Department of Psychiatry
Penn Behavioral Health

Center on the Continuum of Care

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Faculty Bios

James R. McKay, PhDJames R. McKay, PhD,
Director of the Center on the Continuum of Care in the Addictions, is a Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also the Director of the Center of Excellence in Substance Abuse Treatment and Education (CESATE) at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Scientific Director of the Center for Studies of Addiction at Penn. He is the recipient of an Independent Scientist (K02) Award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), as well as numerous research grants from NIDA and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Dr. McKay is the author or co-author of over 110 peer reviewed journal articles and 21 book chapters. His work has included evaluations of continuing care treatments for alcohol and cocaine use disorders, comparisons of outcomes following inpatient and outpatient treatments, evaluations of ASAM and other patient placement criteria, and the identification of factors over time that predict relapse following substance abuse treatment. Dr. McKay has also conducted studies on several methodological issues, including whether randomized and nonrandomized treatment comparisons yield similar results. He has been a member of NIDA’s Health Services Grant Review Committee, and is currently a member of the Scientific Panel of Advisors, Butler Center for Research, Hazelden Foundation, and a Consultant to Caron Treatment Centers. Dr. McKay’s current research efforts are focused on the development and evaluation of flexible, extended approaches to the long-term management of addiction.

Arthur I. Alterman, PhD
, a native of Philadelphia, earned a PhD in Experimental Psychology from George Washington University in 1970 and received recertification as a Clinical Psychologist in 1983 from the University of Delaware. He served as Director of Alcoholism research from 1970-1980 at the Coatesville VAMC/Thomas Jefferson University and at Highland Drive VAMC/University of Pittsburgh from 1981-1984. He has been employed at the Philadelphia VAMC/University of Pennsylvania Center for Studies of Addiction since 1984. He was a continuously funded VA scientist from 1971-1994 and a VA Career Scientist from 1992-1994. He was appointed Professor of Psychiatry in Psychology in 1988. He served as the Associate Scientific Director of the Center for Studies of Addiction from 1987-1992 and as the Scientific Director from 1992-2000 where he is now a Senior Scientist. His primary research interests have been: characterization of risk factors for substance abuse; delineation of antisociality in substance abusers and the relation of antisociality and other personality disorders to treatment response; comparison of the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of treatments for cocaine dependence, alcohol dependence, and nicotine dependence; validation and refinement of existing measures of substance abuse status and response to treatment. He has authored approximately 250 publications.

John S. Cacciola, PhD
is an adjunct Associate Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and a Senior Scientist at the Treatment Research Institute (TRI). Within the substance abuse field, his areas of research include diagnostic and psychosocial assessment, treatment outcomes, and co-occurring disorders. Dr. Cacciola has been extensively involved in the ongoing development of the Addiction Severity Index and the Treatment Services Review. He has conducted reviews and published empirical work pertinent to assessment, treatment, and treatment outcomes issues for substance abuse clients with different profiles of psychiatric co-morbidity.

Michelle Drapkin, PhD
is an Assistant Professor in Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and holds a joint position at the Philadelphia VA where she works primarily with the Center of Excellence in Substance Abuse Treatment and Education (CESATE). Dr. Drapkin received her Ph.D. from Rutgers - The State University of New Jersey and completed both her clinical psychology internship and postdoctoral fellowship in treatment outcome research at the University of California, San Diego/VA San Diego. She has been involved in and funded by National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) research since 1999, including National Research Service Awards (T32) for both her predoctoral and postdoctoral training. Dr. Drapkin has presented her research both nationally and internationally and has several publications. Her current research focuses on examining mechanisms of change in treatment for alcohol and other substance use disorders by analyzing individual time courses. She also is involved with research investigating the interaction of comorbid disorders (i.e., depression and substance use disorders).

Kevin G. Lynch, PhD
is Assistant Professor of Biostatistics in Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania. Currently, he works on models for causal inference, with applications to mediation analysis and the analysis of dynamic treatment regimes. His collaborative research is concerned with applications of statistical methods in Psychiatry, with particular emphasis on substance abuse research.

David W. Oslin, MD
is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center. He completed residency training at the University of Maryland and fellowship training at the University of Pennsylvania in addiction and geriatric psychiatry. He is the Director of the VISN 4 Mental Illness, Research, Education, and Clinical Center and the Director of the Philadelphia integrated care program, the Behavioral Health Laboratory. His research portfolio includes studies aimed to improve access to behavioral health interventions, improving treatment outcomes for addictive disorders, and the study of pharmacogenetics.

Deborah Van Horn, PhD
is an Assistant Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry. She received her PhD from Rutgers University in 1993. She came to Penn in 1998. She is interested in extending the application of Motivational Interviewing (MI) to new populations and settings, and in transfering empirically-supported psychosocial addiction treatments, including MI and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), to community settings. Dr. Van Horn was co-investigator of the NIAAA study "Alcoholism Treatment Before Liver Transplant" and is currently co-investigator of the NIDA study "Effectiveness of Extended Treatment for Drug Dependence." She has also been a trainer, supervisor, or therapist on several other studies testing MI and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in diverse community and research settings.