Alcohol and Drug Addiction


John D. Roache, Ph.D.


The Alcohol and Drug Addiction Division exists to promote the understanding and treatment of addictive disorders through the expansion of existing research programs, the development of comprehensive addictions curriculum and training, and the creation and support of clinical services that are integrated with active research programs.


John Roache, Ph.D.,

Interim Director of the Division of Alcohol & Drug Addiction, Professor, Departments of Psychiatry and Pharmacology, Scientific Director, University Clinical Psychopharmacology Laboratory

Dr. Roache's research has focused on the biobehavioral determinants of addictive behavior and the interplay of genetic risk factors with psychological and environmental factors. His clinical interests include alcoholism, cocaine dependence, sedative abuse, and iatrogenic benzodiazepine dependence.

John H. Casada, M.D., Ph.D.,

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

Dr. Casada is an experienced clinician with a joint appointment at the Audie Murphy Veterans Administration Hospital. He is active in the clinic as well as in research and his area of expertise is anxiety disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Martin Javors, Ph.D.,

Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Director of the Biological Psychiatry Laboratory

Dr. Javors has over 20 years experience in developing analytical tests for psychotherapeutic drugs and other cellular level psychopharmacologic studies. His work has enabled the development of biochemical methods for quantifying alcohol consumption.

Wouter Koek, Ph.D.,

Associate Professor, Departments of Psychiatry and Pharmacology

Dr. Koek is a neuropharmacologist with a degree in behavioral pharmacology and extensive experience using animal models in medication development for substance abuse.

Richard J. Lamb, Ph.D.,

Professor, Departments of Psychiatry and Pharmacology

Dr. Lamb concentrates his clinical research on improving behavioral therapies for addiction, while his pre-clinical research concentrates on developing better medications for the treatment of addiction. He is interested in contingency management treatments of drug abuse, that is, the use of rewards and punishments to change behavior. He is also interested in medication development for substance abuse, and in the stimulus properties of drugs.

Jennie, Ma, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Psychiatry

Dr. Ma is a biostatistician with over 15 years experience in clinical research. Her interests are longitudinal data analysis; meta-analysis, survival analysis, genetic/linkage, association analysis and microarray data analysis.

Martha Medrano, M.D., M.P.H.,

Director, Hispanic Center of Excellence, Professor of Psychiatry

Dr. Medrano is very active in the training of new physicians and also in the continuing medical education of practicing physicians. Her research interests are targeted toward understanding the complex interaction of frequency and severity of child abuse on the etiology and prognosis of alcohol and substance abuse in women.

Stoks, Suzette, Ph.D.,

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

Dr. Stoks has experience in private practice as well as research. She is responsible for managing the division's addictions and post-doctoral research fellowships.

Christopher L. Wallace, M.D.

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Medical Director of the University Clinical Psychopharmacology Laboratory

Dr. Wallace is an experienced clinician with a joint appointment at the Audie Murphy Veterans Administration Hospital. He is very active in curriculum development and in the training of new physicians. His research is centered on substance abuse.


Addictions Fellowship
Post-doctoral Research Fellowships


Current divisional efforts are focused on developing the Behavioral Wellness Center for Clinical Trials (Be Well Center) which is devoted to Phase I-IV clinical, psychiatric research studies. The Be Well Center will:

  • provide a service to departmental faculty by obtaining funding and carrying out clinical studies,
  • create an environment where junior faculty and staff can learn about, and gain valuable experience in, all aspects of clinical trials.

Division faculty are also very active in directing and participating in the South Texas Addiction Research & Technology (START) Center, a group of clinical and pre-clinical researchers working across many disciplines integrating neuroscience, psychosocial interventions and medical treatment interventions to understand and treat addiction. START Center personnel carry out inpatient, outpatient, and laboratory research projects.

In addition to the division faculty listed above, the following faculty from other departments are also valued members of the START Center.

Lynette C. Daws, Ph.D.,

Assistant Professor of Physiology

Dr. Daws is interested in the mechanism of action and regulation of cellular level monoamine transporter function. Understanding how these transporters function is important in that they are the primary site of action for numerous psychotherapeutic and psychoactive drugs.

Charles P. France, Ph.D.,

Professor, Departments of Pharmacology and Psychiatry

Dr. France studies the interactions between behavior and pharmacology as those interactions influence the likelihood of drug abuse. He has helped develop procedures to assess the development of dependence and the expression of withdrawal and how these phenomena can be modified by various pharmacologic and behavioral manipulations.

Julie G. Hensler, Ph.D.,

Assistant Professor of Pharmacology

Dr. Hensler is interested in the molecular mechanisms by which neurotransmitter receptor systems compensate or regulate in disease states or following drug treatment. Compensatory changes in the sensitivity of central receptor systems may be involved in the mechanism by which psychotropic drugs produce their therapeutic or side effects. She has focused on the regulation of serotonin receptors.

The University Clinical Psychopharmacology Laboratory (UCPL) is a collaboration of the facilities of the University Hospital System and the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry under the direction of John D. Roache, Ph.D. (Scientific Director), Christopher Wallace, M.D. (Medical Director) Its purpose is to provide the facilities and organizational support for faculty of the Department of Psychiatry to conduct in-patient clinical research.

The Smoking Cessation Laboratory is located on the 7th floor of the Medical School. Dr. Richard Lamb established this laboratory as a facility for investigating behavioral therapies of drug addiction using smoking as a model addiction. Currently the Smoking Cessation Laboratory is being used to investigate methods of improving the success rate of contingency management treatments of nicotine abuse.

Charles France, Ph.D., Wouter Koek, Ph.D. and Rick Lamb, Ph.D. use Preclinical Animal Models to conduct preclinical studies in the behavioral pharmacology of addiction. Particular emphasis is placed on the use of behavioral procedures to understand the mechanism(s) of action of drugs of addiction as well as to screen for and understand the mechanism(s) of putative treatment agents. Current studies focus on alcohol, nicotine, opiates and other drugs of abuse.