Amy Traylor, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the School of Social Work. Her research interests include issues related to adolescent and young adult substance abuse and mental health, as well as the use of emerging technologies in social work research, practice, and education
Since arriving at UA, Dr. Traylor has collaborated on a RGC project aimed at developing virtual reality environments for use as a component of intervention for girls residing in juvenile detention facilities in Alabama. In addition, she has worked to develop interdisciplinary relationships within the College of Engineering in order to facilitate creation of virtual environments for a variety of projects. In Fall, 2014, she was awarded $275,000 by the National Institutes of Health to develop and test virtual environments aimed at providing a novel intervention component for adolescents receiving treatment for marijuana use. Her virtual reality laboratory is one of three dedicated virtual reality labs housed in a school of social work in the country.
The use of virtual reality technology in assessing reactions to drug cues has been a common theme in Dr. Traylor’s prior research collaborations. Previous work has focused on assessing reactions to smoking, alcohol, and marijuana cues in adult populations and these studies have been published in journals ranging from Addictive Behaviors to CyberPsychology & Behavior.
A native of Tuscaloosa and a graduate of the MSW program here at the University of Alabama, Dr. Traylor practiced social work in Wyoming and Arizona, mainly in the areas of school social work and treatment foster care. She received her Ph.D from the University of Georgia, where she was a graduate research assistant at the Virtual Reality Clinical Research Center, working on several NIH funded projects exploring virtual reality and drug craving. Dr. Traylor also completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and a year on the faculty at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work where she worked with faculty using emerging technologies, such as virtual reality, to explore behavioral and environmental factors related to smoking and other substance use.