In this Issue

Training and employment announcements

Learn about postdoctoral research fellowships and employment opportunities in the field of substance abuse and pharmacology.
Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Substance Abuse and Psychopharmacology Human Research Training, Johns Hopkins University 

Postdoctoral research fellowships available in a stimulating, productive program with excellent resources. Prepare to be an independent investigator.

Human Laboratory - behavioral and clinical pharmacology of abused drugs (abuse liability, self-administration, cognitive/ memory function, impulsivity, neuroimaging); anti-drug abuse medication development; behavioral research related to addiction: delay discounting, behavioral economics, and sexual risk behavior. Opioids, cocaine, anxiolytics, alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, hallucinogens, psilocybin, salvinorin A, MDMA, methamphetamine.

Clinical Trials – testing medications, behavioral therapies (especially incentive/contingency-based), and combinations; psychiatric comorbidity research; addiction and pregnancy/women; therapeutic applications for psilocybin (cancer anxiety and smoking cessation). Opioid, cocaine, tobacco, mixed/other dependencies.

Eligibility: U.S. citizen, permanent resident. Many backgrounds are appropriate, including experimental or clinical psychology, pharmacology, psychiatry, neuroscience, public health, and social work. Background in human or nonhuman research is appropriate.

NIH stipend levels: $37K - 51K+.

Start Date: Flexible.

Faculty: George Bigelow, Roland Griffiths, Maxine Stitzer, Eric Strain, Kenneth Silverman, Robert Brooner, Miriam Mintzer, Una McCann, Ryan Vandrey, Anthony DeFulio, Matthew Johnson

To apply: Contact George Bigelow; BPRU, Behavioral Biology Research Center; 5510 Nathan Shock Drive; Johns Hopkins Bayview Campus; Baltimore, MD 21224-6823. (410) 550-0035. For more information

Research Scientist, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

The Division of Neurobehavioral Research (Department of Psychiatry, UT Health Science Center as San Antonio), is seeking a motivated individual to join our ongoing NIH studies of the behavioral and biological effects of human alcohol consumption. These studies bridge human laboratory assessment and interventions to reduce dangerous drinking patterns outside the lab. This is a "springboard" position designed to allow the candidate to grow into a faculty-level position. The division offers training in the areas of behavioral pharmacology (Dr. Donald Dougherty), psychiatry (Dr. Rene Olvera), psychophysiology (Dr. Charles Mathias), neuroimaging (Dr. Ashley Acheson), and molecular biology (Dr. Nathalie Hill-Kapturczak). This position has a significant administrative/supervisory focus with ample opportunities for publication. Responsibilities include study coordination and supervision of study personnel; participant recruitment, screening, and psychological testing; data management and statistical analyses; and manuscript/grant preparations. Applicants must have completed a PhD or equivalent degree in behavioral pharmacology, experimental psychology, or other relevant area. Previous postdoctoral experience preferred and preference given to those with a history or evidence of interests in developing an alcohol-related research program.

To apply: submit curriculum vitae, a letter outlining interests and career goals, and representative publication reprints (pdf files) to: Dr. Donald M. Dougherty, Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, MC 7793, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, TX 78229-3900. UTHSCSA is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

Postdoctoral Traineeship In Drug Abuse Treatment and Services Research, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) 

The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is offering this National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)-funded postdoctoral program. Our program is one of the few that trains scientists in treatment and service research. Scholars work with a preceptor to design and implement studies on treatment of drug dependence, including nicotine dependence. Scholars also select a specific area of focus for independent research.

Current research interests of our faculty include:

  • trials of efficacy and effectiveness of psychosocial and pharmacologic treatment of drug abuse, including tobacco dependence;
  • innovative methodology including Internet-based studies;
  • treatment of complex patients in innovative settings;
  • diagnostic techniques and research on treatment tailored for HIV-positive drug abusers and drug abusers with psychiatric and medical disorders;
  • research on provision of services to drug abusing populations; and
  • instrument development in drug abuse.

A variety of university-affiliated and community substance abuse programs are available as research sites. These include inpatient and outpatient setting programs that treat a range of problems related to drugs of abuse, including dependence on cocaine, nicotine, alcohol, and opiates. The program encourages close research involvement with the preceptor, and involvement in selected classes, seminars, and grant preparation.

The training program is supported in part by a Center grant, the San Francisco Treatment Research Center, and a grant supporting the Western States Node of the NIDA Clinical Trials Network program. Intellectual resources from other significant extramural funding and R01-level grants are also routinely available to scholars.

Our program’s unifying philosophy is:

  1. Drug abuse treatment and services research must be methodologically excellent and clinically relevant;
  2. problems related to drug abuse are best attacked from a multidisciplinary perspective; and
  3. integration of knowledge of various intellectual domains is essential to the development of effective treatment.

Because our philosophy implies that the quality of the postdoctoral program depends on the quality of the scholars, faculty, and environment, rather than on any particular class or activity, we energetically recruit in order to bring high-quality applicants into a research environment where they will work under the guidance of research-sophisticated investigators.

Program Faculty
Our postdoctoral program is directed by a seven-member executive committee and has 20 core faculty, representing psychiatry, public health and policy, the behavioral sciences, medicine, and biostatistics. They represent a diverse, but overlapping, range of research interests.

Postdoctoral Training Program
Each year, scholars participate in a Core Research Seminar and the Writers' Task Force, a group that facilitates, supports, and encourages the publication of manuscripts. As part of their research training, scholars interact daily with investigators who guide them in responsible conduct of research and in solving the special ethical dilemmas of treatment and clinical research. Most scholars also take one of the several advanced statistics courses offered by the UCSF Biostatistics Department. Scholars' research projects and those of their mentors are closely tied. As scholars move from year one to year two, they progress from a project designed by their mentor to a more independently conceived project, which they lead.

Goals for Postdoctoral Scholars
At the end of our postdoctoral program, we expect scholars to have acquired the following competencies and completed the following tasks:

  1. Gained knowledge of drugs of abuse and their treatment;
  2. advanced their knowledge of statistical and methodological techniques needed for clinical and services research;
  3. understand drug abuse treatment systems and drug research projects;
  4. conducted at least two research projects in a clinical setting: one designed by their preceptor; and one of their own design, for which they have primary responsibility;
  5. made multiple internal presentations;
  6. made at least two presentations of their work at national meetings;
  7. published one to three journal articles;
  8. submitted a small grant application to local funding sources; published additional manuscripts from the work completed as a scholar during the two years following enrollment in our program.

Support for Postdoctoral Scholars
Scholars are funded by two sources. Stipend levels are set by NIH, based on years of related experience, and range from $38,496 to $53,112. Preceptors are often able to augment these stipends from non-NIH sources. Scholars are provided with other research support, including travel to at least one annual professional meeting and other support required for a useful training experience, including statistical consulting, some administrative support, and access to computers for writing and data analyses.

Background of Former Postdoctoral Scholars
Our postdoctoral scholars have come from a variety of fields, including clinical psychology, counseling psychology, developmental psychology, neuroscience, nursing, political science, psychiatry, pharmacology, and social psychology. Their studies have included vocational issues among methadone outpatients, social identities and treatment outcomes among alcohol and cocaine abusers in private treatment, the effects of acute nicotine use on cue-induced cocaine craving, mood management intervention for injection drug users, childhood trauma and PTSD in inpatient substance abusers, prevention and treatment of HIV in drug users, studies of effective educational method in drug abuse education, studies of the relationship of readiness to change and depression to nicotine dependence, studies of service utilization and outcome among elderly substance users, and studies of drug abuse treatment and services within health maintenance organizations.

Success of Our Postdoctoral Graduates
We admit two to four scholars every year. Graduates of our postdoctoral program have been placed at numerous high-caliber institutions where research is valued.

To apply: For consideration in the postdoctoral program, please send an application packet consisting of your curriculum vitae, statement of research interests, and representative work. Two letters of reference should be sent directly from the recommenders to the address below. Research statement should include the following items: 1) history of research projects, 2) current interests, 3) what you would like to learn and accomplish during your postdoctoral traineeship at UCSF, and 4) a list of program faculty with whom you would like to work. Representative work can include dissertation chapters if no publications are available. Electronic submission of materials (except reference letters) is strongly encouraged.

All applicants must have completed the doctorate at the time of entry into the program and be a U.S. citizen or have lawful permanent residency (green card) at the time of appointment.

Please direct information requests, application packets and letters of recommendation to:

James L. Sorensen, PhD
c/o Barbara Paschke
Postdoctoral Program in Drug Abuse Treatment and Services Research
2727 Mariposa Street, Suite 100
San Francisco, CA 94110
tel: (415) 437-3032
fax: (415) 437-3020

More information is available on the San Francisco Treatment Resarch Center website.

Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Positions for Physicians, Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center (MIRECC) at Philadelphis VAMC 

A two-year research fellowship position is available to interested candidates, focusing on dual diagnosis of medical, psychiatric, and addictive disorders in an established center with a specific focus on co-morbidities. The start date is planned for July 1, 2013, but is negotiable. The fellowship director is Henry R. Kranzler, MD, and other established investigator mentors include David Oslin, MD, Steven Sayers, PhD, Kyle Kampman, MD, Michael Thase, MD, Richard Ross, MD, and Stanley Caroff, MD. Collaborative projects with other investigators at the University of Pennsylvania, including Charles O’Brien, MD, PhD, Wade Berrettini, MD, PhD, and Anna Rose Childress, PhD, are possible. Pilot funding is available to fellows to initiate projects in the etiology, diagnosis, clinical course, and treatment of dual disorders with access to primary care, psychiatric, and substance dependence populations, as well as chronic pain patients. Potential research approaches include clinical trials, genetic and pharmacogenetic studies, health services research, and human laboratory studies.

The fellowship provides 75 percent time for research and 25 percent clinical training in dual disorders. The goals of the fellowship are to provide a mentored experience in research design and implementation, data analysis, report and grant writing, and a supervised clinical training. Potential exists for suitable candidates to receive a third year of fellowship support.

To apply: Applicants must have a medical degree from an accredited medical school and be eligible to practice medicine in any state in the U.S. and be a U.S. citizen. Preference will be given to board-eligible and board-certified candidates in any medical specialty. Interested candidates should send a letter describing their research interests and career goals, and a sample of publications or grant applications to:

Henry R. Kranzler, MD
Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center
3900 Woodland Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19104