Senior Fellow

James McKay, PhD

  • Professor, Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine
  • Director, Center of Excellance in Substance Abuse Treatment and Education,, Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center

James McKay, PhD is a Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also the Director of the Philadelphia VA Center of Excellence in Substance Addiction Treatment and Education (CESATE). Dr. McKay received a Ph.D. from Harvard University, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in substance abuse treatment outcome research at Brown University. He is the recipient of numerous NIH research grants, and K02 and K24 awards. Dr. McKay is the author or coauthor of over 190 peer reviewed journal articles, 22 book chapters, and two books. He has been a member of two standing NIH grant review committees, and is a fellow of Division 50 of the APA. Dr. McKay’s work has included evaluations of the efficacy, cost-effectiveness, and benefit-cost of continuing care treatments for substance use disorders, and the development and evaluation of adaptive approaches to the management of addiction, including SMART designs and the use of mobile health technology to augment and extend treatment. One recent study evaluated the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of a smartphone continuing care recovery support app, alone and in combination with counseling. A second recent study evaluated an adaptive prevention intervention designed to reduce hazardous alcohol use in veterans on opiate medications for pain. Dr. McKay’s work at the VA is focused on disseminating evidence-based interventions for substance use disorders in VA facilities, providing training and consultation to those programs, and consulting with VA Central Office on clinical practice guidelines and other improvements to treatment for SUD.

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