Research Team

Professor Catriona Matheson

Professor Catriona Matheson is a Professor at the University of Stirling, and Chair of the Ministerial Drug Death Task Force for Scotland. Professor Matheson is also an independent research consultant and a Trustee of the Society for the Study of Addiction and Convenor of the Drugs Research Network Scotland (DRNS), based at University of Stirling. Her research interests are in the delivery of care to people who use drugs through generalist as well as specialist providers. Past research includes exploring new services in primary care (e.g. naloxone distribution) and exploring health professional and the general public’s opinions about drug treatment strategies. Current work includes innovative community pharmacy services, managing ageing and multi-morbidity in people who use drugs and dependence on prescribed and non-prescription analgesics.

Professor Alex Baldacchino

Alex is a Clinical Professor at the University of St Andrews School of Medicine and specialises in psychiatry and addiction medicine. He is an Executive Board Member and President to the International Society of Addiction Medicine (ISAM). His main research interest lies in improving the lives of individuals with a history of substance misuse problems. His research portofolio has a common thread of understanding the co-morbid conditions (physical and psychological) arising as a result of chronic abuse of pharmacological agents with dependence potential especially opioids and alcohol. He is interested in utilising informatics systems, clinical outcome data, neuropsychological and neuroimaging processes amongst many other possibilities in order to identify and minimise risks present in this population. He is also a  Senior Clinician working with NHS Fife Addiction Services and Director for Research, Development and Innovation (NHS Fife)

Professor Tessa Parkes

Professor Tessa Parkes is Director of the Salvation Army Centre for Addiction Services and Research at the University of Stirling. She is grantholder and Deputy Convenor of the Drugs Research Network Scotland. Professor Parkes has expertise in the field of drugs including harm reduction interventions and drugs death prevention, in alcohol interventions, drugs policy, homelessness/housing, mental health, and the intersection of social inequalities with all the above. Her research activity has centred on enhancing the experience of people who experience problems with alcohol or drugs when using health and substance use services, with a clear commitment to social justice, health equity, and advocacy for poorly served groups. Professor Parkes has experience as a front-line worker and manager, including in the health, social care and housing/homelessness sectors, and as a mental health nurse. She has experience of undertaking substance use / mental health research in England and Canada, as well as in Scotland, and is passionate about the potential of collaborative drugs research across institutions and sectors. She has experience of participating in a number of Scottish Government advisory structures for drugs and has been a member of Research England’s Equality and Diversity Panel (EDAP) since 2017.

Mr Joe Schofield

Joe spent the first 20 years of his career working in voluntary sector and NHS public health roles focussing on blood borne viruses and sexual health in Brighton, London and Glasgow. He completed a secondment to the World Health Organisation’s Global Hepatitis Team via the Scottish Government from 2014-2015 where he wrote the “Manual for the Development and Assessment of National Viral Hepatitis Plans” and co-organised the first World Hepatitis Summit.

From 2017-2020 Joe was National Research Coordinator for the Drugs Research Network for Scotland, based at the University of Stirling, which generated £3.61 million investment in collaborative, cross-agency Scottish drugs research.

In Sep 2020 he successfully completed a Master of Public Health at University of Stirling and is currently studying for an MSc in Applied Statistics (Health Science) at University of Strathclyde.

Since Oct 2020 Joe has been working as a Research Fellow in the Faculty of Social Science at the University of Stirling and is involved in a portfolio of studies focussing on understanding and addressing drug-related deaths in Scotland .

Dr Alberto Oteo Perez

Alberto is a clinical psychologist, with a Masters in Addictions with Complutense University of Madrid and a Masters in Healthcare Management with Pompeu Fabra University of Barcelona. He holds a PhD in Criminology with the University of Amsterdam, where he conducted research on the prevalence and characteristics of the population of crack cocaine users in the Netherlands.

He has worked at the Scientific Division of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) in Lisbon and currently works as project manager at the UK Focal Point on Drugs at Public Health England, conducting surveillance on indicators of drug use, drug harms and markets. He also coordinates the UK Early Warning System for new psychoactive substances. His research interests include social epidemiology, drug markets, drug policy analysis and health and social responses to drug problems.

Dr Hadi Daneshvar

Dr Daneshvar is a multidisciplinary researcher in the field of health informatics with particular interest in Information Systems, Co-production, digital health interventions and Social Media in health and care. He has also experience in research in the fields of Socio-Technical Systems, Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and Knowledge Management in digital/online environments for collaborative work purposes. He is a qualitative researcher with some experience in quantitative methods. He joined to the Salvation Army Centre for Addiction Services group as a Research Fellow at the Faculty of Social Science, the University of Stirling from February 2021. He leads workstreams “First Responder” and “Naloxboxes” of the Overdose Detection and Responder Alert Technologies (ODART) Project. He also works on Digital Inclusion project. Dr Daneshvar was post-doc research associate at School of medicine, the University of Dundee. He finished his PhD at the School of Informatics, the University of Edinburgh in 2019. He received an MSc on Business Information Technology from Edinburgh Napier University (Edinburgh, UK), prior to which he graduated with two undergraduate degrees in BSc in Information Systems (Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK) and Software Engineering.