Faculty Scholars


Irene Pericot-Valverde, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences
College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences

Contact: 864-455-1133

Who is Dr. Pericot-Valverde?

Irene Pericot-Valverde is a research assistant professor at Clemson University and a member of the Addiction Research Center. She completed her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Oviedo in Spain. She has set up research training experiences in the field of addiction at various universities, including the University of Houston, the Medical University of South Carolina, the University at Buffalo, the University of Vermont, as well as European universities, such as the University of Barcelona and the University of Oviedo.

Pericot-Valverde is an early-career investigator committed to pursuing research in the field of
addiction, with a focus on three areas:
1. Developing cessation interventions for tobacco use disorder,
2. Treatment development for opioid addiction, and
3. The intersection of opioid use and hepatitis C epidemics.

She is the principal investigator (PI) of a pilot grant aimed at exploring the efficacy of an intervention combining cognitive-behavioral therapy and recovery coaching for people with opioid use disorder, She the co-PI of another study, examining whether receiving treatment changes cognitive functioning and neurophysiological responses in people with opioid use disorder.

She is also mentoring medical students and research staff conducting research. She serves as a reviewer for noteworthy scientific journals and was the Editor Fellow at the Journal of Substance Abuse and Treatment. At Clemson University, she is the Project Director of a PCORI-funded multisite clinical trial involving 755 people who inject drugs in methadone/buprenorphine maintenance to determine which model produces the best results.

For more information, see her CV.

How Dr. Pericot-Valverde's research is transforming health care

Pericot-Valverde’s research of tobacco has focused on the significant public health issue of cigarette smoking which disproportionately affects the health of more vulnerable populations such as young adults; individuals with mental illness, health conditions, socioeconomic disadvantage; and both military and veterans. Irene’s research interests also address the rapidly emerging use of e-cigarettes which has raised several issues among public health authorities, including the potential that e-cigarettes may encourage nicotine among youth who otherwise would not have used tobacco products. Opioid addiction is a public health problem in the U.S. Despite the availability of effective interventions for treating opioid use disorder, retention to medication is generally low. Another major issue in this population is related to multiple comorbid substance use disorders. Pericot-Valverde’s research aims to develop interventions to address low retention levels for medications and high levels of substance use among people with opioid use disorder.

Regarding the intersection of opioids and hepatitis C, it is essential to treat HCV among people who inject drugs and frequent comorbidities (medical and psychiatric) that this population has and likely worsens health outcomes. Pericot-Valverde’s research has focused on studying new models of hepatitis C care among this population and identifying other comorbidities that need special attention, including tobacco use and psychiatric conditions.

Health Research Expertise Keywords

E-cigarette, smoking cessation, hepatitis C, opioid use disorder, people who inject drugs, clinical trials