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NIDA. (2015, June 1). Carlos Blanco, M.D., Ph.D. to join NIDA as division director. Retrieved from

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Columbia University researcher to lead NIDA’s Division of Epidemiology, Services, and Prevention Research at NIH

June 01, 2015

Carlos BlacoDr. Carlos Blanco

Carlos Blanco, M.D., Ph.D., a leading researcher in the interface between epidemiology and the treatment of addictive disorders, will be joining the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to lead the Division of Epidemiology, Services, and Prevention Research. The Division leads NIDA’s efforts to improve public health by supporting research to understand and address the patterns, causes, and effects of substance use and HIV-related disorders and to ensure evidence-based practices are optimally utilized to prevent and treat these disorders. NIDA is part of the National Institutes of Health.

“Dr. Blanco’s work as a deeply committed research psychiatrist has sought to integrate insights from both behavioral health research and neuroscience to develop novel, more effective interventions to prevent and treat addictive disorders,” said NIDA Director Nora D. Volkow, M.D. “We are delighted he has decided to join NIDA.”

Dr. Blanco currently is professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center. He is a nationally known expert in the epidemiology and treatment of addictive disorders including those that co-occur with other conditions, such as mood, depression, or anxiety disorders.

“I am very excited to be moving to NIDA,” said Dr. Blanco. “I believe it is where I can have the greatest impact advancing the science of effective, integrated service delivery strategies to prevent and treat substance use disorders.”

Dr. Blanco’s accomplishments include a detailed examination of the course and stages of substance use disorders, the development of methodologies to improve clinical trials in mental health, and the development and testing of interventions that combine key elements of current evidence-based techniques. His research has recently shown that, contrary to popular belief, people in recovery from a substance use disorder are not at increased risk for a new addiction. Dr. Blanco replaces Wilson Compton, M.D., who recently became NIDA’s Deputy Director.

“I want to express my deep gratitude to Dr. Redonna Chandler who has served as the division’s acting director during this transition period,” added Dr. Volkow. “She has been invaluable in continuing to move forward the division’s important public health initiatives.”

Dr. Blanco begins his new position at NIDA on June 15, 2015.