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Katherine Marks, PhD

108 Medical Behavioral Science Building


  • Assistant Professor

College Unit(s)

Biography and Education


Dr. Katherine Marks is an Assistant Professor, Research Title Series, in the Department of Behavioral Science at UKCOM. Dr. Marks’ research and implementation focus includes substance use disorder public policy facilitators and barriers as well as implementation of evidence-based practices in community-based settings. With regard to research, Dr. Marks has supported a productive research program. She served as a co-investigator on four National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) grants, including two NIH/NIDA HEAL Initiatives; the Healing Communities Study and Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network. Other R01 grants focus on studying implementation of harm reduction kiosks to reduce overdose risk and other harms of drug use and developing a multisource population-based surveillance system to provide local communities with information to support opioid overdose prevention.  Dr. Marks has also maintained an appointment within the Kentucky Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental, and Intellectual Disabilities since 2017 where she has served as the Project Director and co-principal investigator for four SAMHSA formula grants awarded to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Totaling 242.6 million, she directs the Kentucky Opioid Response Effort which works to increase equitable access to evidence-based prevention and harm reduction, treatment, and recovery support services throughout the Commonwealth. In this capacity, Dr. Marks works in close partnership with state and university partners to align overdose-related efforts and resources address substance use disorder policy. Alongside grant funding, Dr. Marks served as a leader in substance use treatment policy evaluation and improvement. Key contributions include leading a workgroup to establish an evaluation system for residential substance use treatment providers on behalf of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services; revising the Kentucky Administrative Regulations to enhance the quality of methadone regulations; supporting implementation of Senate Bill 90 which creates a first-of-its kind pilot program in Kentucky to divert from incarceration individuals with substance use and mental disorders towards community-based services; and co-leading Kentucky’s National Governor’s Association learning collaborative on equity in opioid crisis. These activities also support UK’s mission for the dissemination of knowledge and application to policy. Dr. Marks published 14 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals, two book chapters, delivered 17 invited presentations (6 national), and 12 conference posters and presentations. In addition, she served as an ad-hoc reviewer for 25 manuscripts. Dr. Marks has also been quoted in numerous local press articles related to the overdose epidemic and was interviewed for a national podcast produced by the Legislative Analysis and Public Policy Association on the topic of improving equitable access to treatment services for Black Kentuckians. With respect to additional contributions, Dr. Marks mentored three undergraduate students in 9-month internships, served on the standing review committee for the Behavioral Science Pilot Study Grants for three years, and on the Shatterproof National Stigma of Addiction Conference Steering Committee in 2022. She is a regular member of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence and American Psychological Association and was recently honored in the Louisville Business First 2022 Forty Under 40.





2018 Acomplishments

In 2018, Dr. Marks was a Co-I on four grant applications. A SAMHSA grant was funded ($31,207,494) and a NIDA HEALing Communities application will be submitted in December and reviewed in January. She was also awarded a Behavioral Science Pilot Grant. Dr. Marks published two second author manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals and two first author book chapters. In addition, she reviewed manuscripts for four journals. Dr. Marks directed two SAMHSA grants totaling $50 million dollars, led the development of the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services’ substance use strategic plan and co-chaired a workgroup developing a statewide quality outcomes measurement system for substance use treatment. Dr. Marks was invited to speak at two national meetings. The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation invited her to speak at an Oregon Recovers state meeting in Portland Oregon and The Department for Medicaid Services invited her to speak on a panel at their Quality and Sustainability meeting in Baltimore Maryland. Dr. Marks also delivered an invited plenary address at The Kentucky School for Alcohol and Other Drug Studies.


Selected Publications