug and alcohol misuse.

Featured Speakers

Wilson Compton, MD, MPE

Presenting: Drug Addiction Science and the U.S. Overdose Epidemic.

Wilson Compton, MD, MPEWilson M. Compton, MD, MPE, is deputy director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) of the National Institutes of Health, where he has worked since 2002. Dr. Compton received his undergraduate education at Amherst College and medical education, including psychiatry training, at Washington University in St. Louis.

Over his career, Dr. Compton has authored over 250 publications and often speaks at high-impact venues. He was a member of DSM-5’s Revision Task Force and has led, for NIDA, development of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study, jointly sponsored by NIDA and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), with 45,971 participants.

Dr. Compton has received multiple awards, including FDA awards for collaboration in 2012, 2013 and 2017, and the Health and Human Services Secretary’s Awards for Meritorious Service in 2013 and Distinguished Service in 2015, 2018 and 2019.

Maria Manriquez, M.D., FACOG, FASAM, PMH-C

Presenting: Success in Pain and Addiction Treatment: Overcoming Barriers to Care.

Maria Manriquez, MD, FACOG, FASAM, PMH-CMaria Manriquez, MD, FACOG, FASAM, PMH-C, is an obstetrician-gynecologist who specializes in care for women with substance use disorders and perinatal mental health. She is board certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology and Addiction Medicine. She is also certified in Perinatal Mental Health by Perinatal Support International. She graduated from the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson and did her postgraduate training in OB/GYN at Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix.

Dr. Manriquez is a current member of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) FASD group. This group is committed to educating fellow OB/GYNs on the risks associated with alcohol and other substances in pregnancy.

She is a member of the American Society of Addiction Medicine and their Women’s and Substance Use Disorder Interest Group. Locally she is a member of the Maricopa County Safe Healthy Infants and Families Thrive (SHIFT) collaborative task force; the task force’s work focuses on optimizing the health of mothers and babies and keeping families together. She is medical director for ambulatory addiction medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, and the Halle Empower and Affirmation Legacy (HEAL) intensive outpatient program.

John Streicher, Ph.D.

Presenting: Targeting the Signal Transduction Cascades of the Mu Opioid Receptor in Order to Improve Opioid Therapy.

John Streicher, Ph.D. John Streicher, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Arizona. He earned his PhD in Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Physiology in 2009 from the University of California – Los Angeles, and finished his postdoctoral fellowship at The Scripps Research Institute in 2012. As faculty at the University of New England and now the University of Arizona, he has built a research program focused on the molecular signal transduction mechanisms of the opioid and cannabinoid receptors during pain. His ultimate goal is to develop new classes of analgesic drugs without the harmful side effects of opioids, such as addiction.

Todd Vanderah, PhD

Presenting: New Avenues in the Treatment of Chronic Pain.

Todd Vanderah, PhDDr. Vanderah is a Regent’s Professor and Chair of Pharmacology, as well as a Joint Professor in the Departments of Neurology and Anesthesiology at The University of Arizona, College of Medicine, in Tucson. He is the Director of the Comprehensive Pain and Addiction Center in the Health Sciences, co-directs the MD/PhD Program, and has been appointed to the Human Health and Services, as a Member of the Pain Research Coordinating Committee of the National Institutes of Health.

He has authored over 200 original research articles, 3 Human Neuroscience books, and 2 Pharmacology textbooks, and has had continual NIH funding for the past 20 years. He has taught at the UArizona medical school for over 20 years and earned 29 teaching awards.

He is an author on several patents and has made great efforts in reaching out to the community to help educate in areas of substance use disorder and chronic pain. He is the Principle Investigator on two Paraprofessional Programs funded by the Health Resource and Service Administration that train individuals across the State of AZ to help families and individuals with Substance Use Disorder.

His research interests include mechanisms of cancer pain, opioid use disorder, cannabinoid pharmacology, neuronal integration in pain pathways, neurochemical release during conditions of neuropathy, neuronal plasticity, and addiction, as well as the discovery of novel targets for new medications and therapies to help in substance use disorder and chronic pain.


For questions about the symposium or to become symposium sponsor, please contact the Research Office.

Planning Committee

  • John S. Garcia, MBA, CPM – Program Director, Arizona Biomedical Research Centre, Arizona Department of Health Services.
  • Pamela Garcia-Filion, PhD, MPH – Associate Research Scientist, University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix.
  • Chris Glembotski, PhD – Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Director, Translational Cardiovascular Research Center, and Associate Dean, Research, University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix.
  • Maria Manriquez, MD, FACOG – Director, Pipeline Admissions Program and UME Addiction Medicine Education, University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix.
  • Mary O’Reilly, PhD – Vice President, Bioscience Research Programs, Flinn Foundation.
  • Claire Pascavis, MBA – Program Coordinator, Sr., University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix.
  • Shenfeng Qiu, MD, PhD – Associate Professor, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix.
  • Bernadine Sadauskas, MS, CRA – Director of Operations, University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix.
  • Shalini Sharma, PhD – Associate Professor, Basic Medical Sciences and Associate Professor, Clinical Translational Sciences.
  • Victor Waddell, PhD – Executive Director, Arizona Biomedical Research Centre.
  • Marina Avila – Program Coordinator, University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix.

Photos from the Event

Victor Waddell and Andrew Kolodny
Victor Waddell, PhD with the ABRC and keynote speaker, Andrew Kolodny, MD

Panel discussion
Panel discussion with Todd Vanderah, PhD and Andrew Kolodny, MD

John Streicher presenting
John Streicher, PhD presenting: Targeting the Signal Transduction Cascades of the Mu Opioid Receptor in Order to Improve Opioid Therapy

Maria Manriquez
Maria Manriquez, MD, FACOG, FASAM, PMH-C acknowledges the Banner-University Medicine Pain and Addiction Institute Team

Chris Glembotski
Chris Glembotski, PhD speaks to symposium attendees

Maria Manriquez
Maria Manriquez, MD, FACOG, FASAM, PMH-C presenting: Success in Pain and Addiction Treatment: Overcoming Barriers to Care

Keynote speaker, Andrew Kolodny
Keynote speaker, Andrew Kolodny, MD presenting: Responding to the Opioid Crisis: An Epidemic of Addiction

Panel discussion
Panel discussion with Andrew Kolodny, MD, Maria Manriquez, MD, FACOG, FASAM, PMH-C and John Streicher, PhD