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Battelle Expands Center for Public Health Research


Posted on Jun 20, 2017

New Center Will Focus on Tobacco, Marijuana and Opioid Use Research

COLUMBUS, Ohio (June 20, 2017)—Battelle announced today the expansion of its public health research center beyond tobacco to include research on the physical and behavioral effects of other substances, notably marijuana and opioids.

The new Battelle Public Health Center for Substance Use Research deploys the world’s best researchers, technologies and methods to help understand the effects of tobacco, marijuana and opioids on users, as well as evaluate potential trends and usage patterns among specific demographics or communities. Battelle’s team includes leading experts in behavioral science, analytical and physical chemistry, pharmacology, psychology, toxicology and related disciplines.

“As concerns grow about opioids, marijuana becomes more readily available and new tobacco products like e-cigarettes gain traction, we realized that there are critical public health questions to answer,” said Joe Berger, Battelle’s General Manager of Health and Consumer Solutions. “The Battelle Public Health Center for Substance Use will conduct science-based research to address these issues, building on more than 50 years of experience in tobacco research, from measuring the impact of second-hand smoke to understanding the triggers that prompt smokers to light up.”

To support the expanded research effort, Battelle recently hired Scott Novak, PhD, as a Senior Research Scientist and Research Director for Substance Abuse. His extensive research has focused on opioid abuse and medical marijuana. Novak will lead Battelle’s research on opioid use while Erica Peters, PhD, Principle Research Scientist, will lead research on the health and behavioral effects of marijuana. Jennifer Potts, Director of Tobacco Research, will continue to direct Battelle’s research on tobacco, including e-cigarettes and other nicotine products.

About Battelle

Every day, the people of Battelle apply science and technology to solving what matters most. At major technology centers and national laboratories around the world, Battelle conducts research and development, designs and manufactures products, and delivers critical services for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio since its founding in 1929, Battelle serves the national security, health and life sciences, and energy and environmental industries. For more information, visit 

Media Contacts

For more information contact Katy Delaney at (614) 424-7208 or, or T.R. Massey at (614) 424-5544 or

Media Contacts

Katy Delaney
Director, Media Relations
Office: 1.614.424.7208

T.R. Massey

Senior Media Specialist
Office: 1.614.424.5544