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It’s Not Real Until It’s Real!

Dr. Sterling M. McPherson Awarded Two R01 Grants for Research on Alcohol Use and Smoking Treatments

Sterling McPherson

Congratulations are in order for Dr. Sterling M. McPherson! In the fall of 2020, Dr. McPherson was granted not one, but TWO R01’s titled Zonisamide for the Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder and An Addiction Neuroclinical Assessment Based Treatment for Smokers with an Alcohol Use Disorder from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). These grants will allow Dr. McPherson and other researchers across the world to deepen our understanding of the combination of two different pharmacotherapies (zonisamide and varenicline) and contingency management for alcohol use disorder and smoking, all within a promising new framework: the Addictions Neuroclinical Assessment. One of these grants was submitted eight times before finding the right fit at the NIH, so don’t give up if you have promising ideas and data that need more attention. We are so proud of Dr. McPherson for this exceptional accomplishment and milestone for his career!

Read more about the award details for zonisamide here.

Dr. McPherson is an Associate Professor and Assistant Dean for Research at the Washington State University Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine and is Executive Faculty at the Program of Excellence in Addictions Research. He completed his PhD in Experimental Psychology in 2010 and a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Behavioral Pharmacology while working under the mentorship of Dr. John M. Roll. In 2016, he established and is lead Principal Investigator of the Analytics and PsychoPharmacology Laboratory (APPL). He has secured more than $40 million in grants/contracts as PI or Co-I from NIH and other agencies for research ranging from pharmacokinetics to health economics, including PI of a P20 Center of Excellence focused on substance abuse treatment for American Indians. He has collaborated with five different industry sponsors (Optum, Pillsy, Managed Health Connections, Intent Solutions and Ringful Health) on technology-enhanced treatment and retention platforms. He also been part of over 30 randomized controlled trials in the last 10 years and was competitively chosen to become an NIH Fellow of the Summer Institute on Randomized Clinical Trials. He has led several treatment investigations focused on co-addiction such as alcohol and smoking, and stimulants and smoking. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles and is on the Editorial Boards of five scientific journals in the field of addiction, including Psychology of Addictive Behaviors and Addiction. Lastly, he is dedicated to international research with collaborations across seven countries in an effort to better understand and treat addiction globally.