Linda M. Collins, Ph.D.

Director, The Methodology Center
Distinguished Professor, Department of Human Development and Family Studies
Professor, Department of Statistics

The Methodology Center
The Pennsylvania State University
435 Health and Human Development Building
University Park, PA 16802
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Ph.D., University of Southern California, 1983 (Quantitative Psychology)
B.A., University of Connecticut, 1977 (Psychology)

Recent Honors

2018: Fulbright Specialist Grant
2017: Pauline Schmitt Russell Distinguished Career Award from Penn State’s College of Health and Human Development
2015: Elected Fellow, Society for Prevention Research
2014: Named Distinguished Professor of Human Development and Family Studies
2014: Elected as a Fellow of the Society of Behavioral Medicine
2014: Selected to give presentation at TEDxPSU​

Research Interests & Collaborators

My primary research interest is optimization of behavioral, biobehavioral, and biomedical interventions using the multiphase optimization strategy (MOST). MOST enables researchers to develop interventions that are not only effective, but also efficient, economical, and scalable. I collaborate with a number of scientists on applications or planned applications of MOST, including Tim Baker, Megan Piper, Mike Fiore (University of Wisconsin), and Robin Mermelstein (University of Illinois, Chicago) in smoking cessation; David Wyrick, Amanda Tanner, and Jeff Milroy (University of North Carolina, Greensboro) on reduction of excessive alcohol use and risky sex in college students; Bonnie Spring (Northwestern University) on weight reduction; Marya Gwadz (New York University) on HIV-treatment engagement; and Kate Guastaferro and Jennie Noll (Penn State) on prevention of child maltreatment. I also collaborate with Susan A. Murphy (Harvard), Daniel AlmirallInbal “Billie” Nahum-Shani (University of Michigan), and John Dziak and Runze Li (Penn State) on methodological aspects of MOST.

Recent Grants

Center for Complex Data to Knowledge in Drug Abuse and HIV Behavioral Science
National Institute on Drug Abuse: P50 DA039838
2015-2020; Role: Center PI

Engineering an Online STI Prevention Program
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: R01
2015-2020; Role: PI

Optimized Chronic Care for Smokers: A Comparative Effectiveness Approach
National Cancer Institute: P01
2014-2019; Role: Core PI (Center PI: Michael Fiore)

Using MOST to Optimize an HIV Care Continuum Intervention for Vulnerable Populations
National Institute on Drug Abuse: R01
2016-2021; Role: MPI

Opt-In: Optimizing Intensive Lifestyle Intervention for Weight Loss
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: R01
2012-2018; Role: MPI