For the past half decade, Dr. Eric Leas has studied the social and health implications of legal substance use including cannabis and tobacco. He is currently funded as a Principal Investigator by the US Food and Drug Administration and the National Institute on Drug Abuse and as a Co-Investigator by the National Cancer Institute and the California Tobacco Related Disease Research Program.
Dr. Leas is among the first generation of scientists to come of age in the "Big Data" era, which encompasses many novel data sources including social networks, electronic medical records, and social media. Together with Drs. Alicia Nobles, Ben Althouse, John Ayers, Mark Dredze and many others he has developed methodologies to analyze these data sources to answer research questions that have never before been addressable.
Since his first publication in 2014, Dr. Leas has published over 65 scientific manuscripts. His research has been published in high impact outlets, including 14 publications in the JAMA family of journals. Many of his publications are highly cited in academic and news media outlets and some have been referenced in national monographs such as the US Surgeon General's Report. According to the bibliometrics website ResearchGate, Dr. Leas is in the top 1% of scholars who first published in 2014 in terms of scientific productivity and impact.