Mclean Hospital
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 at Harvard Medical School, based at McLean Hospital and cross-appointed at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Her research focuses on neurobiology, imaging, and medications development (19 US and 27 international patents) for neuropsychiatric disorders. In public policy, she was Deputy Director for Demand Reduction in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, a presidential appointment confirmed unanimously by the US Senate.

Dr. Madras recently served as a panelist at the Vatican Pontifical Academy of Sciences and in 2017, was appointed as one of six members of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. In service to the public, she developed a museum exhibit, a CD (licensed by Disney) with the Museum of Science, Boston. She is recipient of an NIH MERIT award, a NIDA Public Service Award, and others.


AddictionOpioidsTranslational Research

Selected Publications:

Madras BK. Update of Cannabis and its Medical Use. World Health Organization, 2015.

Baker C, Bondi P, Cooper R, Christie C, Madras BK, Kennedy P. [Washington]: President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis (US); 2017.

PubMed search for Dr. Madras


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.

Education & Training:

  • 1963 BSc in Biochemistry, McGill University
  • 1967 PhD in Tryptophan and Hallucinogen Pharmacology, McGill University
  • 1999 MA (honorary), 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 - Mailman Research Center