Dr. Jessica Magidson is an Associate Professor in the Clinical area in the Department of Psychology and is the Director of CESAR: Center for Substance Use And Health Research in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (BSOS). 

Before coming to UMD, she was an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School and Staff Psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, where she worked since 2012. She received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from University of Maryland College Park and completed her predoctoral clinical internship in Behavioral Medicine and postdoctoral fellowship in Global Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. 

Her program of research focuses on how to expand the reach of evidence-based behavioral interventions to address substance use in underserved settings in the US and sub-Saharan Africa. Her research team focuses on questions central to global mental health, implementation science, and addiction treatment, including evaluating how evidence-based interventions can be feasibly delivered using task sharing models using peers and sustainably integrated into underserved, community-based clinical settings. She is currently the PI of seven NIH-funded trials to evaluate peer and community health worker-delivered behavioral interventions to improve substance use and other health outcomes locally and globally in sub-Saharan Africa. 

Active Projects

Dr. Magidson is leading several trials funded by the NIH HEAL Initiative in partnership with University of Maryland School of Medicine evaluating peer-delivered interventions to improve retention in treatment for opioid use disorder, including (1) among low-income, minority individuals in Baltimore (R33DA057747) and (2) in rural areas of Maryland via a telemedicine-enabled mobile treatment unit (R01DA057443). She is also leading a trial in partnership with University of Cape Town "Project Khanya" (R01DA056102) to evaluate a stepped-care, peer-delivered intervention to improve HIV medication adherence and substance use in primary care in Cape Town, South Africa. 

Other NIH-funded projects focus on how to train community health workers in South Africa to reduce stigma around substance use and mental health to improve engagement in TB and HIV care (R34MH122268), and how to develop a peer recovery coach model in HIV care in South Africa to reduce substance use stigma among providers and improve patient engagement in care (R21DA053212). She is also leading a study in collaboration with Michigan State University funded by the Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts (FORE) to evaluate and disseminate training for peer recovery coaches working to support low-income, minority individuals with substance use in Detroit.  

Her research program aims to foster bidirectional learning between ongoing research in sub-Saharan Africa and local collaborations in Maryland to improve the treatment of addiction and its impact on physical health comorbidities in underserved clinical settings globally. 

Areas of Interest

  • Global mental health
  • Addiction science
  • Implementation science
  • Diversity science
  • HIV/AIDS and behavioral medicine
  • Behavioral interventions and mindfulness-based approaches
  • Task sharing/peer-delivered approaches

Doctoral Programs

  • Clinical


  • PhD
    University of Maryland College Park
  • BA
    Dartmouth College

Current Students

Related Students (Listed by Student on Student's Profile)

  • Morgan Anvari
  • Mary Kleinman
  • Kristen Regenauer
  • Alexandra (Alix) Rose
Jessica Magidson
1147B Biology-Psychology
Department of Psychology
jmagidso [at] umd.edu