UMSI students score high in NIDA challenge

Students and faculty from the School of Information were among the team members awarded second place in a competition sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The “Addiction Research: There’s an App for That” challenge was to create a mobile app that could be used by addiction researchers to better understand drug use and addiction.

The app design required a method to allow researchers to engage “citizen scientists” and to recruit a large and varied number of willing study participants, present informed-consent materials, and collect data frequently on a broad range of variables. In response, the team developed the Substance Abuse Research Assistant (SARA).

Team members were U-M undergraduate students Steven Zeng and Joshua Song, master of science in information students Amy Afonso and Wan-Ting Lin, and master of health informatics student Andy Lee (team leader). UMSI assistant professor Pedja Klasnja served as one of the group’s faculty mentors. 

The second place award earned the team a prize of $25,000.

Posted August 9, 2016