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Meet Our Subject Area Experts

Revised May 2019

To schedule an interview with one of the following NIDA subject matter experts, please contact the NIDA Press Office at 301-443-6245 or media@nida.nih.

Nora D. Volkow, M.D.

Nora D. Volkow, M.D.
Director
(Available for interviews in both English and Spanish)
Dr. Volkow is a world leader on the neurobiology of addiction. As director of NIDA, she oversees an annual budget of approximately $1 billion and a staff of 400 federal employees.

Areas of Expertise: Science of addiction; brain imaging; addiction as a brain disease; HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-term) initiative; prescription drug misuse; opioid addiction; effects of drugs on the teenage brain; stigma; Monitoring the Future survey of teen drug use

 
Wilson M. Compton, M.D., M.P.E.

Wilson M. Compton, M.D., M.P.E.
Deputy Director

Areas of Expertise: Prescription drug misuse; opioid addiction; fentanyl; epidemiology; addiction prevention and treatment; Monitoring the Future survey of teen drug use; nicotine/tobacco addiction; e-cigarettes/vaping; Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study

 
Ruben Baler, Ph.D.

Ruben Baler, Ph.D.
Health Scientist
(Available for interviews in both English and Spanish)

Areas of Expertise: Neurobiology of drug use and addiction; effects of drug use on the body and the brain; Monitoring the Future survey of teen drug use; anabolic steroids; marijuana; inhalants 

 
Michael Baumann, Ph.D.

Michael Baumann, Ph.D.
Chief, Designer Drug Research Unit, Intramural Research Program

Areas of Expertise: Pharmacology and toxicology of newly-emerging designer drugs, including synthetic cathinones (e.g., “bath salts”) and synthetic cannabinoids (e.g., K2/“Spice”)

 
Carlos Blanco, M.D., Ph.D.

Carlos Blanco, M.D., Ph.D.
Director, Division of Epidemiology, Services, and Prevention Research
(Available for interviews in both English and Spanish)

Areas of Expertise: Epidemiology; addiction prevention and treatment; comorbidity, including mood, depression, or anxiety disorders; behavioral addiction

 
Redonna Chandler, Ph.D.

Redonna Chandler, Ph.D. 
Director, AIDS Research Program

Areas of Expertise: Research on HIV/AIDS and drug use; HEALing Communities Study; NIDA Avant-Garde Awards; addiction prevention and treatment for criminal justice populations; evidence-based treatment in clinical practice

 
Ron Dobbins, M.B.A., P.M.P

Ron Dobbins, M.B.A., P.M.P
Clinical Trials Program Specialist, Office of the CCTN Director

Areas of Expertise: NIH HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-term) initiative on Enhancing the NIDA Clinical Trials Network to Address Opioids project designed to expand NIH research to more communities in areas of the country that are severely impacted by the opioid crisis; buprenorphine

 
Gayathri Dowling, Ph.D.

Gayathri Dowling, Ph.D.
Director, Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Project

Areas of Expertise: ABCD study, marijuana and the teenage brain, drugs and aging

 
Emily Einstein, Ph.D.

Emily Einstein, Ph.D.
Deputy Branch Chief, Office of Science Policy and Communications

Areas of Expertise: Science of addiction; neurobiology of addiction; molecular and cellular mechanisms of opioid reward; addiction prevention and treatment; effects of drug use on the body and the brain

 
Dr. Michelle Freund, Ph.D.

Dr. Michelle Freund, Ph.D.
Director, HEALthy Brain and Child Development Study

Areas of Expertise: NIH HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-term) initiative on the HEALthy Brain and Child Development Study researching brain development, including cognitive, behavioral, social, and emotional development, beginning prenatally through early childhood

 
Steven Gust, Ph.D.

Steven Gust, Ph.D.
Director, International Program/Special Assistant to the Director

Areas of Expertise: Global research, training and education; marijuana research; NIDA Drug Supply Program

 
Emily Jones, Ph.D.

Emily Jones, Ph.D.
Branch Chief, Office of Science Policy and Communications

Areas of Expertise: Science of addiction; teen drug use; addiction prevention and treatment; effects of drug use on the body and the brain

 
Jacqueline Lloyd, Ph.D., M.S.W.

Jacqueline Lloyd, Ph.D., M.S.W.
Health Scientist Administrator, Prevention Research Branch

Areas of Expertise: Addiction prevention intervention research; NIH HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-term) initiative on Preventing At-Risk Adolescents Transitioning into Adulthood from Developing Opioid Use Disorder to develop and test effective prevention strategies that target older adolescents and young adults in health care, justice, and other systems and settings where these at-risk populations can be accessed and engaged

 
Ivan Montoya, M.P.H., M.D.

Ivan Montoya, M.P.H., M.D.
Deputy Director, Division of Therapeutics and Medical Consequences
(Available for interviews in both English and Spanish)

Areas of Expertise: Medications development; NIH HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-term) initiative on Focusing Medication Development to Treat Opioid Use Disorder and Prevent/Reverse Overdose; treatment of substance use disorders; addiction vaccine development; clinical trial data and safety monitoring

 
Amy Newman, Ph.D.

Amy Newman, Ph.D.
Acting Scientific Director, NIDA Intramural Research Program

Areas of Expertise: IRP research; medicinal chemistry, in vitro tissue and cell-based assays, pre-clinical research; mechanisms underlying drug use and identification of targets for medications development; dopamine receptors and monoamine transporters

 
Dr. Kurt Rasmussen, Ph.D.

Dr. Kurt Rasmussen, Ph.D.
Director, Division of Therapeutics and Medical Consequences

Areas of Expertise: Medications development; NIH HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-term) initiative on Focusing Medication Development to Treat Opioid Use Disorder and Prevent/Reverse Overdose; addiction vaccine development; treatment of substance use disorders

 
Jack Stein, M.S.W., Ph.D.

Jack Stein, M.S.W., Ph.D.
Chief of Staff and Director, Office of Science Policy and Communications, Office of Science Policy and Communications

Areas of Expertise: Drug use and HIV-related research, science policy and practice; addiction prevention and treatment; prescription drug and opioid misuse; NIH HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-term) initiative on opioid research

 
Dr. Kevin Walton, Ph.D.

Dr. Kevin Walton, Ph.D.
Chief, Clinical Research Grants Branch

Areas of Expertise: E-cigarettes; vaping; nicotine/tobacco research; smoking cessation; clinical treatment studies

 
Tisha Wiley Ph.D

Tisha Wiley, Ph.D
Associate Director for Justice Systems;  Chief, Service Research Branch

Areas of Expertise: Treatment in criminal justice populations; NIH HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-term) initiative on the Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network; services/research implementation science; opioid addiction treatment in the criminal justice system

 
Rita Valentino, Ph.D.

Rita Valentino, Ph.D.
Director, Division of Neuroscience and Behavior

Areas of Expertise: Basic neuroscience; effects of social stress; sex differences; opioid neuropharmacology; neurobiological mechanisms; psychiatric disorders, including PTSD, anxiety and depression

 
Jennifer Villani, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Jennifer Villani, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Associate Director, HEALing Communities Study

Areas of Expertise: NIH HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-term) initiative on the HEALing Communities Study testing the impact of an integrated set of evidence-based interventions for opioid use disorder across healthcare, behavioral health, justice, and other community-based settings

 
Susan R.B. Weiss, Ph.D.

Susan R.B. Weiss, Ph.D.
Director, Division of Extramural Research

Areas of Expertise: Science of addiction; marijuana science and policy; extramural research grant program and training; trans-NIH initiatives; Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study

For areas of expertise not listed, please contact the NIDA press office at 301-443-6245 or media@nida.nih.gov.

This page was last updated May 2019

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