Faculty Mentors

Ricky Bluthenthal, PhD

Professor of Population and Public Health Sciences
Associate Dean for Social Justice

Institute for Health Promotion & Disease Prevention

Keck School of Medicine
University of Southern California

Dr. Ricky N. Bluthenthal is the Associate Dean for Social Justice and Vice Chair for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and a Professor in the Department of Population and Public Health Sciences and the Institute for Prevention Research in the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. He received a BA in History and Sociology from the University of California Santa Cruz and a MA and PhD in sociology from the University of California Berkeley. His research has established the effectiveness of syringe exchange programs, tested novel interventions and strategies to reduce HIV risk and improve HIV testing among injection drug users and men who have sex with men, documented how community conditions contribute to health disparities, and examined health policy implementation. His current studies include an observational cohort study of how cannabis legalization impacts use patterns and health outcomes of cannabis and opioids among people who inject drugs and a randomized controlled trial to test the efficacy of a single session intervention to reduce injection initiation risk behaviors among established people who inject drugs. Dr. Bluthenthal has authored or co-authored over 170 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals such as the American Journal of Public Health, Social Science and Medicine, The Lancet, Addiction, and Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research among others.

Selected Publications:

Bluthenthal, R. N. (2021). Structural racism and violence as social determinants of health: Conceptual, methodological and intervention challenges. Drug and alcohol dependence, 222, 108681. PMID: 33757711.

Bluthenthal, R. N., Simpson, K., Ceasar, R. C., Zhao, J., Wenger, L., & Kral, A. H. (2020). Opioid withdrawal symptoms, frequency, and pain characteristics as correlates of health risk among people who inject drugs. Drug and alcohol dependence, 211, 107932. PMID: 32199668;PMCID: PMC7259345.

Williams, J. E., Dangerfield, D. T., Kral, A. H., Wenger, L. D., & Bluthenthal, R. N. (2018). Correlates of sexual coercion among people who inject drugs (PWID) in Los Angeles and San Francisco, CA. Journal of urban health, 1-8. PMID: 29616449;PMCID: PMC6565779.