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George E. Bigelow, PhD Professorship

School of Medicine

Established in 2014 by an anonymous donor in honor of George E. Bigelow, PhD

DR. GEORGE E. BIGELOW is a professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and for more than four decades served as the leader and the director of the Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit (BPRU) in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. He is also the director of the Postdoctoral Research Training Program on Human Behavioral Pharmacology of Substance Abuse funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and was the director of the Drug Abuse Treatment Research Center of the BPRU.

Dr. Bigelow graduated with honors from the University of Maryland with a bachelor of science in psychology in 1965. He achieved his PhD in experimental psychology in 1969 at the University of Minnesota, where he continued on for an additional two years as a postdoctoral research fellow in the psychopharmacology training program. He was recruited to the Division of Behavioral Biology at Johns Hopkins by Professor Joseph V. Brady in 1971.


Held by Eric C. Strain

DR. ERIC STRAIN is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and is also the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Substance Abuse Treatment and Research and the executive vice chair for Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. He maintains an active research program in substance abuse related issues, provides clinical care to patients, teaches medical students and residents, and provides administrative supervision in the maintenance of current substance abuse programs and the development of new substance abuse initiatives at Johns Hopkins. In addition to his responsibilities at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Strain is the editor-in-chief for the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, and is on the editorial board for several other journals. He edited, with Maxine Stitzer, the books Methadone Treatment for Opioid Dependence and The Treatment of Opioid Dependence, and with Pedro Ruiz edited the fifth edition of Lowinson and Ruiz’s Substance Abuse: A Comprehensive Textbook. He was the lead in developing the first buprenorphine curriculum, which was subsequently used as the primary resource to train physicians in the use of this medication for the treatment of opioid dependence.

Dr. Strain was chair of the Food and Drug Administration’s Drug Abuse Advisory Committee, the National Institutes of Health ARM study section, and the American Psychiatric Association’s Council on Addiction Psychiatry. He has served on the boards of The College on Problems of Drug Dependence (for which he is a past-president), the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, and Baltimore Substance Abuse Systems. He also has served on various committees for the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and the federal Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, and is a frequent reviewer for scientific journals in the area of substance abuse. Dr. Strain is the recipient of several competitive grant awards from the National Institute of Health, and has published extensively on substance abuse-related matters. His research areas have included topics such as the optimal mechanisms for treating patients with substance abuse disorders, including opioid and cocaine dependence, the relationship between substance abuse and other psychiatric disorders, the abuse liability of novel medications, the clinical pharmacology of opioid analgesics, and the development of new pharmacotherapies for substance abuse treatment (including opioids and alcohol). His studies have included medications such as buprenorphine, methadone and LAAM, pharmacotherapies for alcohol dependence, and non-pharmacologic treatments for substance abuse disorders.