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Theodore Wagener, Ph.D.

Theodore Wagener, Ph.D.

2018 Rising Star

M.S. Psychology '05, Ph.D. Psychology '10

Theodore Wagener serves as the Director of Tobacco Regulatory Science Research at the Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center in Oklahoma City. In addition, he is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, College of Medicine. Wagener also holds adjunct appointments in the Graduate College in Clinical and Translational Sciences, Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at OUHSC and the Department of Psychiatry, and Department of Psychology at Oklahoma State University.


He received his doctoral training in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in health psychology/behavioral medicine from Oklahoma State University in 2010. He completed his psychology residency and T32 postdoctoral fellowship in cardiovascular behavioral medicine at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and the Centers of Behavioral and Preventive Medicine in 2011. Wagener joined the faculty in the Department of Pediatrics and OTRC in 2011. He is a licensed psychologist and directed the behavioral sleep medicine clinic at OU Children’s Hospital from 2011 to 2016.


His research program focuses on tobacco regulatory science, with a specialized focus on evaluating the pharmacological and behavioral use patterns of non-cigarette tobacco products, such as electronic cigarettes, dissolvable tobacco and hookahs. He also has expertise developing and testing motivational enhancement-based smoking cessation and secondhand smoke reduction interventions for children of parents who smoke. His work has been continuously funded by the NIH and/or FDA since joining OUHSC.


Wagener is committed to mentoring and training the next generation of psychologist and tobacco researchers. Within the Department of Pediatrics, he co-directed the Residents Research Methods Seminar Series and has trained almost 40 graduate students, psychology residents and fellows, medical students, residents and fellows, and junior faculty in sleep medicine. In his role overseeing the OTRC Training Program, Wagener has mentored/co-mentored numerous student-led projects as well as graduate students who have gone on to prestigious psychology residencies, fellowships and academic faculty positions. He currently serves as the primary sponsor for a NIDA F31 (Eleanor Leavens, MS) and co-mentor for a NIDA R36 (Dana Mowls, MPH).

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