Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D. (NAM) (Chair), is the chief executive officer, emeritus, of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the former executive publisher of the Science family of journals. Before joining AAAS, Dr. Leshner was the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health. He also served as the deputy director and acting director of the National Institute of Mental Health and in several roles at the National Science Foundation. Before joining the government, Dr. Leshner was a professor of psychology at Bucknell University. Dr. Leshner is an elected fellow of AAAS, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Public Administration, and many other professional organizations. He is a member of and served on the governing council of the National Academy of Medicine. He served two terms on the National Science Board, appointed first by President Bush and then reappointed by President Obama. Dr. Leshner received Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in physiological psychology from Rutgers University and an A.B. in psychology from Franklin & Marshall College. Dr. Leshner has received many honors and awards, including the Walsh McDermott Medal from the National Academy of Medicine and seven honorary doctor of science degrees.
Huda Akil, Ph.D. (NAS/NAM), is the Gardner Quarton Distinguished University Professor of Neuroscience and Psychiatry and the co-director of the Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute at the University of Michigan. Research in the Akil laboratory is focused on understanding the brain biology of emotions, including pain, anxiety, depression, and substance
abuse. Her early work provided the first physiological evidence for a role of endogenous opioids in the brain and demonstrated that endorphins are activated by stress to block pain, a phenomenon termed stress-induced analgesia. She and her colleagues demonstrated that genes that encode the natural opioids produce multiple products in the brain and that these products act in a coordinated manner to modify a wide range of behaviors, including the control of feeding and the response to stress, pain, and drugs of abuse.
Dr. Akil collaborated with Stanley J. Watson in a series of studies, including the cloning of two types of opioid receptors and the extensive characterization of the brain anatomy of the opioid peptides and receptors. Her group conducted extensive structure–function analyses defining the molecular basis of selectivity and high-affinity binding of endorphins and opioid drugs at the different subtypes of opioid receptors.
A major focus of her current research program is on establishing animal models to uncover the genetic and developmental bases of temperament, and the implications of these inborn differences for vulnerability to clinical depression and to substance abuse disorders.
Colleen Barry, Ph.D., is the Fred and Julie Soper Professor and the chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She has a joint appointment in the Department of Mental Health. Dr. Barry’s research focuses on how health and social policies can affect a range of outcomes for individuals with mental illness and substance use disorders (SUDs), including access to medical care and social services, care quality, health care spending, financial protection, and mortality. She is involved in numerous research studies examining the implications of health insurance expansions and health care delivery system reform efforts on the treatment of mental illness and SUDs. She also conducts empirical research to understand how communication strategies influence public attitudes about opioid addiction, mental illness, gun policy, and obesity and food policy. One focus of this work is to identify evidence-based approaches to reducing stigma. She has authored more than 150 peer-reviewed articles on these topics. Dr. Barry is founding co-director (with Elizabeth Stuart) of the Johns Hopkins Center for Mental Health and Addiction Policy Research and is a core faculty member in the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research. Dr. Barry received her Ph.D. in health policy from Harvard University and her master’s degree in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Kathleen Carroll, Ph.D., is the Albert E. Kent Professor of Psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine. She graduated summa cum laude from Duke University, received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology in 1988 from the
University of Minnesota, and completed her pre-doctoral training at the Yale School of Medicine’s Division of Addictions, where she was promoted to professor in 2002. She is the principal investigator of the Center for Psychotherapy Development at Yale, the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s (NIDA’s) only center devoted to behavioral therapies research, and since 1999 she has been the principal investigator of the New England Consortium Node of NIDA’s Clinical Trials Network (merging with Dr. Roger Weiss’s northern New England node in 2008). Dr. Carroll is the author of more than 300 peer-reviewed publications as well as numerous chapters and books. Her research has focused on the development and evaluation of behavioral treatments and combinations of behavioral therapies and pharmacotherapies, with an emphasis on improving the quality and rigor of clinical efficacy research in the addictions. Dr. Carroll received a National Institutes of Health Method to Extend Research in Time award in 2003 for her work on developing Web-based cognitive–behavioral therapy.
Chinazo Cunningham, M.D., is a professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Since 1998, Dr. Cunningham has been providing care, developing programs, and conducting research focused on people who use drugs. She has collaborated with community-based organizations to develop unique and innovative programs. Parallel with program development, her research has focused on improving access to care, the use of health care services, and health outcomes. Dr. Cunningham has published more than 100 articles and has been the principal investigator on numerous grants funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Health Resources and Services Administration, foundations, and local and state departments of health. Dr. Cunningham has served on numerous national advisory committees, including serving as the chair of New York State Department of Health’s Substance Use Guidelines Committee; a member and chair of NIH’s Behavioral and Social Consequences of HIV/AIDS Study Section; and a member of CDC’s board of scientific counselors of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Dr. Cunningham’s husband is employed by and owns stock in Quest Diagnostics.
Walter Ginter is the project director of the Medication Assisted Recovery Support (M.A.R.S.) Project. The M.A.R.S. Project is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. It is the only federal project designed to provide peer recovery support to persons whose recovery from opiate addiction is assisted by medication. It is in collaboration with the Division of Substance Abuse at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University, and the National Alliance for Medication Assisted (NAMA)
Recovery. He was formerly on the board of directors of Faces and Voices of Recovery. Mr. Ginter is the director of training and certification at NAMA Recovery. He is a planning partner for National Recovery Month and a member of the Methadone Treatment Advisory Group of the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) and the New York State OASAS Recovery Implementation Team.
Traci Green, Ph.D., M.Sc., is an associate professor of emergency medicine and community health sciences at the Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health, the deputy director of the Boston Medical Center Injury Prevention Center, and an adjunct associate professor of emergency medicine at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Dr. Green is an epidemiologist whose research focuses on drug use, opioid addiction, and drug-related injury. Specifically, the areas in which she is most interested and to which she has contributed include the intersecting worlds of HIV infection and drug use, the non-medical use of prescription drugs, corrections health, drug policy, and opioid overdose prevention and intervention. She earned a master of science in epidemiology and biostatistics from McGill University and a Ph.D. in epidemiology from Yale University where she was both a Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS pre-doctoral fellow and an individual Kirschstein–National Research Services Award pre-doctoral fellow. She helped design the ASI-MV®, a real-time illicit and prescription misuse surveillance system developed by Inflexxion, Inc. Dr. Green helped co-found www.prescribetoprevent.org for prescribers and pharmacists and its companion site, www.prevent-protect.org, for families, patients, and community organizations. She serves as an advisor to the Rhode Island governor on addiction and overdose, and consults for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas on public health and public safety opportunities. She served on the board of scientific counselors for CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control and on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Committee on Pain Management and Regulatory Strategies to Address Prescription Opioid Abuse. Her research is supported by CDC, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, the Bloomberg American Health Initiative, and the U.S. Department of Justice.
Yasmin Hurd, Ph.D. (NAM), is the Ward-Coleman Chair of Translational Neuroscience and the director of the Addiction Institute at Mount Sinai. Dr. Hurd’s multidisciplinary research investigates the neurobiology underlying addiction disorders and related psychiatric illnesses. A translational
approach is used to examine molecular and neurochemical events in the human brain and comparable animal models in order to ascertain neurobiological correlates of behavior. Her basic science studies are complemented by human clinical laboratory investigations in patients with substance use disorders focused on the development of new treatment interventions.
Alan Jette, PT, Ph.D., M.P.H., FAPTA (NAM), is a professor of rehabilitation science in the Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Sciences program and in the Department of Physical Therapy at the MGH Institute of Health Professions. Dr. Jette is also a professor and dean emeritus at Boston University. Dr. Jette is a physical therapist and an internationally recognized expert in the measurement of function and disability. He has developed numerous instruments that assess function and disability and has published numerous articles on these topics in the rehabilitation, geriatrics, and public health literature.
Over the past 30 years, Dr. Jette has received a total of 54 grants and fellowships from such agencies as the National Institutes of Health (multiple divisions), Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the National Arthritis Foundation. His current research interests include the measurement, epidemiology, and prevention of disability and the development and dissemination of contemporary outcome measurement instruments to evaluate the quality of health care. He also has applied his research to randomized clinical trials to reduce disability in older adults using cognitive–behavioral strategies, exercise training, and programs to reduce fear of falling. He furthermore developed and tested innovative strategies to disseminate these programs to the wider community.
From 2005 to 2007 Dr. Jette chaired the Institute of Medicine (IOM) project The Future of Disability in America. Building on the 1991 landmark IOM report Disability in America, the IOM panel presented updated developments since that report’s publication and highlighted future priorities for the nation. The panel’s report was released in 2007. In 2013, Dr. Jette was elected to the National Academy of Medicine. He currently serves as editor-in-chief of the journal Physical Therapy.
Laura R. Lander, M.S.W., is an associate professor, social work section chief, and addiction therapist in the Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry and the Department of Neuroscience at West Virginia University’s School of Medicine. She graduated with a master’s in social work from Columbia University and currently holds licensure as an independent clinical social worker under the West Virginia Board of Social Work Licensure. She previously served as the clinical coordinator of the Child Outpatient Clinic at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts, and was the director of adult mental health services at the Pederson Krag Center
in Smithtown, New York. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and the National Association for Addiction Professionals.
David Patterson Silver Wolf, Ph.D., is an associate professor at Washington University in St. Louis’ Brown School of Social Work. Dr. Patterson Silver Wolf is a faculty scholar in the Washington University Institute for Public Health; co-director of the Collaboration on Race, Inequality, and Social Mobility in America; and the research director in the Buder Center, and he serves as training faculty for two National Institutes of Health–funded (T32) training programs at the Brown School, including the Transdisciplinary Training in Addictions Research program of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Before entering academics, he spent more than 15 years providing clinical services in the substance use disorder treatment field and is a person who has sustained a life in recovery since 1989. Dr. Patterson Silver Wolf investigates how to best implement evidence-based interventions and technologies into community-based services. He is leading a new technology start-up, Takoda (https://www.takoda.io), that develops tech tools to measure and monitor treatment performance. He is the director of the Community Academic Partnership on Addiction (CAPA) and is the chief research officer at the new CAPA Clinic, a St. Louis City addiction outpatient treatment program. The CAPA Clinic is incorporating and testing various performance-based practice technology tools to respond to the opioid epidemic and to improve addiction treatment outcomes.
Dr. Patterson Silver Wolf also studies factors that improve underrepresented minority college students’ academic success and has developed a brief intervention that significantly increases college retention and grade point average.
Seun Ross, D.N.P., M.S.N., CRNP-F, NP-C, NEA-BC, is the director of nursing practice and work environment at the American Nurses Association. Dr. Ross is a published author and a lecturer on many topics within her research interests, which include evidence-based practice, workforce management, registered nurse (RN) work environment, competency, and developing and mentoring the novice RN. In her clinical experience as a hospital administrator and clinician, she worked with pregnant women where medication-assisted therapy was part of the treatment regimen. She is currently the president of IMBUE Foundation and the immediate past president of the Chi Zeta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society and a member of the Academy of Healthcare Executives, and she holds certifications as a family nurse practitioner and nurse executive–advanced.
Scott Steiger, M.D., is an associate clinical professor of medicine and psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, and is board certified in both internal medicine and addiction medicine. Currently serving as the deputy medical director of the Opiate Treatment Outpatient Program at San Francisco General, he helps direct the “medication-assisted” treatment of approximately 600 patients with opioid use disorder, more than half of whom are experiencing homelessness. He has extensive clinical and teaching experience in the treatment of opiate use disorder with all U.S. Food and Drug Administration–approved medications in the safety net primary care, acute care hospital, and specialty licensed opiate treatment program settings.
David Vlahov, Ph.D., RN FAAN (NAM), is the associate dean for research and a professor of nursing at the Yale School of Nursing with a secondary appointment as a professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health. He served as the principal investigator of the AIDS Link to Intravenous Experiences (ALIVE) study for its first 15 years; the study recruited 2,921 injection drug users outside of treatment settings in 1988–1989 and followed them semiannually. The study has continued and recently completed its 30th year of follow-up. This study was originally designed to address the epidemiology and natural history of HIV infection among drug users, but it expanded to include detailed investigations of many other medical consequences of drug use through clinical endpoints and mortality. The study provided data on the natural history of drug use that shape patterns of drug use, including medically assisted therapies. ALIVE has been more than simply a natural history study, and its data have been used to evaluate programs and policies that affect population health. For this study, Dr. Vlahov received a National Institutes of Health Method to Extend Research in Time award. Dr. Vlahov has been the principal investigator of several other longitudinal studies of drug users, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s HIV Epidemiology Research study of HIV infection in women, with half reporting substance use, and the REACH longitudinal study of HIV in adolescents and young adult drug users. In addition, Dr. Vlahov has completed studies of infectious disease prevalence and incidence in correctional settings as well as studies of reentry challenges. He served as the director of the Center for Urban Epidemiologic Studies at The New York Academy of Medicine, where he was the academic lead and principal investigator for the Harlem Community–Academic Partnership, which completed community-based participatory research to evaluate outreach programs for substance users. He served on the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse and on the board of health for New York City. He is an expert more broadly in urban health, serving as editor of the Journal of Urban Health and founding president for the
International Society for Urban Health. He has edited 4 books and published more than 660 papers. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars and is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. He earned his undergraduate degrees at Earlham College and the University of Maryland and his doctoral degree at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.