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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

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About the Division
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Currently Recruiting Studies
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Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship
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Aimee L. McRae-Clark,
PharmD, BCPP

Clinical Neuroscience Division
Associate Professor, Departments of
Psychiatry and Neurosciences



Clinical Neuroscience Division

Actively Recruiting Research Studies

A Randomized Controlled Trial of Varenicline for Adolescent Smoking Cessation
This is a 12-week trial of varenicline versus placebo, added to smoking cessation counseling, for smokers ages 14-21. Phone (843) 792-4097, e-mail

Gender, Hormones, and Stress-Related Smoking
This project is designed to examine relationships between gender, reproductive hormones, and smoking behaviors in the laboratory and natural environment. Phone (843) 792-4097, e-mail

Group Motivational Interviewing (GMI) For Homeless Veterans In VA Services
The proposed study will investigate the effectiveness, implementation process, and cost estimate of Group Motivational Interviewing (GMI) for Veterans with SUDs receiving VA housing services. Outcomes will be assessed at multiple time points using a multi-modal approach. The ultimate goal of this research is to establish the basis of a GMI dissemination and implementation course of action for highly vulnerable homeless Veterans in VA housing for achieving their greatest success in attaining housing stability. Contact Person: Elizabeth J. Santa Ana, Ph.D., 789-7168

Oxytocin in Cocaine Dependence
This is a non-treatment study investigating the effect of oxytocin on stress response and brain activity in response to cocaine cues. Participation involves 6 outpatient visits, including 2 fMRI scans. Cocaine dependent individuals between 18 and 65 years old may be eligible to participate. Contact: Lisa Nunn, 792-0476

Exploring Sex Differences in the Neural Correlates of PTSD: Impact of Oxytocin
This is a non-treatment study investigating gender differences in the effect of oxytocin on neural circuitry related to PTSD. Participation involves 3 outpatient visits, including 2 fMRI scans. Individuals between 18 and 50 years old who experienced traumatic or stressful events in childhood may be eligible to participate. Contact: Todd LeMatty, 792-8179


The Effects of Oxytocin on Couples’ Conflict-Resolution Interactions
The aim of this study is to examine the extent to which oxytocin improves conflict resolution skills and mitigates craving and subjective, physiological, and neuroendocrine reactivity in response to dyadic conflict among couples with substance use problems. Couples will complete a psychosocial assessment and two 10-minute videotaped conflict resolution tasks. Using a double-blind design, both partners within each couple will be randomly assigned to receive either intranasal oxytocin or saline spray. We examine measures of change in each partner’s conflict resolution skills, craving, and subjective, physiological, and neuroendocrine responses to the conflict resolution tasks. Contact:  Dr. Julianne Flanagan, 792-5569

Integrated Treatment of OEF/OIF Veterans with PTSD and Substance Use Disorders
In comparison to the general population, U.S. military and Veterans are at an increased risk for developing both substance use disorders (SUD) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Current research has shown that there is a high comorbidity of SUD and PTSD, and although there are a number of treatments for SUD and PTSD independently, there are very few effective methods to simultaneously treat both disorders. Because of this substantial gap in the treatment of both SUDs and PTSD, it has become essential to develop a combined treatment that would address and treat both disorders. Individuals, specifically U.S. military and Veterans, with SUD/PTSD have unique needs that require a specialized treatment approach. This designed approach would employ cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to treat the SUD, in conjunction with Prolonged Exposure therapy to treat the PTSD. Prolonged Exposure (PE) is an empirically supported and evidence-based treatment that is currently regarded as the "gold standard" psychosocial treatment for PTSD. In combination with CBT, this treatment would address both disorders in hopes of reducing substance use and PTSD symptomatology. Contact: Frank Beylotte 843-792-2522