Innovative Researcher In Substance Use Disorder

Dr. Richard S. Schottenfeld is one of the nation’s foremost innovators in the field of substance use disorders.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 5, 2017) – Dr. Richard S. Schottenfeld, one of the nation’s foremost innovators in the field of substance use disorders, has been named the new chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Howard University. Dr. Schottenfeld previously directed major programs related to substance use disorders at Yale University

Dr. Hugh E. Mighty, College of Medicine dean and vice president of clinical affairs, said Dr. Schottenfeld would spearhead the development initiatives aimed at substance use disorders and more broadly for the full range of psychiatric disorders.  

“I am thrilled to join the faculty of the Howard University College of Medicine and excited about the opportunities we have to build on the department’s accomplishments and strengths,” Dr. Schottenfeld said. “I am looking forward to helping to expand interdisciplinary collaborations and the development of new initiatives.”

While at Yale, Dr. Schottenfeld directed major treatment programs for substance use disorders in the New Haven area, including a primary care clinic that has served as a laboratory for developing and evaluating integrated primary care and substance use treatment services and training general medicine physicians. The programs also included specialized services for pregnant and postpartum women and vocational services for people with substance use or other psychiatric disorders. 

“Most individuals with substance use disorders use primary care, family or emergency medical services long before receiving specialized services for substance use or psychiatric disorders,” Dr. Schottenfeld said. “Many never receive any treatment for these disorders despite frequent medical visits.”

Dr. Schottenfeld earned a bachelors of arts from Yale College, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude, and with distinction in English Literature. He earned a medical degree from Yale and completed an internship in internal medicine at the Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City. He worked as a general practitioner in Hanna and Green River, Wyo., and returned to Yale to complete psychiatry residency training and a two-year, Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program clinical research fellowship. Subsequently, he joined the faculty in the Yale Medical School’s Department of Psychiatry, rising to the rank of professor of psychiatry and head of Davenport College. 

Dr. Schottenfeld was the founding director of the Addiction Psychiatry Residency Training Program and developed and led the post-doctoral Drug Abuse Clinical Research Training Program, which has been continuously funded through a T-32 grant awarded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse since 1988. He also developed and directed an interdisciplinary faculty development program that created a cadre of faculty in Internal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, and Psychiatry with expertise in evaluation, management, and treatment of substance use disorders. Faculty members who participated in the program have played major roles in the development of training and clinical programs and clinical research in their departments.

He has directed numerous clinical trials of medications and behavioral treatments for substance use disorders and co-occurring other psychiatric disorders or chronic pain. His early studies of buprenorphine helped support U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of buprenorphine for treatment of opioid use disorder. He replaces Dr. Walter Bland who has served in the capacity of interim chair of the department since March 2016.

Article Type:

Alumni, Current Students, Faculty and Staff, Prospective Students