Obasi Twitter

University of Houston
Professor | Associate Dean for Research, COE | Director, HEALTH Research Institute


A. Educational Background

  • 2000 - B.S., Physics, University of CAlifornia, IrvinE

  • 2002 - M.A., Counseling Psychology, THe Ohio State University

  • 2005 - Ph.D., Counseling Psychology, The Ohio State University

    • Internship, Harvard Medical School: McLean Hospital

B. Positions

  • 2018-Present: Professor; Psychological, Health, & Learning Sciences (PHLS), UH​

  • 2016-Present: Director; HEALTH Research Institute; UH

  • 2016-Present: Associate Dean for Research; College of Education, UH

  • 2014-2016: Department Chair; Psychological, Health, & Learning Sciences (PHLS); UH

  • 2012-Present: Associate ProfessorPsychological, Health, & Learning Sciences (PHLS), UH

  • 2010-2012: Associate Professor; Counseling & Human Development Services (CHDS), UGA

  • 2008-2010: Assistant Professor; Counseling & Human Development Services (CHDS), UGA

  • 2005-2008: Assistant ProfessorDepartment of Psychology; SIU - Carbondale

C. Recent Grant Funding

  1. ​Taking Texas Tobacco Free: Increasing tobacco cessation in substance use treatment centers via an evidence-based, comprehensive tobacco-free workplace program (PP170070). Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas. Co-Investigator. 2017-2020. Awarded: $1,348,851. (PI: Lorraine Reitzel)

  2. Project Pride: Intervention to reduce HIV risk in young sexual minority men (R21DA041250). NIH: National Institute on Drug Abuse, R21, Bethesda, MD. Co-Investigator. 2017 – 2019. Awarded: $418,877. (PI: Nathan Smith)

  3. A community collaborative for preventing and treating obesity in underserved communities in Houston (1667). United Health Foundation, Washington, DC. Multiple Principal Investigator. 2016 – 2019. Awarded: $2,000,000.

  4. Supporting early career and minority drug abuse research at the APA convention (R13DA038955). NIH: National Institute on Drug Abuse, R13. Bethesda, MD. Principal Investigator. 2016 – 2019. Awarded: $75,000.

  5. Vulnerability to drug use and HIV: Advancing prevention for rural African Americans (P30DA027827). NIH: National Institute on Drug Abuse, P30. Bethesda, MD. Co-Investigator (Subcontract PI). 2014 – 2019. Total Cost: $4,644,929. (Co-Investigator and PI on qualifying R01; PI: Gene Brody).

  6. Stress and drug use vulnerability in the African American Community (R01DA034739). NIH: National Institute on Drug Abuse, R01. Bethesda, MD. Principal Investigator. 2013 – 2017. Awarded: $2,525,288.

  7. Transdisciplinary center focused on rural African American families (P30DA027827). NIH: National Institute on Drug Abuse, P30. Bethesda, MD. Co-Investigator. 2009 – 2014. Awarded: $4,408,638.

  8. Stress and drug use vulnerability in rural African Americans (R03DA027481). NIH: National Institute on Drug Abuse, R03. Bethesda, MD. Principal Investigator. 2009 – 2012. Awarded: $471,683.

D. Selected Publications

  1. Gough, M., Graviss, E., Chen, T-A., Obasi, E., May, E. (In Press). Compounding Effect of Vitamin D3 Diet, Supplementation, and Alcohol Exposure on Macrophage Response to Mycobacterium Infection. Tuberculosis.

  2. Steers, M. L. N., Chen, T. A., Neisler, J., Obasi, E. M., McNeill, L. H., & Reitzel, L. R. (In Press). The buffering effect of social support on the relationship between discrimination and psychological distress among church-going African-American adults. Behaviour research and therapy.

  3. Wrighting, Q., Reitzel, L. R., Chen, T-A., Kendzor, D. E., Hernandez, D. C., Obasi, E. M., Shree, S. Businelle, M. S. (In Press). Characterizing Discrimination Experiences by Race Among Homeless Adults. American Journal of Health Behavior.

  4. Neisler, J., Shree, S., Reitzel, L. R., Chen, T. A., Kendzor, D. E., Obasi, E. M., ... & Businelle, M. S. (2019). Characterizing Alcohol Use Behaviors among Homeless Men and Women. American journal of health behavior, 43(1), 37-49.

  5. *Brooks, J. J., & Obasi, E. M. (2018). Alcohol use in context. A psychosocial investigation of drinking behaviors in a diverse community sample in the United States. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 16(5), 1174-1188.

  6. Mountcastle, H. D., Park, S. H., Al-Ajlouni, Y. A., Goedel, W. C., Cook, S., Lupien, S., Obasi, E. M., ... & Duncan, D. T. (2018). Stress levels are associated with poor sleep health among sexual minority men in Paris, France. Sleep health, 4(5), 436-441.

  7. Obasi, E. M., Shirtcliff, E., *Cavanagh, L., *Ratliff, K. L., *Pittman, D. M., & *Brooks, J. J. (2017). Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Reactivity to Acute Stress: An Investigation into the Roles of Perceived Stress and Family Resources. Prevention Science, 18(8), 923-931.

  8. Obasi, E. M., Tackett, J. L., Shirtcliff, E. A., & *Cavanagh, L. (2017). The effects of alcohol and cigarette consumption on dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) in rural African Americans. Journal of Black Psychology, 43(6), 588-607.

  9. *Pittman, D. M., *Brooks, J. J., Kaur, P., & Obasi, E. M. (2017). The cost of minority stress: Risky drinking behavior and coping motivated alcohol use in Black college students. Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse, 14, 1-22.

  10. *Pittman, D. M., Kim, S. C., Hunter, C. D., Obasi, E. M. (2017). The Role of Minority Stress in Second-Generation Black Emerging Adults’ High-Risk Drinking Behaviors. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 23(3), 445-455.

  11. Reitzel, L. R., Childress, S. D., Obasi, E. M., Garey, L., Vidrine, D. J., McNeill, L. H., & Zvolensky, M. J. (2017). Interactive effects of anxiety sensitivity and subjective social status on psychological symptomatology in Black adults. Behavioral Medicine, 43(4), 268-276.

  12. Reitzel, L. R., Smith, N. G., Obasi, E. M., Forney, M., & Leventhal, A. M. (2017). Perceived distress tolerance accounts for the covariance between discrimination experiences and anxiety symptoms among sexual minority adults. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 48, 22-27.

  13. Shirtcliff, E. A., Skinner, M. L., Obasi, E. M., & Haggerty, K. P. (2017). Positive parenting predicts calibration of cortisol functioning six years later in young adults. Developmental Science, 20(6), e12461.

  14. Smith, N. G., Winderman, K., King, B., Obasi, E. M., & Reitzel, L. R. (2017). The association of lesbian, gay, and bisexual identity facets with smoking dependence motives. Nicotine and Tobacco Research, 20(3), 388-392.

  15. Obasi, E. M., *Brooks, J. J., & *Cavanagh, L. (2016). The relationship between psychological distress, negative cognitions, and expectancies on problem drinking: Exploring a growing problem among university students. Behavior Modification, 40(1-2), 51-69.

  16. Obasi, E. M., *Cavanagh, L., *Pittman, D. M., & *Brooks, J. J. (2016). Effects of evaluative context in implicit cognitions associated with alcohol and violent behaviors. Addictive Behaviors Reports, 3, 48-55.

  17. Reitzel, L. R., Okamoto, H., Hernandez, D. C., Regan, S. D., McNeill, L. H., & Obasi, E. M. (2016). The built food environment and dietary intake among African-American adults. American Journal of Health Behavior, 40, 3-11. 

  18. *Cavanagh, L., & Obasi, E. M. (2015). The moderating role of implicit alcohol-related cognitions in hazardous alcohol use. Addiction Research & Theory, 23(5), 380-390.

  19. El-Behadli, A. F., Sharp, C., Hughes, S. O., Obasi, E. M., & Nicklas, T. A. (2015). Maternal depression, stress and feeding styles: Towards a framework for theory and research in child obesity. British Journal of Nutrition, 113, S55-S51.

  20. Obasi, E. M., Shirtcliff, E. A., Brody, G. H., MacKillop, J., *Pittman, D., *Cavanagh, L., & Philibert, R. A. (2015). The relationship between alcohol consumption, perceived stress, and CRHR1 genotype on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in rural African Americans. Frontiers in Psychology, 6:832.

  21. Brody, G. H., MacKillop, J., Miller, G., Chen, E., Obasi, E. M., & Beach, S. R. H. (2014). Catecholamine levels and delayed discounting forecasting drug use among African American youth. Addiction, 109(7), 1112-1118.​

  22. Brody, G. H., Beach, S. R. H., Chen, Y. F., Obasi, E. M., Philibert, R. A., Kogan, S. M., Simons, R. L. (2011). Perceived discrimination, serotonin transporter linked polymorphic region status, and the development of conduct problems. Development and Psychopathology, 23(2), 617-627.

  23. MacKillop, J., Obasi, E. M., Amlung, M., McGeary, J., & Knopik, V. (2010). The role of genetics in nicotine dependence: Mapping the pathways from genome to syndrome. Current Cardiovascular Risk Reports, 4(6), 446-453.

  24. Obasi, E. M., & Leong, F. T. L. (2010). Construction and validation of the Measurement of Acculturation Strategies for People of African Descent (MASPAD). Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 16(4), 526-539.

  25. Walker, R. L., Alabi, D., Roberts, J., & Obasi, E. M. (2010). Ethnic group differences in reasons for living and the moderating role of cultural worldview. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 16(3), 372-378.

  26. Obasi, E. M., Flores L. Y., & James-Myers, L. (2009). Construction and initial validation of the Worldview Analysis Scale. Journal of Black Studies, 39(6), 937-961.

  27. Obasi, E. M., & Leong, F. T. L. (2009). Psychological distress, acculturation, and mental health seeking attitudes among people of African descent in the United States: A preliminary investigation. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 56(2), 227-238.

  28. Walker, R. L., Wingate, L., Obasi, E. M., & Joiner, T. E. (2008). An empirical investigation of acculturative stress and ethnic identity as moderators for depression and suicidal ideation in college students. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 14(1), 75-82.