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Dr. Anthony P. Pawlak

Research Analyst & Statistician

Office: SMH 138

Email: tonypete@rutgers.edu

Phone: 848-445-9387

Curriculum Vitae:

  • Bio
  • Current Research
  • Grants
  • Selected Publications
  • Education
  • Other Information


Anthony Pawlak is research analyst and statistician for the behavioral and psychophysiology laboratory of Dr. Marsha E. Bates at the Center of Alcohol & Substance Use Studies (CAS) at Rutgers University. He graduated cum laude from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA with a BA in psychology. Dr. Pawlak received a MS in Psychology (Biopsychology & Behavioral Neuroscience Program) at Rutgers University with a project that involved the electrophysiological recording of single neuronal units in the basal ganglia in a rodent behavioral pharmacology paradigm that investigated the psychomotoric effects of cocaine on behavior. For this study, he developed an innovative application of multilevel statistical modeling to disentangle the effects of the average firing rates of neurons observed across the study versus the firing rates present during individual movement trials. Dr. Pawlak received his PhD in Education (Concentration in Applied Statistics & Psychometrics) with a dissertation project that focused on utilizing item response theory (IRT) to assess the individual criteria of the DSM-IV diagnostic category for a major depressive episode.

As part of his current position, Dr. Pawlak performs statistical and psychometric analyses, data management, and research design consulting at the CAS. He also assists in the reporting of the methodology and results of statistical analyses for peer-reviewed publications. His statistical and methodological interests include structural equation modeling, latent class analysis, multivariate analyses, and linear mixed models.

Current Research

Dr. Pawlak is currently involved in several research projects centered on the study and interaction of alcohol use, physiology of the cardiovascular system, heart rate variability (HRV), cognition and brain functioning as measured by fMRI. He is also conducting research investigating the properties of structural equation models, latent class analysis, and linear mixed models utilizing Monte Carlo simulation techniques.


2018-2023 Changes in Cardiovascular Control Mechanisms Related to Binge Drinking During College. Role: Statistician & Research Analyst. 5R01AA027017-02.
2018-2020 Neural and Autonomic Markers of Alcohol Use Behavior Change in Emerging Adulthood: A Prospective Study. Role: Consultant. F31 AA027147.


Selected Publications

Kulik, J.M., Pawlak, A.P., Kalkat, M., Coffey, K.R., & West, M.O. (2017). Representation of the body in the lateral striatum of the freely moving rat: Fast spiking interneurons respond to stimulation of individual body parts. Brain Research, 1657, 101–108.

Barker, D.J., Striano, B.M., Coffey, K.C., Root, D.H., Pawlak, A.P., Kim, O.A., Kulik, J., Fabbricatore, A.T., & West, M.O. (2015). Sensitivity to self-administered cocaine within the lateral preoptic-rostral lateral hypothalamic continuum. Brain Structure & Function, 220(3), 1841–1854.

Barker, D.J., Simmons, S.J., Servilio, L.C., Bercovicz, D., Ma, S., Root, D.H., Pawlak, A.P., & West, M.O. (2014). Ultrasonic vocalizations: Evidence for an affective opponent process during cocaine self-administration. Psychopharmacology (Berl), 231(5), 909–918.

Ma, S., Pawlak, A.P., Cho, J., Root, D.H., Barker, D.J., & West, M.O. (2013). Amphetamine’s dose-dependent effects on dorsolateral striatum sensorimotor neuron firing. Behavioural Brain Research, 244, 152–161.

Pawlak, A.P., Tang, C., Pederson, C., Wolske, M.B., & West, M.O. (2010). Acute effects of cocaine on movement-related firing of dorsolateral striatal neurons depend on baseline firing rate and dose. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 332: 667–683.

Bates, M.E., Pawlak, A.P., Tonigan, J.S., & Buckman, J.F. (2006). Cognitive impairment influences drinking outcome by altering therapeutic mechanisms of change. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 20(3): 241-253.


2010 PhD, Rutgers University, Education (Concentration in Applied Statistics & Psychometrics)
2004 MS, Rutgers University, Psychology (Biopsychology & Behavioral Neuroscience Program)
1996 BA, Franklin & Marshall College, Psychology

Other Information

Statistical & Research Analysis Skills:

Statistical/Methodological: Experimental design, Longitudinal research design, ANOVA/MANOVA, Multiple regression, Multivariate statistics, Generalized linear mixed models (GLMM), Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM), Growth curve modeling, Principal component analysis/Factor analysis, Structural equation modeling (SEM), Mixture modeling, Latent class analysis (LCA), Cluster analysis, Multidimensional scaling

Psychometrics: Classical test theory, Item response theory (IRT), Nonparametric item response theory, Test equating, Differential item functioning

Software: SAS, R, Stata, Mplus, HLM, SPSS, Bilog, Data Desk, Origin, Sigma Plot, MySQL

Qualitative Research: Grounded theory

Student Mentoring in Statistics & Research Methodology:

  • Rutgers University, Dept. of Psychology, Laboratory of Mark O. West, Ph.D.:
    • Joshua Stamos, PhD, graduate student, 2012 – 2018, NIH F31 grant
    • Nicholas Beacher, PhD (ABD), graduate student, 2016 – 2018, applied for NIH F31 grant
  • Rutgers University, Center of Alcohol & Substance Use Studies, Laboratory of Marsha E. Bates, Ph.D.:
    • Laura Lesnewich, MS, graduate student, 2018 – present, NIH F31 grant
    • Sarah Grace Helton, MS, graduate student, 2018 – present

Courses Taught: Quantitative Methods in Psychology Recitation; Neuropsychopharmacology Lab; Cognition Psychology Lab