I am a licensed clinical psychologist and Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Addiction Recovery Management Service (ARMS), founder and director of the MGH-Harvard Recovery Research Institute, and Associate Director of the Center for Addiction Medicine (CAM). I am also an Associate Professor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School (HMS), President Elect of the American Psychological Association Division on Addiction (Division 50), and a fellow of APA. I have collaborated in NIAAA-sponsored patient-oriented addiction research (POAR) since 1995 and have been continuously funded as a Principal Investigator by NIAAA since 2006. In 2006, I was asked to help direct the MGH CAM and began building a thriving clinical research program and spending significant time mentoring. My research has focused on understanding treatment response, long-term outcomes, and mechanisms of behavior change across the lifespan for individuals suffering from alcohol use disorder (AUD). I currently serve as principal investigator (PI) for one NIAAA R01 and one R21 grant award. I mentor a growing group of junior investigators. We are working to enhance treatment effectiveness and recovery outcomes for individuals treated for AUD to develop cost-efficient approaches and lessen the related health, economic, and social burden. I work in a rich environment for clinical research, which is ideal for training junior faculty in POA. However, I receive no institutional support for mentoring and will be required to curtail mentoring efforts to assume significant clinical responsibilities beginning early 2013. The K24 award will protect time that would otherwise be diverted to clinical and administrative responsibilities to allow me to continue to provide intensive mentorship to junior investigators and attract researchers to POAR. My long term career objectives are: 1) To improve outcomes for individuals with AUD by developing, implementing, and evaluating novel treatment and recovery support service interventions;2) To improve our knowledge about which types of treatment and recovery support combinations are needed for which patients during which recovery phases;3) To understand systems and policy factors that may impede or facilitate the formation, implementation, and maintenance of effective recovery strategies;4) To provide mentored research opportunities for early career investigators in POAR.
The specific aims to be accomplished during the period of the award are to 1) Develop specific content expertise in treatment and recovery policy, and the design, implementation, and evaluation of treatment and recovery support service combinations;2) Protect time for substantive mentoring of junior investigators in POAR, which will often take place within the context of funded research, such that more intensive mentorship will increase quality and output from ongoing POAR;and 3) Continue and extend involvement in POAR. The K24 will help me extend my POAR by protecting time that will facilitate work with mentees on funded projects, ancillary studies, secondary analyses, and papers and grants that will add value to ongoing POAR. I will devote 30% time to mentoring, 20% time to training, and 45% time to funded POAR.
The economic, social, and health care burden attributable to alcohol and related conditions is immense and increasing;providing early effective interventions, ongoing monitoring, and linkage to recovery support services and mutual-help organizations that can facilitate long-term recovery is crucial. However, little is known about the combined effectiveness of treatment and recovery monitoring and support strategies over the long-term and it has become increasingly clear that efforts to reduce harmful consumption of alcohol and other drugs through prevention and intervention must be understood within a broader systems and policy context so that barriers to adoption, implementation, and evaluation of these efforts can be successfully overcome. This K24 award will support mentoring and training of talented junior scientists in these and related patient-oriented research areas that would not otherwise be supported.