Tarlie Townsend
Tarlise (Tarlie) Townsend, PhD
NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing - Postdoctoral Fellow
Center for Opioid Epidemiology and Policy, Grossman School of Medicine, NYU Langone - Postdoctoral Fellow
Joint PhD, Health Services Organization and Policy & Sociology, University of Michigan
BS, Neuroscience, Indiana University
BA, Germanic Studies, Indiana University
Research Interests
Pain, Disability, Opioids, Racial and economic equity, Policy, Cancer-related pain
Tarlie Townsend studies pain, disability, and opioid use in the United States. Much of her research examines the intended and unintended consequences of policies to address the ongoing overdose crisis, with an emphasis on racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities. In another line of work, she studies trends in and consequences of the use of opioids to manage cancer-related pain; she is especially interested in the tension between concern about opioid-related harms, stigma surrounding opioid use, and the need for effective pain management. In several recent studies, Dr. Townsend has examined demographic trends in incident disability and the pathways underlying educational disparities in disability, towards a better understanding of how education “gets under the skin”. Dr. Townsend earned her joint doctorate in Health Services Organization and Policy and Sociology at the University of Michigan in May 2020. Her methodological toolbox draws from epidemiology, econometrics, and social demography.
Principal Investigator, Pathways to Racial Disparities in the Effects of Good Samaritan Laws: A Mixed Methods Study. Active


Townsend TN, Salz T, Haffajee RL, Caram MEV, Chino F, Bohnert ASB (2021).
Has declining opioid dispensing to cancer patients been tailored to risk of opioid harms?
Journal of Pain and Symptom Management [Epub 2021 Oct 14]. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2021.09.014.

Friedman SR, Mateu-Gelabert P, Nikolopoulos GK, Cerda M, Rossi D, Jordan AE, Townsend T, Khan MR, Perlman DC (2021).
Big events theory and measures may help explain emerging long-term effects of current crises
Global Public Health, 16 (8-9), 1167-1186. doi: 10.1080/17441692.2021.1903528. PMCID: PMC8338763.

Santaella-Tenorio J, Townsend T, Krawczyk N, Frank D, Friedman SR (2021).
Letter on Rocket’s et al., manuscript: Fatal self-injury in the United States, 1999-2018: Unmasking a national mental health crisis
EClinicalMedicine, 34, 100820. doi: 10.1016/j.eclinm.2021.100820. PMCID: PMC8027522.

Townsend T, Mehta NK (2021).
Pathways to educational disparities in disability incidence: The contributions of excess body mass index, smoking, and manual labor involvement
Journals of Gerontolology: Series B, Psycholocial Sciences and Social Sciences, 76 (4), 766-777. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbaa085. PMCID: PMC7955977.

Mauri AI, Townsend TN, Haffajee RL (2020).
The association of state opioid misuse prevention policies with patient- and provider-related outcomes: A scoping review
Milbank Quarterly, 98 (1), 57-105. doi: 10.1111/1468-0009.12436. PMCID: PMC7077777.

Dr. Townsend's Google Scholar Profile
Selected Press