Skip to main
University-wide Navigation
a profile photograph of Rachel Vickers-Smith
Healthy Kentucky Research Building
Departments & Programs

Dr. Rachel Vickers-Smith is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology. She is a substance use epidemiologist whose research focuses on identifying and preventing adverse outcomes and harms related to changing patterns in the drug use landscape, particularly among Veterans and rural people who use drugs. Dr. Vickers-Smith's work was among the first to identify gabapentin as an emerging drug of misuse in the US and is cited frequently in studies of gabapentinoids. Dr. Vickers-Smith uses mixed methods in many of her studies. She is also a strong advocate of interdisciplinary science and regularly collaborates with colleagues in genetics and medicine. A Kentucky native, Dr. Vickers-Smith is deeply committed to improving the health and well-being of the Commonwealth.


  • PhD, Epidemiology and Biostatistics
    • University of Kentucky
  • MPH, Health Services Management
    • University of Kentucky
  • BA, Chemistry
    • Asbury University

Research Interests

  • Substance use
  • Appalachian health
  • Mixed methods
  • Electronic health record data
  • Veterans