01/2021 – Present
Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Little rock, Ar
In January 2021, Dr. Fairman started as an assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). His current research continues to follow along examining the intersection of tobacco and marijuana with work focusing on features of cigar products (e.g., types and flavors) associated with blunt smoking. Further, he is interested in studying clinical outcomes among medical marijuana patients including changes in opioid prescribing and maternal-child outcomes.
08/2019 – 11/2020
Scientific Program Manager (Kelly Government Solutions) at the National Institute on Drug Abuse
In August 2019, Dr. Fairman started working for Kelly Government Solutions as a contractor at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Rockville, MD. He was part of the team administering and overseeing the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study, which “is a collaboration between the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Center for Tobacco Products (CTP), Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It was launched in 2011 to inform FDA’s regulatory activities under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. The PATH Study is an ongoing longitudinal cohort study on tobacco use behavior, attitudes and beliefs, and tobacco-related health outcomes.” His research during this time focused again on blunt smoking by examining the role blunts might play in the risk of initiating other tobacco products, such as cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and cigars (paper in submission).
09/2016 – 08/2019
Post-Doctoral Training at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
In September 2016, Dr. Fairman was accepted into the post-doctoral program in the Social and Behavioral Sciences Branch (SBSB) of the Division of Intramural Population Health Research (DIPHR) within the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). There, Dr. Fairman expanded his focus on understanding the potential environmental and early determinants of alcohol and other substance use in adolescence and adulthood. His research has shown how state alcohol policies, taxes, and neighborhood availability of alcohol outlets are related to binge drinking trajectories into early adulthood (link) and how exposure to neighborhood disadvantage, crime, and outlets affect risk differently in adolescence vs. adulthood (link). Focusing on early childhood determinants, his work has examined the role of cognitive, behavior, and emotional development at age 7 years predicts transition through stages of tobacco, alcohol, and drug use through dependence and remission (paper in submission).
07/2014 – 06/2016
Post-Doctoral Training at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Medicine
In July 2014, Dr. Fairman moved to Baltimore, MD to accept a post-doctoral position in the NIH/NIDA-supported Drug Dependence Epidemiology Training (DDET) program at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH) under its program director at the time, Dr. C. Debra Furr-Holden. Dr. Fairman’s primary faculty advisors during this period were Drs. Renee M. Johnson (who would later take over as DDET director in 2016) and Brion Maher. As a post-doctoral trainee, Dr. Fairman gained valuable additional training from DDET faculty in statistical methods (Dr. Elizabeth Stuart), substance use epidemiology (Drs. Johnson and Furr-Holden), psychiatric genetic epidemiology (Drs. Maher and Peter Zandi), and manuscript writing (Dr. Tamar Mendelson).
Dr. Fairman’s research during this period continued to focus on cannabis epidemiology with an emphasis on the health effects of emerging cannabis preparations and modes of use, such as the tobacco-cannabis formulation known as blunts, and the impact of recent policy changes in medical marijuana use in the US. This work resulted in four first-authored publications, three co-authored publications, and presentations of his work at conferences such as the College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD, 2015-2016) and Society for Prevention Research (SPR, 2015-2016). He was awarded the Early Career Preventionists Network Travel Scholarship Award for SPR twice (2015 & 2016), the Early Career Investigator Travel Award for CPDD (2015), and the NIDA Director’s Travel Award for CPDD (2016). In December 2015, Dr. Fairman gave a 90 min talk entitled, Trends in Medical Marijuana Participation within the Changing Policy Environment, as part of the Centennial Seminar Series for the Department of Mental Health at JHSPH.
2009 – 2014
Pre-Doctoral Training at Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI
In March of 2009, Dr. Fairman began his Ph.D. graduate studies in epidemiology at Michigan State University as a pre-doctoral fellow in the NIH/NIDA T32 Drug Dependence Epidemiology training program directed by James C. (Jim) Anthony, who also served as Dr. Fairman’s primary advisor. His early research focused on demographic and other correlates of past-month tobacco frequency among nationally representative samples and early- vs. adult-onset marijuana use and later depression. His Ph.D. dissertation examined how combining tobacco and marijuana in the form of “blunts” might contribute to differences in the severity of cannabis use disorder, how cannabis might influence the severity of mood-related impairments among those with recent depression, and the degree to which a rapid transition from opportunity to use of cannabis predicts onset of cannabis dependence.
2008 and Earlier
Undergraduate and Post-Undergraduate Work
East Lansing, MI
Dr. Fairman is a Michigan-born native from Port Huron, Michigan. After high school, he attended St. Clair County Community College before transferring to his alma mater, Michigan State University in 2001. He had an early interest in understanding human physical and mental health, majoring in human biology and psychology, and earning bachelor degrees in both in 2005. He then when on to work briefly for the Association for Child Development and the American Red Cross, before finally taking a position as research assistant in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at MSU in 2008. Under the supervision of Professor James C. (Jim) Anthony, he worked assisted on several projects, including research related to early-onset marijuana use and depression among cross-national epidemiologic samples from the World Health Organization (WHO) World Mental Health Survey Initiative. This resulted in his first co-authored publication. A year later, he was accepted into the Ph.D. program in the Department of Epidemiology (now Epidemiology and Biostatistics) in the College of Human Medicine at MSU.