The T32 addiction training program is overseen by Dr. Clint Kilts, Ph.D., and the program’s steering committee and governance committee. The mentoring faculty represents four distinct academic homes and government biomedical research sites.
Dr. Clint Kilts, Ph.D.
Dr. Clint Kilts is a professor in the UAMS Department of Psychiatry and the department’s associate director for Research. He is the founding director of the Psychiatric Research Institute’s Brain Imaging Research Center (BIRC), where he has designed and implemented a strategic plan of clinical problem solving using human functional neuroimaging technology as well as the development of the BIRC’s faculty and trainees. Recruited to UAMS in 2009, Kilts has been a continuously National Institutes of Health-funded investigator of drug use and other brain disorders for more than 25 years. His National Institute on Drug Abuse-funded research seeks to define the human brain organizational correlates of the chronically relapsing nature of drug addiction, with a focus on the neurodevelopmental correlates of the development stage of the addiction process.
Kilts received his postgraduate training in psychopharmacology and neurochemistry in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at Michigan State University. He continued his training in neuropharmacology, analytical neurochemistry, and human psychopharmacology in the Biological Sciences Research Center at the University of North Carolina. He subsequently joined the faculties of the Departments of Psychiatry and Pharmacology at Duke University where he served as Director of the Clinical Psychopharmacology Laboratory. In 1992, Kilts joined the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in the Emory University School of Medicine. At Emory, he served as the Interim Director of the Center for Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and, in 2000, became the first Vice Chair for Research for the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.
Kilts has served as the primary mentor for a number of post-doctoral fellow and pre-doctoral students during his faculty appointments at Duke, Emory and UAMS. Many of these trainees have gone on to hold academic, governmental and corporate positions as independent investigators and team leaders as well as leaders in venture capital research companies. Over the course of his academic career, Kilts has mentored within the context of multiple National Institutes of Health-funded T32 training programs, often in committee leadership roles, a reflection of his strong commitment to the scientific training of diverse individuals toward diverse workforce outcomes.
Dr. Michael Cucciare, Ph.D.
Michael Cucciare is the assistant director of the T32 addiction training program. Cucciare is a clinical psychologist interested in the implementation of evidence-based mental health practices in medical settings. He completed a predoctoral psychology internship at the VA Palo Alto where he developed clinical expertise in behavioral medicine and motivational interviewing. While a postdoctoral research fellow in health services research, he was involved in several studies evaluating technology-delivered protocols for treating alcohol misuse and training providers in evidence-based interventions for treating substance use disorders. Upon completion of his fellowship, he was awarded a five-year VA HSR&D Career Development Award (CDA-2) to develop expertise in the implementation of evidence-based mental health practices in primary care. He recently completed an RCT evaluating the relative effectiveness of alternative methods for delivering a brief intervention for alcohol misuse. He also recently received VA HSR&D funding to conduct a comparative effectiveness trial to examine two methods for reducing alcohol use among veterans with hepatitis C.
The T32 addiction training program’s steering committee includes Dr. Kilts as well as Dr. Michael Owens, Ph.D., and Dr. David Wessinger, Ph.D., of the UAMS Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology and Dr. Geoff Curran of the UAMS Department of Pharmacy and UAMS Department of Psychiatry. Owens is the director of the Center for Alcohol and Drug Abuse and holder of the Wilbur Mills Endowed Chair in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention. Wessinger is a professor and director of his department’s Interdisciplinary Biomedical Sciences and MD/Ph.D. program. Curran is the inaugural director of the UAMS Center for Implementation Research, a joint entity of the College of Pharmacy and the College of Medicine.
The steering committee serves the important functions of program oversight related to trainee selection, administration, evaluation, external partnerships and program content. The committee meets quarterly and is chaired by Kilts.
The T32 addiction training program’s governance committee oversees the day-to-day management functions of the program (trainee orientation, advertisement, trainee notifications, gathering of progress report material, evaluation of trainees and mentors and the organization of meetings with visiting research speakers. The group is also responsible for assisting the trainees in coordinating and evaluating the community outreach program of the program. Dr. Kilts chairs the committee, which includes Michael Justice, Jan Hollenberg, Cindy Mosley and Summer Alexander of PRI and Jennifer Hankins of the Translational Research Institute.