UAMS Director of Center for Addiction Research Invested as Chair for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Prevention

By todd

LITTLE ROCK – Warren K. Bickel, Ph.D., was invested today as the Wilbur D. Mills Chair in Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Prevention at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).


Bickel is an international authority in examining the underlying behavioral processes of drug dependence in humans and has conducted research that examines novel, cost-effective ways to deliver treatment. He is a professor in the UAMS Department of Psychiatry and director of the Center for Addiction Research in the UAMS College of Medicine, and director of the Interdisciplinary Tobacco Program in the College of Public Health.


Bickel’s addiction research includes the context of cost, the magnitude of the drug’s influence and competing influences. He continues to study the behavioral economics of drug choice, impulsivity in drug dependence and improving combined behavioral treatment with buprenorphine, a new medication proven to assist patients dependent on opioids such as heroin and oxycontin.


“Dr. Bickel’s efforts to develop new and innovative ways to treat addiction will have an enormous impact on not only the UAMS Department of Psychiatry and the College of Medicine, but ultimately on the state and nation,” said Dr. G. Richard Smith, Department of Psychiatry chairman, professor and Marie Wilson Howells Chair. “Freedom from addiction is an achievable goal, and one that will make our society physically, psychologically and spiritually healthier.”


Under Bickel’s leadership, the UAMS Center for Addiction Research has gathered some of the top researchers in the nation to delve into the behavioral and biological aspects of addiction.  The goal of the Center is to enhance prevention, treatment, and policy related to addictive disorders through research.


UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with five colleges, a graduate school, a medical center, five centers of excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has about 2,320 students and 690 residents and is the state’s largest public employer with almost 9,000 employees. UAMS and its affiliates have an economic impact in Arkansas of $4.3 billion a year.


UAMS centers of excellence are the Arkansas Cancer Research Center, Harvey and Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy and Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute.