PHILADELPHIA — Henry R. Kranzler, MD, a professor of Psychiatry at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania whose work has contributed to the identification of genetic risk factors and pharmacological treatments for drug and alcohol dependence, has been named the Director of the Center for Studies of Addiction.

Dr. Kranzler received his medical degree from Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and completed a psychiatric residency and a fellowship in alcohol research at the University of Connecticut Health Center. He came to Penn Medicine in 2010 after a lengthy career at the University of Connecticut, where he was an Associate Scientific Director of the Alcohol Research Center, Program Director of the Lowell P. Weicker General Clinical Research Center, and Associate Dean for Clinical and Translational Research. 

Since 1987, Dr. Kranzler’s research has been funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). His contributions to the field of alcohol research include advancing clinical trials methodology as it relates to pharmacological treatment, the identification of interactive effects of serotonergic medications with alcoholism subtypes, the use of a targeted approach to naltrexone treatment of heavy drinkers, and the development of long-acting naltrexone as a treatment option.

n addition, his work has contributed to the identification or characterization of specific genes influencing the risk for dependence on alcohol, nicotine, cocaine, and opioids; the potential mechanism of the effects of alcohol through mediators such as neuroactive steroids, and genetic moderators of the response to alcohol treatment.

He has authored or co-authored more than 400 journal articles, book chapters, and other publications. He chaired the NIAAA Clinical and Treatment Subcommittee, has been a frequent journal reviewer, and is a member of the editorial boards of five journals.

The Center for Studies of Addiction, which was established in 1971 as a clinical research and treatment center for addictive disorders, consists of a multidisciplinary group of faculty and staff that conducts research on the etiology and pathogenesis of addictions, as well as clinical trials of pharmacologic and psychotherapeutic treatments for a variety of addictive disorders. 

For the past 40 years, the Center has received funding from the NIDA and the NIAAA.  It has played a pivotal role in the development of a number of widely used assessments and medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat addictive disorders.   In addition to its successful research and research training efforts, the Center has developed highly regarded clinical training programs for medical students, psychiatric residents and addictions fellows.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been consistently ranked among the top 5 nationally by the US News and World Reports for Drug and Alcohol Abuse.

Dr. Kranzler will replace Charles P. O’Brien, MD, the founding Director of the Center for Studies of Addiction and one of the foremost addiction psychiatrists in the world.  Under Dr. O’Brien’s leadership, the Center, which began at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center and expanded to its current prominent position at Penn, has served as a national resource for the empirical validation of assessment and treatment methods and training in these methods, and in the dissemination of knowledge to the addictions treatment and research communities.

 Dr. O’Brien will continue his funded research and will serve as a collaborator and mentor to his many colleagues in the Center.

Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $5.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 18 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $373 million awarded in the 2015 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center -- which are recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report -- Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2015, Penn Medicine provided $253.3 million to benefit our community.

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