Faculty and staff

The Institute for Drug and Alcohol Studies includes several administrative faculty and staff who are directly supported, at least in part, by IDAS funds. Over 40 faculty members have a primary department appointment, but also are affiliated with the Institute; many of them are nationally recognized for their contributions to the field of substance abuse research.


Institute for Drug and Alcohol Studies

  • F. Gerard Moeller, M.D.

    F. Gerard Moeller, MD
    Director, Institute for Drug and Alcohol Studies
    Virginia Commonwealth University
  • J. Randy Koch, Ph.D.
    Executive Director

    KochJ. Randy Koch, Ph.D.
    Executive director
    Institute for Drug and Alcohol Studies
    P.O. Box 980310
    Richmond, VA 23298
    Phone: (804) 828-8633
    Fax: (804) 828-7862
    E-mail: jrkoch@vcu.edu

    J. Randy Koch, Ph.D. is the executive director of the Institute for Drug and Alcohol Studies (IDAS), the associate coordinator for the VCU Humphrey Fellowship Program and an associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Community Health at Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. Koch earned his doctorate in community psychology at Michigan State University in 1985. Prior to joining VCU in 2003, he was the Director of Research and Evaluation for the Virginia Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation, and Substance Abuse Services, a position he held since 1989. Dr. Koch is a member of several national committees and work groups including, the Outcomes Roundtable for Children and Families, SAMHSA Task Force on Co-occurring Disorders Performance Measures, and the Forum on Performance Measures in Behavioral Healthcare and Related Service Systems, Dr. Koch has conducted research in university, state government and private-for-profit organizations. His research interests are primarily in addiction health services research, including adolescent substance abuse, the etiology and prevention of youth tobacco use, program performance and outcome measurement, and the dissemination of science-based interventions.

  • Alison B. Breland, Ph.D.
    Senior Research Associate

    Breland Alison B. Breland, Ph.D.
    Senior Research Associate
    Institute for Drug and Alcohol Studies
    Virginia Commonwealth University
    PO Box 980310
    Richmond, VA    23298
    Phone:  (804) 628-2300
    Fax:  (804) 828-7862
    E-mail:  abbrelan@vcu.edu

    Alison Breland, PhD is a Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Drug and Alcohol Studies (IDAS) at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Dr. Breland earned her doctorate in experimental psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University in 2005, where she conducted research on “potential reduced exposure products” (PREPs) for tobacco users. Prior to joining IDAS in 2007, Dr. Breland conducted research on alcoholism at the University of Virginia, taught at VCU and John Tyler Community College, and managed projects at Richmond Behavioral Health Authority.  Dr. Breland’s current research interests include adolescent tobacco use and cessation, tobacco use among those in recovery from substance abuse disorders, and the use of evidence-based practices for substance abuse treatment in community settings.

  • Danielle Terrell, MS
    Administrative Director

    Danielle Terrell, MS
    Administrative Director, Institute for Drug and Alcohol Studies
    Box 980310
    Richmond, VA 23298
    Phone: (804) 828-8635
    Fax: (804) 828-7862
    E-mail: dterrell@vcu.edu


    Danielle Terrell, MS, is the Administrative Director of the Institute for Drug and Alcohol Studies. Terrell earned her MS from the International Programme in Addiction Studies through Virginia Commonwealth University, Kings College of London and the University of Adelaide in 2011. Prior to joining IDAS in 2013, Terrell held research and administrative positions in the HIV/AIDS Center and Department of Psychiatry at VCU.

  • L. Dwight Hedges, MA
    Assistant Coordinator, Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program

    L. Dwight Hedges
    Institute for Drug and Alcohol Studies
    Box 980344

    L. Dwight Hedges is the Assistant Coordinator of the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program. He earned his B.S. in Behavioral Sciences from Southwest University in Bolivar, MO in 1991. He earned his Masters Degree in Education from Midwestern University in Kansas City, MO in 1996.  Hedges has over 20 years of administrative experience working in a variety of settings. Much of his time has been spent working with high school and college students, organizing educational activities and working with group team building dynamics. He has extensive experience administering and leading retreats, and organizing trips in the United States as well as overseas.

  • Lauretta A. Cathers, M.S.W.
    Research Associate

    Lauretta A. Cathers, M.S.W.

    Research Associate


    Cathers is a research associate at the Institute. Prior to joining the Institute, she worked for VCU’s Community Health Research Initiative (CHRI) as a research associate and HIV program coordinator.  During her 10 years at CHRI, Cathers coordinated community-based research in HIV prevention and care. Recently, she coordinated the Chesterfield site location of a National Institute on Drug Abuse clinical trial network protocol on rapid HIV testing. Safford is currently enrolled in the VCU School of Allied Health Professions’ doctoral program in health related sciences concentrating in rehabilitation counseling.  Her primary research interests include HIV, substance abuse and mental health.  She will be taking a leadership role for the VCU node of the NIDA-supported Clinical Trials Network and conducting other research and development with the Addiction and Women’s Health: Advancing Research and Evaluation (AWHARE) program.

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