1. Profile
  2. Niranjan S. Karnik

Niranjan S. Karnik MD PhD

Niranjan S. Karnik
  • Professor of Psychiatry & Director, Institute for Juvenile Research
  • Co-Director of Institute for Research on Addictions
  • Interim Director of AI.Health4All Center for Health Equity using ML/AI
  • University of Illinois Chicago
Gender Pronouns
  • he/him
Contact Information
  • nkarnik [at]
  • Institute for Juvenile Research (IJR)
    1747 W. Roosevelt Rd.
    Chicago IL 60612
  • Room #:247 WROB
Website Assistant
  • Sherri Richardson
  • sherrir [at]

Dr. Karnik is Professor of Psychiatry, Director of the Institute for Juvenile Research, Co-Director of Institute for Research on Addictions, and Interim Director of AI.Health4All Center for Health Equity using ML/AI 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. He is a Distinguished 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: Karnik NS. Editorial: Pandemics Interact With and Amplify Child Mental Health Disparities: Further Lessons From COVID-19. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2023 Dec 8:S0890-8567(23)02241-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2023.12.001. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 38072243.

    2: Chhabra N, Smith D, Pachwicewicz P, Lin Y, Bhalla S, Maloney CM, Blue M, Lee P, Sharma B, Afshar M, Karnik NS. Performance of International Classification of Disease-10 codes in detecting emergency department patients with opioid misuse. Addiction. 2023 Nov 27. doi: 10.1111/add.16394. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 38011858.

    3: Scanzera AC, Sherrod RM, Potharazu AV, Nguyen D, Beversluis C, Karnik NS, Chan RVP, Kim SJ, Krishnan JA, Musick H. Barriers and Facilitators to Ophthalmology Visit Adherence in an Urban Hospital Setting. Transl Vis Sci Technol. 2023 Oct 3;12(10):11. doi: 10.1167/tvst.12.10.11. PMID: 37831446; PMCID: PMC10587857.

    4: Knapp AA, Hersch E, Wijaya C, Herrera MA, Kruzan KP, Carroll AJ, Lee S, Baker A, Gray A, Harris V, Simmons R, Kour Sodhi D, Hannah N, Reddy M, Karnik NS, Smith JD, Brown CH, Mohr DC. "The library is so much more than books": considerations for the design and implementation of teen digital mental health services in public libraries. Front Digit Health. 2023 Jul 25;5:1183319. doi: 10.3389/fdgth.2023.1183319. PMID: 37560198; PMCID: PMC10409481.

    5: Dickins KA, Reed M, Paun O, Swanson B, Karnik NS. Biopsychosocial Model of Traumatic Stress Symptoms in Women Experiencing Homelessness: A Qualitative Descriptive Study. Issues Ment Health Nurs. 2023 Jun;44(6):482-493. doi: 10.1080/01612840.2023.2205522. Epub 2023 Jun 2. PMID: 37267047.

    6: 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. 2023 Jun;54(3):639-658. doi: 10.1007/s10578-021-01280-w. Epub 2021 Nov 1. PMID: 34724134; PMCID: PMC9310430.

    7: Thompson HM, Feasley K, Ortiz R, Reyes K, Seanior A, Karnik NS. An Implementation of a Community-Engaged, Group-Level Mental Health Pilot for Black and Latina Transgender Women. Health Promot Pract. 2023 May 12:15248399231172191. doi: 10.1177/15248399231172191. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37171050.

    8: Emezue C, Karnik NS, Reeder B, Schoeny M, Layfield R, Zarling A, Julion W. A Technology-Enhanced Intervention for Violence and Substance Use Prevention Among Young Black Men: Protocol for Adaptation and Pilot Testing. JMIR Res Protoc. 2023 May 1;12:e43842. doi: 10.2196/43842. PMID: 37126388; PMCID: PMC10186193.

    9: Ilyas Y, Hassanbeigi Daryani S, Kiriella D, Pachwicewicz P, Boley RA, Reyes KM, Smith DL, Zalta AK, Schueller SM, Karnik NS, Stiles-Shields C. Geolocation Patterns, Wi-Fi Connectivity Rates, and Psychiatric Symptoms Among Urban Homeless Youth: Mixed Methods Study Using Self-report and Smartphone Data. JMIR Form Res. 2023 Apr 18;7:e45309. doi: 10.2196/45309. PMID: 37071457; PMCID: PMC10155082.

    10: Smithenry DW, Besante J, Hopping D, Patterson K, Pickerl P, Gastala N, Sorrell T, Karnik NS. Building a statewide network of MOUD expertise using tiered ECHO® mentoring opportunities. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2023 Apr 1;245:109823. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2023.109823. Epub 2023 Feb 26. PMID: 36889226.

    11: Karnik NS, Kuhns LM, Hotton AL, Del Vecchio N, McNulty M, Schneider J, Donenberg G, Keglovitz Baker K, Diskin R, Muldoon A, Rivera J, Summersett Williams F, Garofalo R. Findings From the Step Up, Test Up Study of an Electronic Screening and Brief Intervention for Alcohol Misuse in Adolescents and Young Adults Presenting for HIV Testing: Randomized Controlled Efficacy Trial. JMIR Ment Health. 2023 Mar 29;10:e43653. doi: 10.2196/43653. PMID: 36989027; PMCID: PMC10131684.

    12: Bounds DT, Stiles-Shields C, Schueller SM, Odgers CL, Karnik NS. Ethical considerations for developing pediatric mhealth interventions for teens with socially complex needs. J Child Adolesc Psychiatr Nurs. 2023 Feb;36(1):7-16. doi: 10.1111/jcap.12396. Epub 2022 Sep 22. PMID: 36134754; PMCID: PMC9898213.