Department of Psychiatry

Penn Behavioral Health

Center Faculty and Staff Bios

Faculty Bios

John 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 (ASI) and the Treatment Services Review (TSR). 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 comorbidity.

Anna Rose Childress, PhD, is Research Associate Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and a Clinical Psychologist in the Drug Dependence Treatment Unit at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center. She is Director of the Brain-Behavioral Vulnerabilities Laboratory of the Center for Studies of Addiction, where she has conducted National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)-funded research projects since 1981. Dr. Childress' career-long interest in the brain substrates of pleasure and appetitive motivation emerged during her doctoral training in physiological psychology and psycho-pharmacology at Bryn Mawr College. Her doctoral dissertation mapped brain self-stimulation reward sites which were sensitive to blockade by the opioid anatagonist, naloxone. During her post-doctoral training at Penn, Dr. Childress began to work with humans and attempted to block alcohol euphoria (in Penn students) with naloxone borrowed from Dr. Charles P. O'Brien. Dr. O'Brien introduced her to a natural arena for her research interests in reward and motivation: the clinical problem of addiction. Dr. Childress' research in drug motivation has been widely disseminated. She has authored or co-authored dozens of peer-reviewed research articles and chapters, and is regularly invited to present her work in both national and international (England, Spain, Germany, Canada, France, Mexico) fora. Dr. Childress has often been an invited panelist in NIDA/NIH-sponsored forums on addiction treatment, behavioral strategies, drug craving, animal models of addiction, medications development strategies, and neuroimaging in substance abuse. She has served as a regular and ad-hoc member of NIDA study sections, and currently serves as on the NIDA Board of Scientific Counselors, as a reviewer of the Intramural Research Program at the National Addiction Research Center.  Her current research interests include: imaging of cue-triggered cocaine motivation (GO!) and its modulation ("STOP!") by behavioral or pharmacologic interventions; imaging of limbic activation by "unseen" drug cues; modulation of brain response to cocaine cues by GABAergics; and frontal brain-behavioral deficits as additional risk factors.

James W. Cornish, MD, Director of the Novel Interventions in Criminal Justice Populations Division, is a board-certified psychiatrist who has specialized in substance abuse research and treatment since 1988. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania and a staff psychiatrist in the Behavioral Health Service at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC). Dr. Cornish has conducted and supervised NIH-supported clinical trials of medication treatments for substance abusers. His current research involves medication treatment for opioid-dependent persons in the criminal justice system. He has received several individual grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and also is component Principal Investigator for several NIDA-supported Center Grants. He was a Visiting Professor in Psychiatry at the Université de Bordeaux (France) in 1994-95. He has over thirty, peer-reviewed, scientific publications and is a member of the American Psychiatric Association, College on Problems of Drug Dependence, and the John Morgan Society. Dr. Cornish graduated from Jefferson Medical College and completed 3 years of residency in surgery (Bryn Mawr Hospital) and 3 years in psychiatry and a fellowship in Administrative Psychiatry at Norristown State Hospital. He has had industrial experience as Project Director, Psychotherapeutics and Anesthesia Departments for Janssen Pharmaceutica (J&J Family of Companies).

Donna M. Coviello, PhD, is a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania.  Her research interests include employment among substance abusers, interventions for criminal justice populations, and continuum of care protocols.  Through National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) funding from a behavioral therapies development grant, Dr. Coviello has developed a manualized intervention that integrates employment services with drug counseling and is currently the Principal Investigator on a NIDA-funded study evaluating the effectiveness and benefit-costs of this integrated intervention for offenders who are mandated to drug treatment.  She is also collaborating on a study of depot naltrexone to prevent relapse in probationers and parolees with a history of opiate dependence and on research evaluating the effectiveness of telephone-based continuing care.  Recent publications include the impact of providing outreach case management for discharged methadone patients and the effectiveness of vocational problem-solving on motivation and action steps toward obtaining employment.

Charles A. Dackis, MD earned his MD at Duke University and completed his psychiatric residency at Columbia University, New York State Psychiatric Institute. He is board-certified in Psychiatry and Addiction Psychiatry. Dr. Dackis joined the University of Pennsylvania in 1998 after serving as Medical Director of specialized psychiatric hospitals in New Jersey for the preceding 12 years. He also worked as a consultant in substance abuse for the National Football League. In 1984, Dr. Dackis developed the dopamine depletion hypothesis of cocaine dependence. Dr. Dackis also works as an investigator in several clinical trials within the Center for Studies of Addiction, and has been primarily responsible for researching modafinil treatment for cocaine dependence at Penn. His research interests include psychopharmacology, co-occurring disorders, and the neurobiology of addiction. Dr. Dackis is actively involved in medical student and psychiatric resident education at Penn and has authored more than 80 publications in the area of addictive and co-occurring disorders. He is currently the Medical Director of Psychiatric Clinical Services for the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Clinical Practices of the University of Pennsylvania.  He is also Medical Director of Psychiatric Clinical Services at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center.

Teresa Franklin, PhD is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry. Dr. Franklin received her PhD in Neuroscience at Hahnemann University, Philadelphia in 1999. During that time she used immunohistochemistry, tract tracing, genetic markers and agonists/antagonists to study conditioned drug-motivated responses in rodents. This preclinical neuroscience background was translated to human addiction research in her postdoctoral work at the Center for the Study of Addiction in the Brain and Behavioral Vulnerabilities Laboratory. In 2002 she was promoted to Assistant Professor of Neuroscience in the Department of Psychiatry and continues to conduct her research at the Center. Dr. Franklin's expertise lies in the use of neuroimaging tools such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), voxel based morphometry and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) to study the neurological underpinnings of craving, brought on my reminders of addictive drugs, in addicted individuals. Her primary research interests include characterizing the effects of potential anti-relapse/anti-craving agents on the brain's responses to drug reminders. She also studies the influence of genetic variability, sex and menstrual cycle phase on addictive (brain and behavioral) processes. Dr. Franklin's ultimate goal, and that of contemporary medicine, is to use the variability in brain, behavior and genetics to 'type' an individual to a particular medication, so that treatment strategies can be tailored to manage individual vulnerabilities to aid in conquering addiction.

Kyle M. Kampman, MDDirector and Medical Director of the Addiction Treatment and Medication Development Division, graduated from Northwestern University in 1981 and Tulane University School of Medicine in 1985. He interned at the National Naval Medical Center at Bethesda Maryland and served as a general medical officer in the Navy from 1985 until 1990. He came to the University of Pennsylvania and served as a resident in psychiatry from 1990 until 1993. He then completed a fellowship in Addiction Psychiatry. In 1994 he joined the faculty in the Department of Psychiatry as an assistant professor. He was promoted to associate professor in 2003. Dr. Kampman has conducted clinical research and published a number of papers on the treatment of addictive disorders. He is a principal investigator of a project in the Cocaine Medication Development Center and has conducted a number of National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)- funded clinical trials evaluating pharmacotherapies for the treatment of cocaine dependence. His current research interests include the evaluation and treatment of cocaine withdrawal symptoms. He is currently evaluating the usefulness of topiramate for the treatment of cocaine and alcohol dependence, quetiapine for the treatment of alcohol dependence and a vaccine for the treatment of cocaine dependence. 

Henry R. Kranzler, MDDirector of the Center for Studies of Addiction, received his medical degree from Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and completed a psychiatric residency and a fellowship in alcohol research at the University of Connecticut Health Center. A clinical addiction psychiatrist for more than 20 years, Dr. Kranzler now devotes his time to research, research administration, and teaching. His research focuses on the genetics and pharmacological treatment of alcohol and drug dependence and common co-morbid psychiatric disorders, as well as studies of the pharmacogenetics of substance dependence.

Dr. Kranzler's research has been continuously supported since 1987 by grants from NIAAA and NIDA. He has authored or co-authored more than 400 journal articles, book chapters, and other publications. He chaired the NIAAA Clinical and Treatment Subcommittee, has been a frequent journal reviewer, and is a member of the editorial boards of six journals (serving as Editor of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research). Dr. Kranzler's contributions to the field of alcohol research include advancing clinical trials methodology as it relates to pharmacological treatment, the identification of interactive effects of serotonergic medications with alcoholism subtypes, the use of a targeted approach to naltrexone treatment of heavy drinkers, the development of long-acting naltrexone as a treatment option, and the effects of topiramate on heavy drinking. In addition, his work has contributed to the identification or characterization of specific genes influencing the risk for dependence on alcohol, nicotine, cocaine, and opioids; the potential mechanism of the effects of alcohol through mediators such as neuroactive steroids, and genetic moderators of the response to alcohol treatment, including a recent study showing genetic moderation of topiramate treatment, which supports a novel mechanism for that drug's effect on drinking behavior.

Daniel D. Langleben, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry. Click this link to view Dr. Langleben's recent publications.

James R. McKay, PhD, Director of the Continuing Care and Assessment Division, is a Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, and the Scientific Director of the Penn Center for Studies of Addiction.  He is also the Director of the Center on the Continuum of Care in the Addictions at Penn, and the Director of the Center of Excellence in Substance Abuse Treatment and Education (CESATE) at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VA).  He is the recipient of an Independent Scientist (K02) Award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), as well 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 the Caron Foundation.  Dr. McKay’s current research efforts are focused on the development and evaluation of flexible, extended approaches to the long-term management of addiction.

David S. Metzger, PhD, Director of the HIV/AIDS Prevention Research Division, is Research Associate Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also the Principal Investigator for the NIH-funded HIV Prevention and HIV Vaccine Trials Units in Philadelphia, the Chair of the Substance Use Working Group for the HIV Prevention Trial Network, and the Director of the Social and Behavioral Sciences Core of the Penn Center for AIDS Research. Since 1989, he and colleagues from the Center for Studies of Addiction have been conducting AIDS-related longitudinal studies of injection and non-injection drug users. Under his direction, over 3,000 drug-using subjects from Philadelphia have been enrolled in HIV studies known collectively as the Risk Assessment Projects (RAP). Dr. Metzger’s research division has developed innovative community-based strategies for recruiting and retaining individuals at high risk of HIV infection into longitudinal studies. Currently, his work involves testing the safety and efficacy of behavioral and biomedical prevention interventions including vaginal microbicides, HIV vaccines, social networks, and agonist treatment strategies in Philadelphia, Thailand, China, and Ukraine. A primary objective of this work has been to provide valid and reliable data that can increase understanding of the protective effects of participation in substance abuse treatment.

Charles P. O'Brien, MD, PhDVice Chair of Psychiatry, is a native of New Orleans.  He earned MD and PhD degrees from Tulane University.  He received residency training at Harvard, Tulane, University of London, and University of Pennsylvania in internal medicine, neurology and psychiatry.  As Chief of Psychiatry at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center, he has been responsible for over 9,000 psychiatric patients.  Despite this large clinical responsibility, he was able to establish and direct a clinical research program that has had a major impact on the treatment of addictive disorders.  His research group has been responsible for numerous discoveries described in over 470 publications that have elucidated basic information on the nature of addiction and improved the results of treatment for addictive disorders.  His work involves discovery of central nervous  system (CNS) changes involved in relapse, new medications, behavioral treatments and instruments for measuring the severity of addictive disorders.  Many of these discoveries are now utilized in common practice for the treatment of addictive disorders throughout the world.  He was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 1991 and he has received numerous research awards as well as an honorary doctorate from the University of Bordeaux in 1994 and the Nathan B. Eddy award for research on addiction from the College on Problems of Drug Dependence in 2003.  He is currently Chair of the American Psychiatric Association DSM-V Committee (2007-12) to revise the classification of substance user disorders.  Dr. O’Brien has been an adviser on drug policy to local and national governments since the 1970s and has chaired or served as member of numerous IOM committees dealing with the science and policy matters of abused drugs.  Dr. O’Brien is past president of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology and the Association for Research in Nervous and Mental Disease.  Currently he is Kenneth Appel Professor, Vice Director of the Mahoney Institute of Neurological Sciences, and Director of the Center for Studies of Addiction.  At the VA Medical Center, he continues as Director of Research for the Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center.

David W. Oslin, MD is a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center and the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Dr. Oslin is the Division Director of the VISN 4 Mental Illness, Research, Education, and Clinical Center (MIRECC) and the Chief of Behavioral Health at the Philadelphia VAMC. The MIRECC and Behavioral Health Laboratory support research on personalized health care, and facilitate a number of research projects for post-doctoral fellows and faculty. Dr. Oslin is the author of over 150 research publications and 31 chapters, books, or editorials. Dr. Oslin’s research portfolio includes studies aimed to improve access to behavioral health treatment, improving treatment outcomes for addictive disorders, and the study of pharmacogenetics.

Jennifer Plebani , PhD is a Research Assistant Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. She received an MA from West Chester University in 2000, with a research focus on exploratory behavior in laboratory and captive animals. She received her PhD from the University of Vermont in 2004, where her work focused on contingency management and on behavioral pharmacology human laboratory studies. Dr. Plebani completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania, working on behavioral interventions for cocaine dependence at the Treatment Research Institute, and then on pharmacological treatments for cocaine and alcohol dependence at the Treatment Research Center. During her postdoctoral training, she integrated contingency management into cocaine and alcohol pharmacotherapy treatment studies at the TRC. She was promoted to Research Assistant Professor in 2009. Dr. Plebani’s research interest is the role of reinforcement in the genesis and maintenance of substance abuse, and on the use of alternative reinforcers to decrease substance abuse. To that end, she currently conducts clinical trials of cocaine and alcohol pharmacotherapies, combined with contingency management, as well as human laboratory studies with a similar focus.

Deborah Van Horn, Ph.D, received her PhD from Rutgers University in 1993 and came toPenn in 1998.  She is interested in extending the application of Motivational Interviewing (MI) to new populations and settings. She is also interested in the transfer of empirically-supported psychosocial addiction treatments, including MI and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), to community settings. Dr. Van Horn was co-investigator of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) study "Alcoholism Treatment Before Liver Transplant" and is currently co-investigator of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (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 CBT in diverse community and research settings.

George Woody, MDDirector of the Clinical Trials Network, graduated from Amherst College in 1960 and Temple University Medical School in 1964. He interned at Bryn Mawr Hospital from 1964-65, was a general medical officer in the Navy from 1965-67 and then a resident in Psychiatry at Temple which he finished in 1970. He studied psychoanalysis between 1968 and 1974 and worked for two years at the West Philadelphia Community Mental Health Center. He began work at the Drug Dependence Treatment Unit of the Philadelphia VAMC and University of Pennsylvania in 1971 and has developed a career in addiction treatment and research. His interests are in assessing the efficacy of psychosocial and pharmacological treatments for addiction; in the relationship between drugs of abuse, psychiatric symptoms, and treatment outcome; and risk factors for HIV infection among persons who abuse drugs. He has been an active participant in many treatment outcome studies and has authored or co-authored over 200 publications in the area of substance abuse treatment. He was a member of the DSM-IV Work Group on Substance Use Disorders and the FDA Drug Abuse Advisory Committee. He was co-editor of a Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) on how best to match patients to services in methadone maintenance and is a founding member of the Board of Addiction Psychiatry of the American Psychiatric Association. He reviews papers for numerous medical journals and reviews grants for National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), NIH, and other funding agencies. He was a member of the Institute of Medicine committees that reported on future directions for alcohol research in 1990, and future directions for drug abuse research in 1996. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence, a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, a member of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and is currently the Director of the Delaware Valley Node of the Clinical Trials Network. He has conducted treatment outcome studies in Russia, Ukraine, Brazil, Republic of Georgia and Iceland; was awarded a Doctor Sui Causa from Pavlov State Medical University in St. Petersburg, Russian and an award in honor of Dr. Alexei Alexeevich Likhachev, founder of the Pharmacology Department of the Women's Medical Institute of St. Petersburg, Russia, later renamed Pavlov State Medical University; a recipient of the Scott Mackler award by the University of Pennsylvania for contributions to substance abuse teaching; and a recipient of the 2013 McGovern award for contributions to addiction education, treatment, and research.

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