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Michael Abrams
Director, Special Research Studies


Michael Abrams is director of special research studies at The Hilltop Institute. His work focuses on public health and health services questions surrounding the treatment and prevention of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral illness, including serious psychiatric disorders, substance use disorders, learning disabilities, and neurological malfunction. Research interests include behavioral health integration/coordination, pharmacoepidemiology, health quality assessment, and health risk communication. Dr. Abrams has extensive experience using large data sets to study the public mental health and substance abuse systems in Maryland and nationally. He is also skilled with other large and small administrative and clinical data sources, such as those capturing somatic and pharmacologic service use, level of functioning and psychosocial indicators, and Medicare and private insurance claims information.

Prior to joining Hilltop, Dr. Abrams was a program officer at the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), where he directed a study about training psychiatrists to do patient-oriented research and supported another study focusing on spinal cord injury research. Prior to his work at NAS, Dr. Abrams was a research associate at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Kennedy Krieger Institute, where he was involved in clinical research investigations of behavioral, genetic, and neurobiological correlates to developmental disabilities in children and adolescents.

Dr. Abrams earned his PhD in public policy from UMBC. He holds a master of public health degree from The Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor of arts degree with a double concentration in biochemistry and history from the University of California at Berkeley.