Group Members

Jaimee Heffner, PhD

Jaimee Heffner, PhD

Title: Director

Jaimee Heffner, PhD, is the Director of the Tobacco-Related Health Disparities (TREHD) Research Group and an Assistant Member in the Cancer Prevention Program, Division of Public Health Sciences at Fred Hutch. A licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Heffner’s expertise is in smoking cessation interventions, with an emphasis on assisting tobacco users with co-occurring mental health conditions and substance use disorders to quit. Her secondary area of research is on interventions to reduce alcohol use. Over the past 10 years, she has served as a principal investigator, co-investigator, or as a consultant or sub-investigator on eighteen smoking cessation trials funded by National Institutes of Health, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the pharmaceutical industry—many of which were targeted interventions for smokers with co-occurring mental health conditions and/or substance use disorders. She currently serves as principal investigator on an R34 award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to develop a web-delivered intervention for smokers with bipolar disorder and to test its effectiveness through a collaboration with the National Network of Depression Centers. Dr. Heffner received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Ohio University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in addictions treatment and research at the University of Cincinnati.

Curriculum Vitae


Melissa Gasser

Melissa Gasser

Title: Student Intern


Melissa Gasser is a graduate student at the University of Washington pursuing a PhD in Clinical Psychology. She is interested in addressing health care disparities and is working with Dr. Heffner on mobile application-based interventions addressing both mental health and substance use concerns.

Curriculum Vitae

Edit Serfozo, MPH, CCP

Edit Serfozo, MPH, CCP

Title: Project Coordinator

Edit is a Project Coordinator for the Tobacco-Related Health Disparities Research Group.  She has 9 years of experience in administration at Oregon Health & Science University, where she led an NIH funded research project on the effects of exercise and medication on fibromyalgia patients and provided motivational interviewing based health coaching. She received her master’s degree in Public Health from Portland State University, with a focus on Health Education and physical activity. Edit has a special interest in health behavior change and chronic illness management/prevention.


Noreen Watson, PhD

Noreen Watson, PhD

Title: Postdoctoral Fellow

Noreen Watson, PhD, is a NIDA-funded Postdoctoral Research Fellow Researcher for the TREHD Group. During her graduate training, her research focused on examining the mechanisms by which social anxiety is a risk factor for risky health behaviors—particularly cigarette smoking. She was awarded an NRSA F32 to develop a web-based smoking cessation intervention for smokers with social anxiety that is founded in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. She is also collaborating on several other projects to develop expertise in designing, tailoring, and empirically testing technology-based smoking interventions for the general population of adult smokers as well as for smokers with co-occurring psychiatric disorders. Dr. Watson completed her clinical internship at the University of Washington Medical School in Behavioral Medicine/Neuropsychology and received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Texas Tech University in 2015.

Curriculum Vitae