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Lab members of Stacey Daughters sit on a bench outside, smiling as they face the camera.
Members of Stacey Daughters’ lab. (Flavio Frohlich is second from left; Daughters is fifth from left.)

A generous gift from the Girman Family Foundation will support research in substance use disorder treatment, under the direction of Stacey Daughters in the UNC department of psychology and neuroscience in the College of Arts and Sciences and Flavio Frohlich in the UNC department of psychiatry in the UNC School of Medicine.

The funding will advance the development of combined brain stimulation and cognitive behavioral treatments for opiate use disorder. The Girmans lost their son, Alexander (Alec) V. Girman, in October 2021 due to substance use, and they recognize that escalating use and misuse of opioids is a crisis in this country. They are hoping that the research will expedite the dissemination of brain stimulation technology to individuals suffering from substance use disorder who need it the most.

“We are grateful to the Girman family for this meaningful gift to support innovative research approaches to this vitally important area,” said Regina Carelli, chair of the department of psychology and neuroscience and the Stephen B. Baxter Distinguished Professor. “Dr. Stacey Daughters is an internationally known researcher conducting critically important research in substance use treatment and this is an exciting collaboration with Dr. Flavio Frohlich.”

Cindy Girman ’81, DrPH. ’94, is founder and president of CERobs Consulting, which provides services to the drug and device industry on study design and outcomes that make product development and review of observational evidence more efficient. CERobs mentors about eight to 10 graduate research assistants and post-doctoral fellows at any given time, and collaborates with about 20 experts in epidemiology, biostatistics, outcomes research, real world evidence and patient-centered outcomes. Tom Girman is general manager of the firm, handling contracting, invoicing and business development.



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