Dr. Kora DeBeck

Dr. Kora DeBeck, PhD, is a Research Scientist with the BC Centre on Substance Use and Associate Professor in the School of Public Policy at Simon Fraser University. She holds a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research/St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation-PHCRI Career Scholar Award.

Dr. DeBeck is the Principal Investigator of the At-Risk Youth Study (ARYS), an ongoing prospective cohort study of >1,000 street-involved youth who use drugs in Vancouver. The cohort began in 2005 and is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the US National Institutes for Health Research. ARYS aims to explore the individual, social, economic, and environmental factors that influence the health and well-being of street-involved children, youth, and young adults in Vancouver.

Dr. DeBeck specializes in longitudinal cohort methodologies, and innovative approaches to inform and evaluate health and policy interventions to reduce health and social harms among people who use drugs, with a particular focus on the prevention of high-risk substance use, infectious diseases, and other health-related harms. She has a strong track-record in knowledge translation and works to ensure that research from the ARYS cohort is relevant and accessible to community organizations, policy makers and other stakeholders with the goal of increasing the impact of research findings on policy and practice and improving the health of individuals and communities –both locally and globally

Dr. DeBeck has authored more than 170 articles in various areas of addiction research and knowledge translation, including injection initiation, addiction treatment, illicit drug policy, drug law enforcement, low-threshold income generation, and emerging risks for HIV infection and transmission among people who use drugs. She is currently a Principal Investigator on two grants: NIH grant, which funds the ARYS and VIDUS longitudinal cohort studies that follow people who use drugs in Vancouver, as well as a CIHR project grant that investigates the unique experiences and needs of youth and young adults who use drugs during the dual crises of overdose and COVID-19.