Research Experience

As Director of the Division of Treatment and Recovery Research at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Dr Willenbring was responsible for overseeing a grant portfolio that included behavioral and medication treatment research and health services research. He was also responsible for determining research priorities in these areas for the Institute, and for disseminating this information and stimulating research applications. Prior to assuming the position at NIH, Dr Willenbring conducted clinical and health services research concerning substance use disorders. He has focused on development and testing of treatment models for persons with multiple complex problems, such as homeless public inebriates and medically ill alcoholics. Most recently,he was involved in several efforts to examine guideline implementation in alcohol and drug treatment, and in a series of studies concerning the relationship of psychiatric and substance use disorders with hepatitis C and its treatment with interferon. Currently, Dr Willenbring’s focus is on facilitating and stimulating research concerning treatment of and recovery from alcohol use disorders. Such research includes psychosocial, pharmacological, environmental, and health services approaches. Recent initiatives undertaken under my direction include developing a new infrastructure for medications trials to reduce time for product development, stimulating research on mechanisms of action in behavior change, integrating neuroscience, behavioral, and social research concerning alcohol use disorders, and stimulating research examining implementation of research findings in real-world settings.