New clinic will harness NIH-funded addictions research expertise of UB Social Work scientists

Behavioral Health Clinic will provide outpatient research-based treatment to eligible community members

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The University at Buffalo School of Social Work is embarking on a new strategic focus on translational research with the creation of a Behavioral Health Clinic (BHC) to be run by two internationally recognized researchers on addictions.

The BHC, located on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus at 1021 Main St., is an outpatient clinic where research-based treatment programs, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), are used to find effective treatment for individuals with alcohol use disorders. Individual outpatient treatment is available to eligible community members.

The clinic is led by Clara M. Bradizza, PhD and Paul Stasiewicz, PhD. Bradizza, a professor in the School of Social Work, brings extensive experience leading addictions research programs. She has been awarded more than $22 million in NIH research grants over her career. Stasiewicz, a professor and Janet B. Wattles Endowed Chair in the School of Social Work, is known internationally as a leading researcher in the field of addictions.

Their research-based addictions treatment program is funded by $9 million in grants from NIH and will now operate as the BHC under the auspices of the UB School of Social Work’s Buffalo Center for Social Research.

Most recently, both researchers served as senior research scientists at UB’s Clinical and Research Institute on Addictions (formerly the Research Institute on Addictions) and in the Department of Psychiatry in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB.

“Social work is a broad area, but at its core is the adaptation of scientific discovery to workable changes that benefit those in need,” said Nancy J. Smyth, dean of UB’s School of Social Work.

“Clara and Paul have achieved remarkable success in securing research funding, conducting successful clinical research programs and translating that research into workable treatments for vulnerable populations. Their contributions to our current research, faculty and our students will be immeasurable,” Smyth added.

What makes Bradizza’s and Stasiewicz’ work a unique fit for the School of Social Work is their success in translating research discoveries into treatments and tools that can improve the lives of those suffering the ravages of addictions.

In particular, much of their research has focused on vulnerable populations such as pregnant women, victims of sexual violence and individuals with mental illness and post-traumatic stress disorder.

In addition to continuing their groundbreaking addictions research, both professors will be teaching doctoral-level courses and serving as mentors to both students and faculty. Their experience will contribute greatly to faculty as they define their research agendas, and to doctoral students, as they refine their professional goals.

Stasiewicz has been the principal investigator on several landmark NIH studies and his research has been funded by the NIH, specifically the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), for more than 20 years.

He has been invited 30 times to review grants for the NIAAA, and he is a respected long-time member of committees of the American Psychological Association and, more recently, of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Bradizza has provided leadership in the field of addictions research, including an editorial position at the journal Addictive Behaviors, and has been program chair at American Psychological Association conferences. She is a permanent member of the NIH Study Section “Interventions to Prevent and Treat Addictions,” which evaluates the scientific merit of NIH grant applications.

She has participated in review meetings for the Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science, an interagency partnership between the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the NIH that inform the regulation of tobacco products.

Additional information on UB’s new Behavioral Health Clinic (BHC) is available at socialwork.buffalo.edu/bhc.

 

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