Rutgers appoints Danielle Dick as inaugural director of Rutgers Addiction Research Center

Newswise — Danielle Dick, an internationally recognized and award-winning expert in genetic and environmental influences on human behavior, has been named the inaugural director of the Rutgers Addiction Research Center (RuARC) at Rutgers Brain Health Institute.

Dick will also serve as the Greg Brown Endowed Chair in Neuroscience and Cell Biology and Full Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine.

Most recently, she was Emeritus Commonwealth Professor of Psychology and Human and Molecular Genetics at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, where she led a Behavioral and Emotional Health Research Institute.

Dick will join Rutgers in January 2022. His responsibilities will include leveraging the multidisciplinary expertise of Rutgers scientists and clinicians to advance understanding and develop new addiction treatments.

Under his leadership, RuARC will be New Jersey’s only comprehensive addiction center capable of impacting the addiction epidemic through the diverse strengths of its members by integrating cutting-edge approaches such as precision medicine research, the treatment and care of individuals and families. dealing with substance abuse, public policy innovation and reform aimed at preventing drug use and finding more effective ways for people with substance use disorders to seek treatment.

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Dick join us in leading this important initiative,” said Gary Aston-Jones, director of the Brain Health Institute. “Addiction is an international health problem that requires cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research to understand its biological and psychological causes, and create new approaches to treating patients. Dr. Dick has extensive and diverse scientific expertise, as well as exceptional leadership skills. It will facilitate cross-fertilization between many different areas of research that will lead to the discovery of answers to this long-standing health problem.

Dick’s research program focuses largely on characterizing genetic contributions to substance use disorders and applying the results of basic etiological research to inform prevention and intervention. His research projects include identifying genes implicated in substance use and related behavioral health issues; characterize the risk associated with the identified genes, through development and in relation to the environment; and translating basic research findings into improved prevention and response.

She has led and contributed to over 20 National Institutes of Health grants, with grants totaling over $30 million. She has published over 350 peer-reviewed studies in the areas of child development, addiction, mental health, genetics and human behavior, and has won numerous national and international awards for her work. . She was named one of the world’s 1.5% most cited researchers in all scientific fields.

Dick is passionate about bringing research to the public in an engaging and accessible way, though raising awareness as her first book child’s code: Understanding your child’s unique nature for happier and more effective parenting, published by Penguin Random House. She frequently speaks to parents, families and school groups about the causes of substance use disorders and how to prevent or resolve problems in children and family members.

Dick received his Ph.D. from Indiana University.

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