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    Charles Kaplan, PhD

    TitleAssociate Dean of Research, Hamovitch Center For Science in Human Services
    SchoolSchool of Social Work
    DepartmentSocial Work
    AddressATT T1400
    Off Campus
    Los Angeles California 90089-1400
    Phone+1 213 821 4259
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      Although a medical sociologist by training, Dr. Charles Kaplan has sought a balance between social work, sociology and social epidemiology during the course of his prolific research career exploring the patterns of drug use, drug treatment strategies and social policy. His path to the USC School of Social Work can only be described as multidisciplinary and can be traced back to his undergraduate days as a political science major at Tulane University. Kaplan found he was less interested in diplomacy or international relations and more attracted to sociology, particularly after taking a seminar on the subject during his senior year. Drawn to the social upheaval occurring in 1960s California, he headed to UCLA to earn a master’s degree and doctorate in sociology.

      During his time at UCLA, he received training in biomedical research through the National Institute of General Medical Science and began examining the connection between brain function and language, one of the first efforts to link neuroscience and sociology. His experiences in the lab sparked an interest in drug abuse and addiction, then a nascent field in terms of research. After a few years as an assistant professor at Rutgers University, Kaplan accepted an invitation to participate in an exchange program with Frankfurt University.

      Europe was just beginning to experience the effects of the heroin epidemic when Kaplan arrived. Due to his previous sociological experience and interest in drug addiction, he quickly gained traction studying the patterns and spread of illicit substance use. Kaplan later joined the Department of Social Psychiatry of Erasmus University in Rotterdam and established the Addiction Research Institute before taking a position as research professor at Maastricht University, where he led the Drug Abuse Research Division of the International Institute for Psychosocial and Socioecological Research. In addition to exploring the spread of heroin throughout Germany, he became interested in differing treatment standards and drug policies among European countries, eventually exploring various community approaches and residential treatment care methods in 13 nations—then the largest funded research project in Europe on drug addiction.

      Despite spending much of his academic career in Europe, Kaplan began to feel a pull back to the United States. The U.S. government had expressed growing interest in supporting research on drug use and minority populations, and Kaplan also met Dr. Avelardo Valdez, then a professor at University of Texas at San Antonio, during a conference in Europe. He began spending summers in Texas, and eventually retired from his European position and transitioned to the University of Houston with Valdez. Appointed associate dean of research, Kaplan began to build up the university’s research profile while continuing to explore the social epidemiology of drug use and its health and social consequences among minorities and special populations, such as evacuees from Hurricane Katrina and gang members.

      In 2011, he joined the USC School of Social Work—along with Valdez and another member of the Houston research team, Dr. Alice Cepeda—and took on a joint role as research professor and associate dean of research. In addition to his administrative responsibilities, Kaplan is keen to continue exploring the preclinical patterns of drug use with his research team, including the emergence of crack cocaine in Mexico City and the impact of the drug wars on Latino communities. He plans to involve students in his field-intensive research and further integrate the PhD program into research activities, in addition to developing a research cluster on drug and social policy with Valdez, Cepeda and other researchers.


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      Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
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      1. Dupont HB, Candel MJJM, Lemmens P, Kaplan C, van de Mheen D, De Vries NK. Stages of Change Model has Limited Value in Explaining the Change in Use of Cannabis among Adolescent Participants in an Efficacious Motivational Interviewing Intervention. J Psychoactive Drugs. 2017 May 26; 1-10. PMID: 28548619.
        View in: PubMed
      2. Song SJ, Subica A, Kaplan C, Tol W, de Jong J. Predicting the Mental Health and Functioning of Torture Survivors. J Nerv Ment Dis. 2017 Mar 27. PMID: 28350563.
        View in: PubMed
      3. Hurd TC, Kaplan C, Cook ED, Chilton JA, Lytton JS, Hawk ET, Jones LA. Building trust and diversity in patient-centered oncology clinical trials: An integrated model. Clin Trials. 2017 Apr; 14(2):170-179. PMID: 28166647.
        View in: PubMed
      4. Liu L, Hsiao SC, Kaplan C. Drug Initiation of Female Detainees in a Compulsory Drug Treatment Institution in China. J Psychoactive Drugs. 2016 Nov-Dec; 48(5):393-401. PMID: 27705089.
        View in: PubMed
      5. Jansson BS, Nyamathi A, Heidemann G, Bird M, Ward CR, Brown-Saltzman K, Duan L, Kaplan C. Predicting Levels of Policy Advocacy Engagement Among Acute-Care Health Professionals. Policy Polit Nurs Pract. 2016 Feb; 17(1):43-55. PMID: 27151835.
        View in: PubMed
      6. Dupont HB, Candel MJ, Kaplan C, van de Mheen D, de Vries NK. Assessing the Efficacy of MOTI-4 for Reducing the Use of Cannabis Among Youth in the Netherlands: A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2016 Jun; 65:6-12. PMID: 26780988.
        View in: PubMed
      7. Jansson BS, Nyamathi A, Heidemann G, Duan L, Kaplan C. Validation of the Policy Advocacy Engagement Scale for frontline healthcare professionals. Nurs Ethics. 2017 May; 24(3):362-375. PMID: 26396141.
        View in: PubMed
      8. Wiesner M, Arbona C, Capaldi DM, Kim HK, Kaplan C. Mother-Youth Acculturation Gaps and Health-Risking/Emotional Problems among Latin-American Adolescents. Span J Psychol. 2015 Jul 20; 18:E52. PMID: 26190068.
        View in: PubMed
      9. Mama SK, Schembre SM, O'Connor DP, Kaplan C, Bode S, Lee RE. Effectiveness of lifestyle interventions to reduce binge eating symptoms in African American and Hispanic women. Appetite. 2015 Dec; 95:269-74. PMID: 26188275; PMCID: PMC4589472 [Available on 12/01/16].
      10. Valdez A, Kaplan C, Nowotny KM, Natera-Rey G, Cepeda A. Emerging patterns of crack use in Mexico City. Int J Drug Policy. 2015 Aug; 26(8):739-45. PMID: 26003928; PMCID: PMC4499486.
      11. Tringale R, Subica AM, Danielian A, Kaplan C. The stepped treatment engagement protocol for homeless, needle exchange heroin-dependent patients. J Addict Med. 2015 Mar-Apr; 9(2):163-4. PMID: 25807454.
        View in: PubMed
      12. Jansson BS, Nyamathi A, Heidemann G, Duan L, Kaplan C. Predicting Patient Advocacy Engagement: A Multiple Regression Analysis Using Data From Health Professionals in Acute-Care Hospitals. Soc Work Health Care. 2015; 54(7):559-81. PMID: 26317762.
        View in: PubMed
      13. Jansson BS, Nyamathi A, Duan L, Kaplan C, Heidemann G, Ananias D. Validation of the patient advocacy engagement scale for health professionals. Res Nurs Health. 2015 Apr; 38(2):162-72. PMID: 25556351.
        View in: PubMed
      14. Song SJ, Kaplan C, Tol WA, Subica A, de Jong J. Psychological distress in torture survivors: pre- and post-migration risk factors in a US sample. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2015 Apr; 50(4):549-60. PMID: 25403567.
        View in: PubMed
      15. Dupont HB, Kaplan C, Braam RV, Verbraeck HT, de Vries NK. The application of the rapid assessment and response methodology for cannabis prevention research among youth in the Netherlands. Int J Drug Policy. 2015 Aug; 26(8):731-8. PMID: 25481612.
        View in: PubMed
      16. Murto C, Ariza L, Alencar CH, Chichava OA, Oliveira AR, Kaplan C, Silva LF, Heukelbach J. Migration among individuals with leprosy: a population-based study in central Brazil. Cad Saude Publica. 2014 Mar; 30(3):487-501. PMID: 24714939.
        View in: PubMed
      17. Cepeda A, Kaplan C, Neaigus A, Cano MÁ, Villarreal Y, Valdez A. Injecting transition risk and depression among Mexican American non-injecting heroin users. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2012 Sep; 125 Suppl 1:S12-7. PMID: 22749681; PMCID: PMC4451197.
      18. Wilson PL, O'Connor DP, Kaplan C, Bode S, Mama SK, Lee RE. Relationship of fruit, vegetable, and fat consumption to binge eating symptoms in African American and Hispanic or Latina women. Eat Behav. 2012 Apr; 13(2):179-82. PMID: 22365808; PMCID: PMC3304303.
      19. Torres LR, Kaplan C, Valdez A. Health consequences of long-term injection heroin use among aging Mexican American men. J Aging Health. 2011 Sep; 23(6):912-32. PMID: 21451118; PMCID: PMC3339484.
      20. Valdez A, Neaigus A, Kaplan C, Cepeda A. High rates of transitions to injecting drug use among Mexican American non-injecting heroin users in San Antonio, Texas (never and former injectors). Drug Alcohol Depend. 2011 Apr 01; 114(2-3):233-6. PMID: 21075561; PMCID: PMC3060287.
      21. Crellin NK, Trifari S, Kaplan C, Satoh-Takayama N, Di Santo JP, Spits H. Regulation of cytokine secretion in human CD127(+) LTi-like innate lymphoid cells by Toll-like receptor 2. Immunity. 2010 Nov 24; 33(5):752-64. PMID: 21055975.
        View in: PubMed
      22. Valdez A, Cepeda A, Negi NJ, Kaplan C. Fumando la piedra: emerging patterns of crack use among Latino immigrant day laborers in New Orleans. J Immigr Minor Health. 2010 Oct; 12(5):737-42. PMID: 19924538; PMCID: PMC3001040.
      23. Drukker M, Kaplan C, Feron FJ, Van Os J, Korebrits A. Delinquency in context; neighbourhood and gender interactions among adolescents. Epidemiol Psichiatr Soc. 2010 Apr-Jun; 19(2):148-58. PMID: 20815299.
        View in: PubMed
      24. Crellin NK, Trifari S, Kaplan C, Cupedo T, Spits H. Human NKp44+IL-22+ cells and LTi-like cells constitute a stable RORC+ lineage distinct from conventional natural killer cells. J Exp Med. 2010 Feb 15; 207(2):281-90. PMID: 20142432; PMCID: PMC2822607.
      25. Cepeda A, Saint Onge JM, Kaplan C, Valdez A. The association between disaster-related experiences and mental health outcomes among drug using African American Hurricane Katrina evacuees. Community Ment Health J. 2010 Dec; 46(6):612-20. PMID: 20091228; PMCID: PMC2919598.
      26. Cepeda A, Valdez A, Kaplan C, Hill LE. Patterns of substance use among hurricane Katrina evacuees in Houston, Texas. Disasters. 2010 Apr; 34(2):426-46. PMID: 19863564; PMCID: PMC3008163.
      27. Valdez A, Cepeda A, Kaplan C. Homicidal Events Among Mexican American Street Gangs: A Situational Analysis. Homicide Stud. 2009 Sep 01; 13(3):288-306. PMID: 21218188.
        View in: PubMed
      28. Trifari S, Kaplan C, Tran EH, Crellin NK, Spits H. Identification of a human helper T cell population that has abundant production of interleukin 22 and is distinct from T(H)-17, T(H)1 and T(H)2 cells. Nat Immunol. 2009 Aug; 10(8):864-71. PMID: 19578368.
        View in: PubMed
      29. Valdez A, Neaigus A, Kaplan C. The Influence of Family and Peer Risk Networks on Drug Use Practices and Other Risks among Mexican American Noninjecting Heroin Users. J Contemp Ethnogr. 2008 Feb 01; 37(1):79-107. PMID: 19337564.
        View in: PubMed
      30. Alper KR, Lotsof HS, Kaplan C. The ibogaine medical subculture. J Ethnopharmacol. 2008 Jan 04; 115(1):9-24. PMID: 18029124.
        View in: PubMed
      31. Petrovan RJ, Kaplan C, Reisfeld RA, Curtiss LK. DNA vaccination against VEGF receptor 2 reduces atherosclerosis in LDL receptor-deficient mice. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2007 May; 27(5):1095-100. PMID: 17303776.
        View in: PubMed
      32. Valdez A, Kaplan C, Curtis RL. Aggressive crime, alcohol and drug use, and concentrated poverty in 24 U.S. urban areas. Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2007; 33(4):595-603. PMID: 17668345; PMCID: PMC3015237.
      33. Valdez A, Kaplan C. CONDITIONS THAT INCREASE DRUG MARKET INVOLVEMENT: THE INVITATIONAL EDGE AND THE CASE OF MEXICANS IN SOUTH TEXAS. J Drug Issues. 2007; 37(4):893-918. PMID: 21218142.
        View in: PubMed
      34. Kruger JA, Kaplan C, Luo Y, Zhou H, Markowitz D, Xiang R, Reisfeld RA. Characterization of stem cell-like cancer cells in immune-competent mice. Blood. 2006 Dec 01; 108(12):3906-12. PMID: 16912222.
        View in: PubMed
      35. Luo Y, Zhou H, Krueger J, Kaplan C, Lee SH, Dolman C, Markowitz D, Wu W, Liu C, Reisfeld RA, Xiang R. Targeting tumor-associated macrophages as a novel strategy against breast cancer. J Clin Invest. 2006 Aug; 116(8):2132-2141. PMID: 16862213; PMCID: PMC1513049.
      36. Kaplan C, Krüger JA, Zhou H, Luo Y, Xiang R, Reisfeld RA. A novel DNA vaccine encoding PDGFRbeta suppresses growth and dissemination of murine colon, lung and breast carcinoma. Vaccine. 2006 Nov 17; 24(47-48):6994-7002. PMID: 17050049.
        View in: PubMed
      37. Valdez A, Kaplan C, Cepeda A. The drugs-violence nexus among Mexican-American gang members. J Psychoactive Drugs. 2006 Jun; 38(2):109-21. PMID: 16903450; PMCID: PMC3015236.
      38. Drukker M, Kaplan C, Schneiders J, Feron FJ, van Os J. The wider social environment and changes in self-reported quality of life in the transition from late childhood to early adolescence: a cohort study. BMC Public Health. 2006 May 17; 6:133. PMID: 16707015; PMCID: PMC1513203.
      39. Lee SH, Mizutani N, Mizutani M, Luo Y, Zhou H, Kaplan C, Kim SW, Xiang R, Reisfeld RA. Endoglin (CD105) is a target for an oral DNA vaccine against breast cancer. Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2006 Dec; 55(12):1565-74. PMID: 16565828.
        View in: PubMed
      40. Cervantes RC, Duenas N, Valdez A, Kaplan C. Measuring violence risk and outcomes among Mexican American adolescent females. J Interpers Violence. 2006 Jan; 21(1):24-41. PMID: 16399922.
        View in: PubMed
      41. Zhou H, Luo Y, Kaplan C, Krüger JA, Lee SH, Xiang R, Reisfeld RA. A DNA-based cancer vaccine enhances lymphocyte cross talk by engaging the NKG2D receptor. Blood. 2006 Apr 15; 107(8):3251-7. PMID: 16368879; PMCID: PMC1895756.
      42. Zhou H, Luo Y, Lo JF, Kaplan C, Mizutani M, Mizutani N, Lee JD, Primus FJ, Becker JC, Xiang R, Reisfeld RA. DNA-based vaccines activate innate and adaptive antitumor immunity by engaging the NKG2D receptor. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Aug 02; 102(31):10846-51. PMID: 16040807; PMCID: PMC1182421.
      43. Drukker M, Kaplan C, van Os J. Residential instability in socioeconomically deprived neighbourhoods, good or bad? Health Place. 2005 Jun; 11(2):121-9. PMID: 15629680.
        View in: PubMed
      44. Kaplan C, Cao Y, Verbeek JS, Tunyogi-Csapo M, Finnegan A. Development of proteoglycan-induced arthritis is critically dependent on Fcgamma receptor type III expression. Arthritis Rheum. 2005 May; 52(5):1612-9. PMID: 15880819.
        View in: PubMed
      45. Drukker M, Buka SL, Kaplan C, McKenzie K, Van Os J. Social capital and young adolescents' perceived health in different sociocultural settings. Soc Sci Med. 2005 Jul; 61(1):185-98. PMID: 15847971.
        View in: PubMed
      46. Henquet C, Krabbendam L, Spauwen J, Kaplan C, Lieb R, Wittchen HU, van Os J. Prospective cohort study of cannabis use, predisposition for psychosis, and psychotic symptoms in young people. BMJ. 2005 Jan 01; 330(7481):11. PMID: 15574485; PMCID: PMC539839.
      47. De Wilde J, Soyez V, Broekaert E, Rosseel Y, Kaplan C, Larsson J. Problem severity profiles of substance abusing women in European Therapeutic Communities: influence of psychiatric problems. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2004 Jun; 26(4):243-51. PMID: 15182888.
        View in: PubMed
      48. Ayuku DO, Devries MW, Mengech HN, Kaplan C. Temperament characteristics of street and non-street children in Eldoret, Kenya. Afr Health Sci. 2004 Apr; 4(1):24-30. PMID: 15126189; PMCID: PMC2141657.
      49. Drukker M, Kaplan C, Feron F, van Os J. Children's health-related quality of life, neighbourhood socio-economic deprivation and social capital. A contextual analysis. Soc Sci Med. 2003 Sep; 57(5):825-41. PMID: 12850109.
        View in: PubMed
      50. Kaplan C, Finnegan A. Osteoclasts, pro-inflammatory cytokines, RANK-L and bone remodeling in rheumatoid arthritis. Front Biosci. 2003 May 01; 8:d1018-29. PMID: 12700082.
        View in: PubMed
      51. Ayuku D, Odero W, Kaplan C, De Bruyn R, De Vries M. Social network analysis for health and social interventions among Kenyan scavenging street children. Health Policy Plan. 2003 Mar; 18(1):109-18. PMID: 12582114.
        View in: PubMed
      52. Kaplan C, O'Neill SK, Koreny T, Czipri M, Finnegan A. Development of inflammation in proteoglycan-induced arthritis is dependent on Fc gamma R regulation of the cytokine/chemokine environment. J Immunol. 2002 Nov 15; 169(10):5851-9. PMID: 12421967.
        View in: PubMed
      53. Finnegan A, Kaplan C, Cao Y, Eibel H, Glant TT, Zhang J. Collagen-induced arthritis is exacerbated in IL-10-deficient mice. Arthritis Res Ther. 2003; 5(1):R18-24. PMID: 12716449; PMCID: PMC154422.
      54. Finnegan A, Grusby MJ, Kaplan C, O'Neill SK, Eibel H, Koreny T, Czipri M, Mikecz K, Zhang J. IL-4 and IL-12 regulate proteoglycan-induced arthritis through Stat-dependent mechanisms. J Immunol. 2002 Sep 15; 169(6):3345-52. PMID: 12218156.
        View in: PubMed
      55. Snelders S, Kaplan C. LSD therapy in Dutch psychiatry: changing socio-political settings and medical sets. Med Hist. 2002 Apr; 46(2):221-40. PMID: 12024809; PMCID: PMC1044496.
      56. Kaplan C, Valdez JC, Chandrasekaran R, Eibel H, Mikecz K, Glant TT, Finnegan A. Th1 and Th2 cytokines regulate proteoglycan-specific autoantibody isotypes and arthritis. Arthritis Res. 2002; 4(1):54-8. PMID: 11879537; PMCID: PMC64852.
      57. Valdez A, Kaplan C, Codina E. Psychopathy Among Mexican American Gang Members: A Comparative Study. Int J Offender Ther Comp Criminol. 2000 Feb; 44(1):46-58. PMID: 21516257.
        View in: PubMed
      58. Valdez A, Kaplan C, Cepeda A. The process of paradoxical autonomy and survival in the heroin careers of Mexican American women. Contemp Drug Probl. 2000; 27:189. PMID: 21057594.
        View in: PubMed
      59. Platt JJ, Buhringer G, Kaplan C, Brown BS, Taube DO. The prospects and limitations of compulsory treatment for drug addiction. J Drug Issues. 1988; 18(4):505-25. PMID: 11650856.
        View in: PubMed
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