Led by mitch wong, md, phd and Rebecca Dudovitz, MD, MSHS

Schools reach every child and have the potential to transform their lives. The School Node looks to leverage schools as a platform for change to improve the life course of children and adolescents.

Our mission

We seek to create, identify, test, and disseminate interventions that take advantage of schools to improve the health and life outcomes for children and adolescents. We prioritize interventions that are effective, scalable, and sustainable. We also seek to understand the mechanisms by which education and school environments influence health and life outcomes. 

ongoing projects/grants

The RISE Up Study, funded by a NIDA R01, is a longitudinal natural experimental study to understand the impact of high performing high schools on health outcomes. The study is in its 8th year having followed a cohort of low-income students since 8th grade. The cohort is currently age 21.

The AVID study, funded by a NIDA K23, examines the impact of a national high school support program that takes at-risk students and places them in a home room program with high performing students and highly supportive teachers. Using a randomized trial design, the investigators seek to understand the educational and health impacts of AVID.

research agenda

Understand the important aspects of schools that influence student well being, risky behaviors, mental health, and resilience.

Understand the impact of schools and school outcomes on long-term health, well-being and other life course outcomes.

Identify effective school-based interventions that improve educational and health outcomes.

Expected deliverables

Concept Papers

Concept paper of how to achieve sustainable change through schools.

Concept paper of the mechanisms by which education is linked to health


R01- AVID study. Longer-term effects of AVID on late adolescents and substance use initiation and problematic substance use.

Products and Publications


Wong MD, Quartz KH, Saunders M, Meza B, Childress S, Seeman T, Dudovitz RN. Turning vicious cycles into virtuous ones: the potential for schools to improve the life course Pediatrics (Suppl). May 2022; 149: S450-9

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