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Oliver Lee McCabe III, Ph.D. Professorship in the Neuropsychopharmacology of Consciousness

School of Medicine

Established in 2020 by Judy Yin Shih, Ph.D. in honor of Oliver Lee McCabe III, Ph.D.

OLIVER LEE MCCABE III, Ph.D., is a board-licensed psychologist with a master’s degree from George Washington University and a doctorate from the Catholic University of America. His career has spanned a broad range of professional activities, including pharmacotherapy research, graduate teaching, clinical practice, business consultation, healthcare administration and, most recently, public health systems research. While mostly retired, Dr. McCabe continues to teach his longstanding seminars in “Systems-based Care” with 3rd year residents in the Johns Hopkins Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

Early in his career, as Chief of Addiction Research at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, Dr. McCabe conducted federally-funded clinical investigations with LSD-type drugs, opiate agonists (methadone, LAAM) and antagonists (cyclazocine, naloxone hydrochloride [‘Narcan’]). Due to numerous societal, regulatory, and political developments, the research program for opiate and alcohol addiction (and other psychiatric conditions) using LSD at the MPRC was concluded in the late 1970s. There was an interval of a quarter century before rigorous research was resumed with these compounds, led by the work with psilocybin by Dr. Roland Griffiths at Johns Hopkins.

Dr. McCabe’s affiliation with Johns Hopkins dates to 1978 when, as an Assistant Professor in Psychiatry’s Division of Behavioral Biology, he worked on the renowned “Precursors Study.” Dr. McCabe subsequently founded and directed Psychological Sciences Institute (PSI), a multi-disciplinary, multi-site group practice seeking to provide evidence-based, behavioral health services throughout the greater Baltimore area. PSI was purchased by a private psychiatric hospital in 1990, with Dr. McCabe continuing as director of the hospital’s outpatient department and clinical network.

Dr. McCabe returned full-time to Johns Hopkins in the mid-1990s to direct the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science’s Office of Behavioral Healthcare, responsible for leading the department’s successful adaptation to a rapidly changing healthcare marketplace. More recently, working in the Department of Mental Health in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, he conducted disaster preparedness research supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He led the development and validation of a national, dual-intervention model for fostering societal preparedness for broad-scale public health emergencies, involving the training of lay communities in disaster planning and psychological first aid.

Dr. McCabe has held numerous leadership positions in professional organizations, advisory committees, and expert panels. Representative activities and awards that speak to the diversity of his community and professional contributions include:

  • Co-founder and Director, Epoch Counseling Centers, Friends Research Institute, Inc, 1971, an outpatient substance abuse treatment program for youth that has operated continuously for nearly 50 years and, through several acquisitions, has evolved to a multi-site network of community clinics
  • President, Maryland Psychological Association (MPA), 2003-2004
  • Recipient, Award for Outstanding Professional Contributions to Psychology, MPA, 2007
  • Co-Chair, Governor Robert Ehrlich’s Maryland Task Force for the Needs of Persons with Mental Illness and Co-Occurring Substance Use Disorders, 2004-2006
  • Recipient, Award for Collaborative Outreach in the Field of Crisis Response, International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, 2007
  • President, Academic Behavioral Health Consortium (ABHC), a national network of US academic departments of psychiatry promoting quality of mental health care through academy-directed managed care, 2007-2010
  • Chair, National Workgroup to Develop a Competency-based Training Model of Psychological First Aid, sponsored by the CDC and the Association of Schools of Public Health, 2011-2012

Dr. McCabe has participated in competitive athletics throughout his youth and adult life, including 20 years of training, teaching, and competing in martial arts (Shotokan Karate). He has been and remains an active participant in track and field competition at regional, national and international levels. In recent years, he has earned Masters All-American awards in the shot put, discus throw, 35-lb weight throw, and throws pentathlon. Representing USA in the 2014 World Masters Association Championships in Costa Rica, Dr. McCabe won 4 gold medals. During the 2019 outdoor season, he medaled in the World Senior Olympics and broke all-time Masters and Senior Olympics shot put and discus records in Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware.

JUDY YIN SHIH, Ph.D., is a retired mental health clinician and health policy analyst who has been active in community service and philanthropic support of education, health care, and the performing arts. She has a M.S. in Clinical Psychology and a Ph.D. in Policy Sciences with a concentration in Health Policy. Her clinical work has been at the Medical College of Wisconsin (Neuropsychology), the Johns Hopkins Medical School (Child Psychiatry and Alzheimer Clinic), Sinai Hospital (Rehabilitation and Traumatic Brain Injury Units), and in private practice. Her professional roles in the area of health policy include Senior Research Analyst at the Center for Health Program Development and Management at UMBC and Project Director at JBS International, where she directed the implementation of evaluation projects of federally-funded health programs (including HIV/AIDS, mental health, and substance abuse programs).

Since retiring, Dr. Shih has served as a docent at the Chinese Garden of The Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens in California and has focused her energies in pursuit of her interests in art and music. She has served in a number of leadership roles on various institutional boards including the inaugural Board of Trustees of the Southern Oregon University (Executive Committee and Academic and Student Affairs Committee), Board of the American Association of University Women (Co-president of the Ashland Branch), Board of Governors at The Huntington, the Artistic Advisory Council at the Center for New Performance at CalArts, the Advisory Board of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins, and the Board of the Rogue Community Health Center in Oregon. At the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, she worked closely with the OSF Board in the Access for All Campaign to renovate the theater campus and facilities, making it accessible to all and especially to those who are hearing and mobility challenged. In her philanthropic efforts, Dr. Shih has been a generous donor to many organizations, including The Huntington, Johns Hopkins, Southern Oregon University, Phi Beta Kappa, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Rogue Community Health Center, San Francisco Film Society, Eyes to Burma, Brook County Library, and youth programs at YMCA. Dr. Shih is a champion for education and established The Judy Yin Shih Scholarship Fund at SOU, and has granted other individual scholarships.

Dr. Shih is honored to be able to create this endowed professorship in the name of Dr. Oliver Lee McCabe III, who has conducted pioneering investigations using LSD for the treatment of addictions. This professorship reflects a long-term commitment to providing support to those, like Dr. Roland Griffiths, who have dedicated their life work to further research in the area of neuropsychopharmacology of consciousness and the responsible use of psychedelics to treat mental health and addiction problems. Dr. Shih believes that this area of study also has the potential for advancing our understanding of creativity and other aspects of consciousness that further the betterment of all people.

Held by Roland R. Griffiths

ROLAND R. GRIFFITHS, Ph.D, is a professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and a professor of Neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

For over 40 years Dr. Griffiths’ principal research focus in both clinical and preclinical laboratories has been on the behavioral and subjective effects of mood-altering drugs. He is an international leader in psychopharmacology research, with a special emphasis on the pharmacology of drugs of abuse. He is the author of more than 400 scientific articles and book chapters and has made significant contributions to our understanding of a wide range of drugs, with a particular focus on sedative-hypnotics, caffeine, and psychedelic substances. He has been a consultant to national and international research and regulatory agencies, has received competitive grant awards from the National Institute of Health for over four decades, and has been the recipient of numerous awards from prominent scientific societies for his research contributions.

Among his major contributions to science, early in his career Dr. Griffiths conducted parallel lines of research in both the preclinical and clinical laboratories, which demonstrated cross species generality of the reinforcing, discriminative (i.e. subjective), and physical dependence producing effects of a range of drugs. This ultimately led to the development and adoption of world-wide use of standardized procedures in laboratory animals and humans for assessing the relative abuse potential of novel drugs. In another line of research, Dr. Griffiths showed that caffeine’s subjective and behavioral effects, reinforcement, and withdrawal symptoms occurred at much lower doses than had been previously appreciated. His caffeine research program played an instrumental role in the decision by the American Psychiatric Association to include the diagnosis of Caffeine Withdrawal and the research diagnosis of Caffeine Use Disorder in their most recent revision of the widely used Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

A third significant line of research started 20 years ago with the first study in decades to rigorously evaluate the effects of a high dose of a classic psychedelic drug in healthy psychedelic-naïve participants. This study showed that, when administered to carefully screened and psychologically supported individuals, the psychedelic psilocybin produced substantial and enduring positive changes in moods, attitudes, and behavior. That 2006 publication, in combination with a series of subsequent studies of psilocybin and other psychedelic drugs conducted by Dr. Griffiths and colleagues, is widely credited with initiating a renaissance of research on psychedelic compounds. This work has had broad implications for developing new approaches to the treatment of a range of psychiatric conditions as well as for investigating the mind – the very nature of what it is to be a conscious, self-aware human being.