The Syndemics Lab at Boston Medical Center is a diverse team conducting research focused on the synergistic epidemics of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV), HIV, and substance use disorder. Our research team assembles exceptional expertise in addictions medicine, simulation modeling, healthcare policy, and health economics, as well as a long track record of experience and focus on addictions care and research. Our work is centered on using microsimulation and cost-effectiveness methods to perform economic evaluations of public health guidelines and policies, working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
The Syndemics Lab’s mission is to generate and disseminate high impact data that inform clinical decision-making and policy around the syndemic of substance use disorders, overdose, and infectious diseases. Our mission evolved from our lived experiences as physicians and scientists working with people who use drugs. Investigators and staff in the lab came to their positions from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives in the U.S. and abroad. Some of us were HIV-researchers who saw the interconnectedness of injection drug use and the HIV epidemic. Others were viral hepatitis researchers who first encountered substance use disorder as the main risk factor for HCV infection. While still others were addictions scientists who expanded their focus to recognize that infectious complications are highly prevalent among people who use drugs. All of us have come to recognize that siloed, disease-focused research cannot solve the public health challenges of our times. Drug use, overdose, and infectious diseases are multiple symptoms of one syndemic. Our research must reflect that reality. Our public health strategy must change.