1. Profile
  2. Niranjan Karnik

Niranjan Karnik MD PhD

Niranjan Karnik
  • Visiting Professor of Psychiatry
  • Director, Institute for Juvenile Research
  • Co-Director, Digital Mental Health Program
  • Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine
  • University of Illinois at Chicago
Gender Pronouns
  • he/him
Contact Information
  • nkarnik [at]
  • Institute for Juvenile Research (IJR)
    1747 W. Roosevelt Rd.
    Chicago IL 60612
  • Room #:247

Dr. Karnik is Visiting Professor of Psychiatry, Director of the Institute for Juvenile Research, and Co-Director of Digital Mental Health at the University of Illinois, Chicago. He serves as Director of the Great Lakes Node of the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network. His research focuses on data science, technology, and community-based interventions for vulnerable populations with psychiatric and substance use disorders. In the past, he has worked with refugee children on the Pakistan-Afghan border, street children in India, foster youth in Central Illinois, and incarcerated youth in California. He worked at a youth homeless shelter in San Francisco and is continuing work with youth experiencing homelessness youth in Chicago. He is presently a PI or Co-PI on grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration. He is a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and Distinguished Fellow of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

  • Youth experiencing homelessness, mental health disparities, substance use, informatics, health equity, community-based interventions, system-based interventions, adolescence and young adults

  • Great Lakes Node of the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network

    The Great Lakes Node supports clinical trials that are done with coordination with the NIDA supported Clinical Trials Network.

  • Mobile Technologies to support Youth Experiencing Homelessness

    Our team in collaboration with researchers at the University of California, Irvine are working to develop smartphone and mobile technology intervention to support youth experiencing homelessness as they transition from the street to more stable housing. The goal is to deploy pragmatic mental health interventions at a time when they may not be able to access traditional office-based care.

  • Data Science Approaches to Screening for Substance Use

    In this set of projects, we are working to develop data science-driven algorithms that can help identify patients who may have substance use disorders. The goal is to promote early and universal screening with a goal of deploying treatment and prevention efforts in a precision-medicine framework.

  • 1: Salisbury-Afshar E, Smithenry D, Boley RA, Hill K, Karnik NS. Expanding Access to Medications for Opioid Use Disorder Treatment Through Incentivized Continuing Education. J Contin Educ Health Prof. 2022 Jan 1;42(1):e102-e105. doi: 10.1097/CEH.0000000000000384. PMID: 34459444.

    2: Bhalla S, Sharma B, Smith D, Boley R, McCluskey C, Ilyas Y, Afshar M, Balk R, Karnik N, Keshavarzian A. Investigating Unhealthy Alcohol Use As an Independent Risk Factor for Increased COVID-19 Disease Severity: Observational Cross- sectional Study. JMIR Public Health Surveill. 2021 Nov 5;7(11):e33022. doi: 10.2196/33022. PMID: 34665758; PMCID: PMC8575002.

    3: Lin Y, Sharma B, Thompson HM, Boley R, Perticone K, Chhabra N, Afshar M, Karnik NS. External validation of a machine learning classifier to identify unhealthy alcohol use in hospitalized patients. Addiction. 2021 Nov 2. doi: 10.1111/add.15730. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34729829.

    4: Stiles-Shields C, Archer J, Zhang J, Burnside A, Draxler J, Potthoff LM, Reyes KM, Summersett Williams F, Westrick J, Karnik NS. A Scoping Review of Associations Between Cannabis Use and Anxiety in Adolescents and Young Adults. Child Psychiatry Hum Dev. 2021 Nov 1. doi: 10.1007/s10578-021-01280-w. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34724134.

    5: Thompson HM, Sharma B, Bhalla S, Boley R, McCluskey C, Dligach D, Churpek MM, Karnik NS, Afshar M. Bias and fairness assessment of a natural language processing opioid misuse classifier: detection and mitigation of electronic health record data disadvantages across racial subgroups. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2021 Oct 12;28(11):2393-2403. doi: 10.1093/jamia/ocab148. PMID: 34383925; PMCID: PMC8510285.

    6: Afshar M, Sharma B, Bhalla S, Thompson HM, Dligach D, Boley RA, Kishen E, Simmons A, Perticone K, Karnik NS. External validation of an opioid misuse machine learning classifier in hospitalized adult patients. Addict Sci Clin Pract. 2021 Mar 17;16(1):19. doi: 10.1186/s13722-021-00229-7. PMID: 33731210; PMCID: PMC7967783.

    7: Winiarski DA, Glover AC, Bounds DT, Karnik NS. Addressing Intersecting Social and Mental Health Needs Among Transition-Age Homeless Youths: A Review of the Literature. Psychiatr Serv. 2021 Mar 1;72(3):317-324. doi: 10.1176/ Epub 2021 Jan 5. PMID: 33397145; PMCID: PMC7920918.

    8: Karnik NS, Campbell CI, Curtis ME, Fiellin DA, Ghitza U, Hefner K, Hser YI, McHugh RK, Murphy SM, McPherson SM, Moran L, Mooney LJ, Wu LT, Shmueli-Blumberg D, Shulman M, Schwartz RP, Stephens KA, Watkins KE, Marsden J. Core outcomes set for research on the treatment of opioid use disorder (COS-OUD): the National Institute on Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network protocol for an e-Delphi consensus study. Trials. 2021 Jan 28;22(1):102. doi: 10.1186/s13063-021-05051-9. PMID: 33509278; PMCID: PMC7841754.

    9: Karnik NS, Afshar M, Churpek MM, Nunez-Smith M. Structural Disparities in Data Science: A Prolegomenon for the Future of Machine Learning. Am J Bioeth. 2020 Nov;20(11):35-37. doi: 10.1080/15265161.2020.1820102. PMID: 33103976; PMCID: PMC7695219.

    10: Bounds DT, Winiarski DA, Otwell CH, Tobin V, Glover AC, Melendez A, Karnik NS. Considerations for working with youth with socially complex needs. J Child Adolesc Psychiatr Nurs. 2020 Nov;33(4):209-220. doi: 10.1111/jcap.12288. Epub 2020 Jul 20. PMID: 32691491; PMCID: PMC7970826.