Rutgers names inaugural director of addiction research center

Danielle Dick, an internationally recognized and award-winning expert on genetic and environmental influences on human behavior, has been appointed as the inaugural director of the Rutgers Addiction Research Center at the Rutgers Brain Health Institute.

Danielle Dick. (Rutgers University)

Dick will join Rutgers this month. Her responsibilities will include leveraging the multidisciplinary expertise among scientists and clinicians across Rutgers to advance understanding of, and develop new treatments for, drug addiction.

She also will be a tenured professor in the department of psychiatry at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Most recently, she was the Distinguished Commonwealth Professor of Psychology and Human and Molecular Genetics at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, where she directed a research institute on behavioral and emotional health.

Under her direction, the RuARC will be the only comprehensive addiction center in New Jersey with the capacity to impact the addiction epidemic through the diverse strengths of its members by integrating cutting-edge approaches such as precision medicine research, treatment and care of individuals and families coping with addiction, public policy innovation and reform aimed at preventing drug use and at more effective avenues for individuals with substance use disorders to obtain treatment.

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Dick join us to lead this important initiative,” said Gary Aston-Jones, director of the Brain Health Institute. “Addiction is an international health problem that calls for cutting-edge, cross-disciplinary research to understand its biological and psychological causes, and create new approaches for treating patients. Dr. Dick has extensive and broad-based scientific expertise, as well as outstanding leadership skills. She will facilitate cross-fertilization among many different fields of research that will lead to discovery of answers to this longstanding health problem.”