Ryan Trim, Ph.D.



Ryan S. Trim, Ph.D.
University of California, San Diego
3350 La Jolla Village Drive (116B)
San Diego, CA 92161
Phone: (858) 642-3693
E-mail: rtrim@ucsd.edu



Dr. Trim first became interested in the study of addictive behaviors while working on an undergraduate honor's thesis focusing on the motivations and locations of college student drinking under the guidance of Dr. Andrea Hussong at the University of North Carolina. He enrolled in the clinical psychology program at Arizona State University immediately following completion of his undergraduate degree, where he worked with Dr. Laurie Chassin on an NIAAA longitudinal study on children of alcoholic parents (and matched controls). While in graduate school, he developed research interests in the application of longitudinal and complex statistical models on risk and protective factors across the lifespan. In particular, his primary research (thesis and dissertation) focused on the role of cognitions and environment (neighborhood) on substance use and misuse in adolescence and young adulthood. Dr. Trim completed an APA-approved internship at UCSD/VASDHS, followed by a two-year NIAAA postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Marc Schuckit where he gained experience and training in the applications of fMRI within alcohol research. Currently, Dr. Trim holds concurrent appointments in the UCSD Department of Psychiatry and VASDHS Psychology Service.

Research Focus 

Dr. Trim is actively involved in several areas of substance use research. He continues his work within developmental psychosocial research through the application of complex longitudinal models on high-risk samples that have been assessed over decades. Dr. Trim also has a strong interest in the examination of environmental and contextual risk factors for heavy drinking, particularly in college students, which he pursues with collaborators at SDSU. He is involved with clinical research protocols at the VASDHS and has collaborations and interests in treatment-focused addictions research. He has training in neuroimaging and the use of fMRI, and plans to pursue training and research experiences in the fields of social network analysis and behavioral genetics as they apply to alcohol and drug problems and disorders.

Clinical Focus 

Dr. Trim is a psychologist in the Substance Abuse / Mental Illness (SAMI) Clinic in the VA San Diego Healthcare System where he helps oversee the assessment and treatment of veterans with dual diagnosis. Dr. Trim has extensive experience with cognitive-behavioral therapy and related treatment modalities, and he supervises psychology trainees and psychiatric residents in the application of group and individual CBT for substance use, mood, anxiety/PTSD, and psychotic disorders. Dr. Trim has also served on the Psychiatric Emergency Team for UCSD's Thornton Hospital, providing on-call support for assessment of emergency room patients in psychiatric distress. Dr. Trim is licensed in the state of California with clinical privileges at both the VASDHS and UCSD Medical Center.

Selected Publications

  • Trim, R.S., Simmons, A.N., Tolentino, N.J., Matthews, S.C., Robinson, S.K., Smith, T.L., Padula, C.B., Paulus, M.P., Tapert, S.F., & Schuckit, M.A.  (2010). Acute alcohol effects on brain activation in low- and high-level responders to alcohol. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 34, 1162-1170.
  • Trim, R.S., Schuckit, M.A., & Smith, T.L. (2010). Predicting drinking onset with discrete-time survival analysis in offspring from the San Diego Prospective Study. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 107, 215-220.
  • Trim, R.S., Schuckit, M.A., & Smith, T.L. (2009). The relationship of the level of response to alcohol and additional characteristics to the onset of alcohol use disorders across adulthood: A discrete-time survival analysis. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 33, 1562-1570.
  • Trim, R.S., & Chassin, L. (2008). Neighborhood SES effects on adolescent alcohol outcomes using growth curve models: Exploring the role of parental alcoholism. Journal of Studies on Alcohol & Drugs, 69, 639-648.
  • Trim, R.S., Schuckit, M.A, & Smith, T.L. (2008). Level of response to alcohol within the context of alcohol-related domains: An examination of longitudinal approaches assessing changes over time.  Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 32, 472-480.
  • Trim, R.S., Meehan, B.T., King, K.M., & Chassin, L. (2007). The relation between adolescent substance use and young adult internalizing symptoms: Findings from a high-risk longitudinal sample. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 21, 97-107.
  • Trim, R.S., Leuthe, E., & Chassin, L. (2006). Sibling influence on alcohol use in a young adult, high-risk sample. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 67, 391-398.
  • Trim, R.S., & Chassin, L. (2004). Drinking restraint, alcohol consumption and alcohol dependence among children of alcoholics. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 65, 122-125.  



University of California, San Diego, Department of Psychiatry, 9500 Gilman Drive, Mail Code 0603 La Jolla, CA 92037-0603
Telephone: (858) 534-3684, Fax: (858) 534-7653, Electronic Mail: psychiatry@ucsd.edu