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Bertha K. Madras, PhD

Bertha K. Madras, PhD

McLean Hospital Title:
Harvard Medical School Title:
  • Professor of Psychobiology, Department of Psychiatry


Bertha K. Madras, PhD, is a professor of psychobiology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She is former Deputy Director for Demand Reduction (prevention, treatment) in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, Executive Office of President, a position unanimously confirmed by the US Senate.

Her research focuses on the relevance of dopamine signaling to addiction biology, ADHD, and Parkinson’s disease. She holds 19 patents for novel brain imaging agents and candidate therapeutics. In public service, she has delivered over 250 public presentations globally, and developed a museum exhibit and a CD (licensed by Disney), with the Museum of Science, Boston. A recipient of an NIH MERIT award, NIDA Public Service Award, American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry Founders’ Award, and others, her brain imaging agent altropane, was listed by The Better World Report as “one of 25 technology transfer innovations that changed the world”.


Madras BK, Colvis CM, Pollack JD, Rutter JL, Shurtleff D, von Zastrow M, eds. Cell biology of addiction. Cold Spring Harbor, NY: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 2006.

Madras BK, Kuhar MJ, eds. The effects of drug abuse on the human nervous system. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2013.

Seeman P, Madras BK, eds. Imaging of the human brain in health and disease. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2013.

PubMed search for Dr. Madras

Education & Training:

  • 1963 BSc in Biochemistry, McGill University
  • 1967 PhD in Tryptophan and Hallucinogen Pharmacology, McGill University
  • 1999 MA, Harvard University
  • 1966-1967 Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Biochemistry, Tumor Biology, Tufts University
  • 1967-1969 Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Biochemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology




Office Address:

Belmont campus - Oaks Building