Bertha Madras

Bertha Madras

Dr. Madras is Professor of Psychobiology at Harvard Medical School (HMS), is cross-appointed at the Massachusetts General Hospital and founded the Division of Neurochemistry at the HMS Primate Center. She served as Deputy Director for Demand Reduction in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), a Presidential appointment confirmed unanimously by the Senate. Her discoveries in addiction neurobiology and pharmacology informed her development of candidate medications and brain imaging probes, the latter widely used in clinical research of drug mechanisms, neurotoxicity, Parkinson’s disease diagnosis, ADHD, other neuropsychiatric disorders. The Division also developed naturalistic primate genotype/phenotype models of psychiatric disorders. Her current research focuses on molecular adaptations which conceivably alter the trajectory of brain development in adolescent drug users. She has authored numerous scientific manuscripts, co-edited the “The Cell Biology of Addiction”, and received 19 patents with collaborators. Her commitment to academic and public education is reflected in her mentorship of students, creation of courses on addiction biology (HMS, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory) and a Boston Museum of Science exhibit and CD (licensed by Disney Corp. in 2006) on how drugs affect the brain. At ONDCP, her public health approach to Demand Reduction featured medicalization of Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) services. She spearheaded approval of SBIRT CPT® Medicaid and Medicare billing codes, web-based screening/training, and a UN endorsement of SBIRT. Recognition includes NIH-NIDA MERIT, Public Service and Career Scientist awards, an American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry Founders’ Award, Marian Fischman Award, and designation of the imaging agent altropane in “The Better World Report, 2006”, as one of “25 technology transfer innovations that changed the world”. She has delivered hundreds of presentations on addiction and related topics to various groups nationally and globally.

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA, USA