Meet Team IMPACT

a group of 8 smiling people stand together outside in a garden

Drs. Carpenter and Smith have been working together at MUSC since 2017. Team IMPACT also includes interns, postdocs, research assistants, and undergraduates.

Carpenter Bio | Smith Bio | Research Staff | Alumni

Matthew Carpenter, Ph.D.

Matt Carpenter headshot

Faculty Profile
Carpenter CV (PDF)

Dr. Carpenter is the Flora McLeod Edwards Distinguished Chair in Cancer Research and is a tenured professor, serving as both co-leader of the Cancer Prevention & Control Program and co-director of the Tobacco Research Program within MUSC Hollings Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center. His primary body of research falls into three thematic areas. The first focuses on randomized trials of medication sampling, a pragmatic and scalable behavioral exercise that allows smokers to get further engaged in the cessation process. His teams have conducted a number of trials, often large scale and nationwide, to evaluate medication sampling among smokers across the motivational spectrum.

A second theme of his work is to apply the same naturalistic product sampling approach, within a randomized design (minimizing self-selection bias), to evaluate the effects of alternative products, namely e-cigarettes. This design allows examination of naturalistic yet causal effects of e-cigarettes on uptake, outcomes, and biomarkers. A third theme is more methodological, and derives from the first two.

Throughout these large scale, remote clinical trials, his team continues to push the envelope for what can be done remotely, and how it can be done. New mHealth tools allow researchers to reach large and diverse study samples (external validity) while maintaining the methodological rigor (internal validity) that all trials must balance. These tools became much more popular during COVID, but have only opened the doors of possibility to what lies ahead for clinical research.

Across these themes, Dr. Carpenter led a wide range of large scale randomized clinical trials (RCTs) on: 1) smoking reduction (N=616), 2) several trials of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) sampling (Ns=849, 157, 1245) and 3) alternative tobacco products (N=1236). He recently led what we believe is the largest (N=638) naturalistic clinical trial of e-cigarettes in the U.S. These pragmatic trials test the real-world impact of providing sampling (NRT or e-cigarettes) to smokers.

Throughout, Dr. Carpenter is keen on trainee development, encouraging a long line of trainees to develop their own science (primary mentor for F32, K07, K01, 2 K23s, 3 American Cancer Society and various NIH Loan Repayment Program recipients) and progress in their own professional careers (>6 prior trainees now in academia). He has served on several NIH study sections, including several as chair. As of January 2022, he took on a role as NIH Center for Scientific Review Advisory Committee Member.

Tracy Smith, Ph.D.

Tracy Smith headshot

Faculty Profile
Smith CV (PDF)

Dr. Smith is an associate professor in the Addiction Sciences Division of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. She is also a member of the Cancer Prevention & Control Program within MUSC Hollings Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center. The goal of Dr. Smith’s research is to reduce the harms associated with smoking, with a focus on regulatory science. One arm of her research has focused on tobacco regulations that can reduce the appeal and addictiveness of combustible tobacco — the most harmful form of tobacco. This includes a decade of research related to reducing the nicotine level within cigarettes to minimally addictive levels, and new research investigating the impact of banning menthol within cigarettes.

Another arm of Dr. Smith’s research focuses on the impact of non-combustible tobacco products on public health, including both their potential to serve as harm reduction tools for current smokers and their potential to increase harm for youth and non-smokers who initiate tobacco use with these products. Dr. Smith is currently conducting several trials that test the impact of e-cigarettes on smoking behavior and smoking abstinence among current smokers.

Dr. Smith is passionate about mentoring and works with trainees at a variety of levels, including high school students, undergraduates, graduate students, psychology interns, and postdoctoral fellows.

Research Staff

Program Coordinators

Billy McCamy headshot

Billy McCamy

Billy joined Team IMPACT as a program coordinator in 2024. He graduated from the College of Charleston with a B.S. in biology in 2021 and plans to pursue medical school in the future.

Merrit McDonald headshot

Merritt McDonald

Merritt is a program coordinator for Dr. Smith's lab and joined Team IMPACT in 2023. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Wake Forest University and hopes to attend physician assistant school in the future.

Program Assistants

Gabrielle Brown headshot

Gabrielle (Gabby) Brown

Gabby joined Team IMPACT as a program assistant in 2024. She graduated from the University of South Carolina as a student-athlete with her B.S. in biological sciences in 2022. She has plans to pursue medical school in the future.

Danielle King headshot

Danielle King

Danielle has been a program assistant for Dr. Carpenter’s and Dr. Smith’s studies since May 2024. She graduated from the College of Charleston in May 2024 with a B.S. in psychology and a minor in crime, law, and society. She plans to pursue her master's in health administration. In her free time, Danielle enjoys spending time with her family, building new Lego sets and baking.

Katelyn Koval headshot

Katelyn Koval

Katelyn has been a program assistant for Dr. Carpenter’s and Dr. Smith’s studies since 2023. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay with B.A.s in both psychology and education in 2021 and plans to pursue her Ph.D. in clinical psychology in the future.

Yunuen Lupian headshot

Yunuen Lupian

Yunuen has been a program assistant for Dr. Smith's and Dr. Carpenter's team since 2022. She assists in study recruitment, development, and participant engagement. She graduated with a bachelor's in psychology and will be pursuing her master's degree in clinical counseling psychology at The Citadel. Fascinated by psychedelic research, she aspires to contribute to this area of study in her future endeavors. In her free time, Yunuen enjoys cooking, going to the beach and indulging in creative pursuits.


Research Staff

Amy Boatright
Amy Boatright served as a program coordinator from 2007–2023. Over her long tenure with our team, Amy laid the foundation, and provided the guidance, for the many team members who would follow her. Her role over the years became invaluable. We thank Amy for her time with us and we wish her well as she moves on to other adventures at MUSC and beyond.

J’Niece Hunter
J’Niece Hunter is moving forward with her master's degree in counseling from The Citadel, transitioning now to an internship. With doctoral training pending in the future, J’Niece will pursue her passion for clinical psychology within military/veteran populations.

  • Lisa Coles – Attendance and Enrollment Coordinator, Meeting Street Academy
  • Liz Hawes – Clinical Psychology Doctoral Student, University of Alabama, Birmingham
  • Johanna Hidalgo – Clinical Psychology Doctoral Student, University of Vermont
  • Noelle Natale, MA – Clinical Counseling Psychology Student, The Citadel, and Program Coordinator, MUSC
  • Hannah Shoemaker, MS – Clinical Family Advocate, Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center
  • Caitlin Hood, Ph.D. – Staff to Doctoral Student to Assistant Professor, University of Kentucky

Psychology Interns, Postdocs, and Junior Faculty

  • Margaret Fahey, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor, Middle Tennessee State University
  • Jessica Burris, Ph.D. – Associate Professor, University of Kentucky
  • Bryan Heckman, Ph.D. – Associate Professor, Meharry Medical College
  • Eleanor Leavens, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor, University of Kansas Medical Center
  • Amanda Mathew, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor, Rush University
  • Ellen Meier, Ph.D. – Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Minnesota