Dr. Bickel is the Director for the Addiction Recovery Research Center at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute and a Professor in the Department of Psychology at Virginia Tech. He received his Ph.D. in developmental and child psychology in 1983 from the University of Kansas, completed post‑doctoral training at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1985, and then joined the faculty of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. In 1987, he relocated to the University of Vermont where he became a Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology and Interim-Chair of the Department of Psychiatry for a period of three years. While in Vermont, he contributed to the public debate about treating opioid-dependent individuals and was the Founding Director of the first methadone treatment program in the State of Vermont. He moved to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in 2004. There he held the Wilbur D. Mills Chair of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Prevention and was the Director of the Center for Addiction Research. He also served as Director of COPH’s Center for the Study of Tobacco Addiction at UAMS and was the Associate Director of the Psychiatric Research Institute.
Dr. Bickel was the primary mentor for 40 trainees (e.g., post-doctoral and pre-doctoral fellows). He was Principal Investigator (PI) of an Institutional Training Award (T32) from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) for 15 years at the University of Vermont and was the PI of an Institutional Training Award at UAMS. He has been funded continuously at NIH since 1988 and currently is Principal Investigator on three research grants from NIDA.
Dr. Bickel is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the Joseph Cochin Young Investigator Award from the College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) and the Young Psychopharmacologist Award from the Division of Psychopharmacology and Substance Abuse of the American Psychological Association (APA). He has also received an NIH MERIT Award from NIDA and the Don Hake Translational Research Award from the American Psychological Association. Additionally, Dr. Bickel has been invited to serve as one of APA’s 2012 Distinguished Scientist Lecturers by the APA Science Directorate and Board for Scientific Affairs. He is a past member of NIDA’s Advisory Council and currently serves on one of the Food and Drug Administration’s Review Committees. In addition, he is a past president of the Division of Psychopharmacology and Substance Abuse, the American Psychological Association, and the CPDD. Currently, he is president of the Society for Addiction Psychology.
Dr. Bickel was Editor-In-Chief of the journal, Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, has co-edited five books, and has published over 285 papers and chapters.