Dr. Kathleen Brady

Dr. Kathleen Brady, MD, PhD - Medical University of South Carolina
Presentation: PTSD and Addiction: A Biopsychosocial Update

Dr. Brady has been conducting scientific investigations and clinical work in the field of addictions and psychiatric disorders for over 30 years. Her research focuses on the pharmacotherapy of substance use disorders, comorbidity of psychiatric disorders and addictions (e.g., posttraumatic stress disorder and bipolar disorder), gender differences and women’s issues in addictions, and the neurobiologic connections between stress and addictions. 

Dr. Brady has received numerous federal research grants and has published over 300 peer-reviewed journal articles and co-edited 10 books. She is the principal Investigator of MUSC’s Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA), Principal Investigator of the Southern Consortium Node of the NIDA-funded Clinical Trials Network, and Director of MUSC’s Women’s Research Center. 

Dr. Brady’s dedication to furthering research careers has attracted junior investigators and clinicians to her labs. She has mentored over 25 individual NIH-funded faculty development awards (K-awards) and is presently involved in three institutional faculty development programs (CTSA KL2; BIRCWH, NIDA K-12). She has been the Co-Director of MUSC’s NIH- funded post-doctoral fellowship program focused on translational research training in addictions for 15 years.

Dr. Patricia Conrod

Dr. Patricia Conrod, PhD - University of Montreal
Presentation: Prevention of Substance Abuse

Dr. Conrod is a Clinical Psychologist by training and a Full Professor of Psychiatry at the Université de Montréal. She is based at the Centre hospitalier universitaire (CHU) Sainte Justine Mother and Child Hospital Research Centre in Montreal, where she holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Preventative Mental Health and Addiction, and a Research Chair in Social and Community Pediatrics funded by Fondation Julien/Jean & Marcelle Coutu. Her research focuses on cognitive, personality, and biological risk factors for the development and maintenance of drug abuse and the factors that mediate the co-occurrence of addictive behaviours with other mental disorders. Her research findings have led to the development of new approaches to substance abuse treatment and prevention that target personality risk factors and the underlying motivational determinants of drug use in subtypes of substance misusers. 

Dr. Conrod developed the Preventure Program, which has been identified as an evidence-based prevention program in the UNODC International Standards for Drug Prevention and the U.S. Surgeon General’s 2016 Report on Addiction. Her research is funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Fondation de Recherche en Santé du Québec, European Commission (Health and Humanities and Social Sciences), National Institutes of Health, Medical Research Council-UK, National Health and Medical Research Council – Australia. 

Dr. Conrod is a member of the CIHR Institute of Neurosciences Mental Health and Addiction Advisory Board, American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and Associate Editor of the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. She has co-authored more than 200 peer reviewed articles, including publications  in Science, Nature, JAMAPsychiatry, and the American Journal of Psychiatry. Her research has been featured in news articles in the Financial Times, New York Times, The Guardian, Time Magazine, Maclean’s Magazine, and CNN. From 2016-2018, she participated as an advisor and spokesperson for Health Canada’s Public Education Campaign during the transition to cannabis legalisation and continues to train communities around the world on evidence-based drug and alcohol prevention strategies.

Dr. Marc Galanter

Dr. Marc Galanter, MD - University of New York
Presentation: Research on Spirituality

Dr. Marc Galanter is a Professor of Psychiatry at NYU. He founded the Division of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse at NYU, and the journal Substance Abuse. He is co-editor of the APA’s Textbook of Substance Abuse Treatment, and has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles. In addition, he has written four books: Cults: Faith, Healing, and Coercion, Network Therapy for Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Spirituality and the Healthy Mind, and What is Alcoholics Anonymous? A Path from Addiction to Recovery. His NIH and foundation-funded studies have addressed Network Therapy for substance abuse, pharmacologic treatment for addiction, the psychology of Twelve-Step recovery, and spirituality in healthcare.

Dr. Galanter attended Albert Einstein College of Medicine where he did his residency in psychiatry. He was a Clinical Associate at the National Institute of Mental Health,and then an NIH Career Teacher. He has served as President of the Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse (AMERSA), the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP), and the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). He has received many awards including the Gold Achievement Award for innovation in clinical care, and
the Seymour Vestermark Award for Psychiatric Education, both from the American Psychiatric Association; the McGovern Award for Medical Teaching from AMERSA; the Founder’s Award from AAAP; New York State’s Award for Psychiatric Research; and the Smithers Distinguished Scientist Award from ASAM.

Dr. Hugh Garavan

Dr. Hugh Garavan, PhD - University of Vermont
Presentation: Developmental Risks for Addiction

Dr. Hugh Garavan is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Vermont. He received his PhD in Cognitive Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience from Bowling Green State University in Ohio and completed postdoctoral fellowships at Cornell University and the Medical College of Wisconsin. He was an Associate Professor in the School of Psychology at Trinity College Dublin prior to his move to Vermont in 2011.

Dr. Garavan’s research uses structural and functional neuroimaging to study cognitive control and reward processes with a particular interest in how functional changes in these systems may contribute to addiction and related mental health issues. In addition to studying current polysubstance users, he has researched the importance of cognitive control systems for maintaining drug abstinence. His primary research focus of the last few years has been adolescent neurodevelopment including risk factors for psychopathology and drug use. He is a co-investigator on the IMAGEN project, a longitudinal neuroimaging-genetic study of over 2,000 teens in Europe. He is a site PI and Associate Director of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study, a longitudinal neuroimaging-genetic study of over 11,000 children in the USA. He is PI on a T32 that trains pre- and postdoctoral fellows in the application of complex systems methodologies to large neuroimaging datasets and is co-founder of the ENIGMA-Addiction working group which is a data pooling endeavor that combines neuroimaging data from thousands of substance users from around the world. 

He has published 300 papers in the fields of cognitive neuroscience and addiction.

Dr. James MacKillop

Dr. James MacKillop, PhD - McMaster University
Presentation: Cannabis in the Era of Legalization 

Dr. MacKillop trained as a clinical psychologist at the State University of New York at Binghamton (BA, MA, PhD) and Brown University (predoctoral internship). Dr. MacKillop is the inaugural holder of the Peter Boris Chair in Addictions Research, Director of the Peter Boris Centre for Addictions Research, and Co-Director of the Michael G. DeGroote Centre for Medicinal Cannabis Research.

Dr. MacKillop’s research has generated over 200 peer-reviewed publications and other works to date, and has been recognized by awards from the Society for Addiction Psychology, the Research Society on Alcoholism, and the American Psychological Association. His research program has been funded by extramural grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and other extramural funders since 2005. 

Dr. MacKillop was the recipient of the 2019 Royal Mach-Gaensslen Prize for Mental Health Research, the most prestigious prize in Canada for mental health researchers given to help recognize and support their innovative and ongoing research endeavours.

Dr. Ivan Montoya

Dr. Ivan Montoya, MPH, MD - National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Presentation: Emerging Drug Abuse Trends/Research Priorities 

Dr. Montoya is a psychiatrist and epidemiologist who specializes in the development of therapeutics for Substance Use Disorders (SUDs). He provides programmatic oversight for grants and contracts in the Division of Therapeutics and Medical Consequences at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and manages activities and resources of the Division involved in the research of new therapeutics and the medical consequences of SUDs. He also provides medical oversight to grants and contracts, and supports NIDA’s implementation of NIH wide policies for the Clinical Trials Stewardship Initiative. 

Dr. Montoya leads NIDA’s marijuana medications development initiative and the recently-published funding opportunity for the development of medications to prevent opioid use disorders and overdose, which is part of the NIH’s Public-Private Partnership to combat the opioid use crisis. He collaborates with the Intramural Research Project, with NIDA’s International Office in the Latin American Initiative, and is a member of several scientific interest workgroups. Previous experience includes seven years as a clinical investigator in the Intramural Research Program of NIDA, and four years in academia. He joined NIDA in December 1999.

Dr. Marc Potenza

Dr. Marc Potenza, PhD, MD - Yale University
Presentation: Behavioral Addiction and Gaming

Dr. Marc Potenza has extensive experience and expertise in studying the neurobiology of addictions. Over the past 20 years, he has investigated addictive behaviors and disorders from translational and interdisciplinary perspectives. He has investigated how a neurobiological understanding of addictive processes may be used to advance treatments for drug addictions. He was amongst the first to describe adolescence as a neurodevelopmental period of addiction vulnerability and has published extensively on adolescent risk behaviors including substance misuse. He has studied motivational and emotional processing in addictions, and has served as Principal Investigator on multiple NIH (NIDA, NIAAA) R01 grants (continuous support for more than a decade) and has been PI on multiple center grants.

Dr. Potenza has established ongoing research collaborations in multiple countries including China, South Korea, Hungary, Spain, Italy and elsewhere. His international research includes multiple methodologies including brain imaging, genetics, clinical trials, and epidemiological surveys. He consults on a regular basis to the World Health Organization on matters of addiction and is thus familiar with cultural and jurisdictional considerations in studying and understanding addictions. He has mentored over 100 individuals in the area of addiction research. 

Dr. Potenza is currently a PI on a NIDA K12 grant that supports training of junior faculty to develop into the next generation of clinical researchers developing new and more effective treatments for people with addictions. He has also recently been designated a High Level Foreign Talent for collaborative work in China, and is currently a mentor to five individuals with K01 support.

Dr. Vladimir Poznyak

Dr. Vladimir Poznyak, MD, PhD - World Health Organization (WHO)
Presentation: World Health Organization Update

Dr. Vladimir Poznyak, a medical doctor and psychiatrist by professional background, is the Coordinator of the WHO Management of Substance Abuse unit at WHO Headquarters in Geneva. In this role, he is responsible for the coordination and implementation of a range of activities relating to alcohol control, drug demand reduction, and addictive behaviours in the WHO. 

Dr. Poznyak has been at the forefront of the WHO Secretariat’s work on the development and implementation of the WHO Global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol, strengthening public health aspects of policy dialogues and international efforts addressing drug use and drug use disorders, also in collaboration with UNODC. He has coordinated in WHO several large international projects including those on ICD-11 revision for disorders due to substance use and addictive behaviours, injection drug use, drug dependence treatment and HIV/AIDS, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) and the ASSIST package for screening and brief interventions for substance use.

In 2013, Dr. Poznyak received the International Award of Excellence in International Leadership from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), USA.

Dr. Julian Somers

Dr. Julian Somers, BA, MSc, PhD - Simon Fraser University
Presentation: Social Determinants of Addiction

Dr. Julian M. Somers completed clinical training at the University of Washington, Seattle’s Harbourview Hospital, and British Columbia’s Children’s Hospital. He was Director of the UBC Psychology Clinic, President of the BC Psychological Association, and founding Director of the Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health and Addiction at Simon Fraser University (SFU). He began his academic career in the UBC Faculty of Medicine, and is currently Full Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at SFU.

Dr. Somers works to improve clinical practices and public policies related to addiction and mental health. His research team is internationally recognized for initiatives involving large-scale randomized trials, multi-site interventions, and population-level studies. Dr. Somers has also created advanced information systems for public health surveillance and to evaluate the effectiveness of policies and services. Members of the Somers Research Group have earned local, national, and international awards for research in the public interest.

In 2018, Dr. Somers received SFU’s award for Excellence in Supervision in engineering, medical and natural sciences.

Dr. Antonio Verdejo-Garcia

Dr. Antonio Verdejo-Garcia, MA, PhD - Turner Institute, Australia
Presentation: Mapping Neuroscience Research

Professor Antonio Verdejo-Garcia has a PhD in Psychology (University of Granada, 2006) and a Masters (MPsych) in Psychological and Biomedical Aspects of Health & Illness (University of Granada, 2002). After his PhD, he continued specialised training in Addiction Neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institute (Neurology) and the University of Cambridge (Behavioural & Clinical Neuroscience Institute).

Currently, Dr. Verdejo-Garcia is an Australian Medical Research Future Fund Fellow (CDF2, Next Generation of Clinical Researchers) and holds a Full Professor (Research only) appointment at the Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health, Monash University, where he is the Deputy Director of the Addiction and Mental Health Research Program. He also holds an Honorary Professor position at Turning Point, Australia’s leading national addiction treatment centre, and leads the Science stream of the Monash Addiction Research Centre.

Dr. Verdejo-Garcia's research focuses on the cognitive and neural mechanisms underpinning executive control and decision-making, and their implications for addiction. He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed articles and his research has been continuously funded via national and international competitive research schemes. His work has attracted over 10,000 citations and has been translated to clinical services and policy.

Nora Volkow

Dr. Nora D. Volkow, M.D - Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Nora D. Volkow, M.D., is Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) at the National Institutes of Health. NIDA supports most of the world’s research on the health aspects of drug use and addiction.

Dr. Volkow’s work has been instrumental in demonstrating that drug addiction is a disease of the human brain. As a research psychiatrist and scientist, Dr. Volkow pioneered the use of brain imaging to investigate the toxic and addictive properties of abusable drugs. Her studies have documented changes in the dopamine system affecting, among others, the functions of frontal brain regions involved with motivation and self-regulation in addiction. She has also made important contributions to the neurobiology of obesity, ADHD, and aging and to the imaging field. 

Dr. Volkow has published more than 780 peer-reviewed articles, written more than 100 book chapters and non-peer-reviewed manuscripts, and co-edited the Neuroscience for the 21th Century Encyclopedia and edited four books on neuroimaging for mental and addictive disorders.

She has been the recipient of multiple awards. She received a Nathan Davis Award for Outstanding Government Service, was a Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal (Sammies) finalist and was inducted into the Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) Hall of Fame. She was elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine in the National Academy of Sciences and into the Association of American Physicians, received the International Prize from the French Institute of Health and Medical Research for her pioneering work in brain imaging and addiction science, and was awarded the Carnegie Prize in Mind and Brain Sciences from Carnegie Mellon University. She has been named one of Time magazine’s “Top 100 People Who Shape Our World”; “One of the 20 People to Watch” by Newsweek magazine; Washingtonian magazine’s “100 Most Powerful Women” in 2015, 2017, and 2019; “Innovator of the Year” by U.S. News & World Report; and one of “34 Leaders Who Are Changing Health Care” by Fortune magazine. Dr. Volkow was the subject of a 2012 profile piece by CBS’s 60 Minutes and was a featured speaker at TEDMED 2014.

Pia Mäkelä

Pia Mäkelä - Director, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare

Pia Mäkelä is a research professor in the Alcohol, Drugs and Addictions Research Unit at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare in Finland. Her research covers themes related to alcohol use, drinking culture, consequences of alcohol use and alcohol policy. She is a Senior Editor of the Journal Addiction.