Christopher P. Salas-Wright, PhD

Christopher Salas-Wright is an Assistant Professor in the Boston University School of Social Work and a Research Fellow with the National Hispanic Science Network’s (NHSN) Early Stage Career Mentoring for NIDA Research program.  His research interests include: drug abuse and violence prevention; immigration and the role of cultural processes in the development of Latino youth; and the epidemiology of high-risk and antisocial behavior.

Dr. Salas-Wright has authored more than 120 scholarly publications, including first-author articles in journals such as Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Addictive Behaviors, Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, Journal of Adolescent Health, Journal of Youth and Adolescence, Psychiatry Research, Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, and the American Journal of Public Health. Additionally, he is first-author of a new book with Palgrave Macmillan focused on the developmental links between drug abuse and antisocial behavior. Dr. Salas-Wright currently serves on the National Advisory Committee for the Fahs-Beck Fund for Research and Experimentation and on the editorial boards of Journal of Youth and AdolescenceJournal of Criminal Justice, and Research on Social Work Practice. He also serves as a reviewer for more than 50 scholarly journals across the disciplines of Public Health, Psychiatry, Developmental Psychology, Social Work, and Criminology.

In addition to his published and editorial work, Dr. Salas-Wright has served as Principal Investigator (PI) for numerous studies.  At present, he is leading the evaluation of an NIAAA-funded (R25) training program focused on promoting the dissemination of empirically-supported practices for the treatment of alcohol and other substance use disorders. He is also leading, as an NIH-funded KL2 Scholar with Boston University’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute, a project focused on developing collaborative research partnerships with Latino youth development organizations in Massachusetts. Prior to these projects, he completed funded studies on the bio × social factors related to substance use and violence among Hispanic youth as well as the development of a substance use prevention program for college student veterans.  His research has appeared in numerous television and print sources, including: MSNBC/NBC NewsUSA TODAYWashington Post, Los Angeles Times, Houston Chronicle, Dallas Morning NewsFort Worth Star Telegram, Fox NewsFox News LatinoFox Business, CosmopolitanYahoo!, Teen Vogue, New York Magazine, New York Daily NewsLa Opinión, and Conan.

Dr. Salas-Wright received his PhD in Social Work from the Boston College School of Social Work in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.  After his doctoral studies, he completed an NIH (T32) Postdoctoral Fellowship at Brown University’s Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies (CAAS) and was also a cross-training fellow at Brown University’s Alcohol Research Center on HIV (ARCH).  He completed a NIDA-funded research training fellowship with the National Hispanic Science Network’s Interdisciplinary Research Training Institute on Hispanic Drug Abuse as well.  In addition to his research training, Dr. Salas-Wright received graduate training as a Clinical Social Worker from the University of Washington School of Social Work and training from the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry.  In these capacities, he gained field experience as a mental health counselor, addictions therapist, and hospital chaplain.

Prior to his graduate training, Dr. Salas-Wright lived and worked in El Salvador, Central America for several years and traveled during that time throughout Central and South America.  During that time, he worked in youth development, addictions treatment, and international higher education.


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