Mclean Hospital

McLean’s Bertha Madras, PhD, Honored by Two National Substance Abuse Prevention Groups

February 21, 2018

For her work on combating substance abuse, Bertha K. Madras, PhD, a psychobiologist at McLean Hospital’s Substance Use Disorders Division and Basic Neuroscience Division, has received recognition from two national organizations.

On February 8, she accepted the National Leadership Award from the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) at the group’s 28th Annual National Leadership Forum in National Harbor, Maryland. Madras addressed 1,700 members and guests at that event, including representatives from key federal agencies and community leaders.

In June, Madras will be honored with the 2018 Martin and Toby Adler Distinguished Service Award from the College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD). The presentation will be made in San Diego, California, at CPDD’s 80th Annual Scientific Meeting.

On receiving these honors, Madras said, “I hope that, in some way, this recognition keeps the spotlight on the nation’s myriad challenges related to substance abuse—particularly the current opioid crisis—and brings more attention to the quality work being done at McLean and elsewhere to help those in need.”

According to the CADCA, the National Leadership Award is given to leaders “who use their voice and influence to educate the community about the importance of substance abuse prevention.” In a statement, CADCA Chairman & CEO Gen. Arthur T. Dean said “It is an honor to recognize Dr. Madras who has made such a significant impact on the prevention field,” citing her work on the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, and in service to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Madras was named to the Commission in 2017.

The CPDD’s Martin and Toby Adler Distinguished Service Award is presented to “individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the field of drug abuse beyond scientific contributions.” It is not presented annually, but awarded when the CPDD executive members identify worthy candidates. Recent recipients include General Barry McCaffrey, the former director of ONDCP, former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, and Cora Lee Wetherington, Women & Sex/Gender Differences Research Coordinator. Founded in 1929, CPDD is “dedicated to advancing a scientific approach to substance use and addictive disorders.”

Over the course of her career, Madras has served as Deputy Director for Demand Reduction (prevention, intervention, treatment) in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, Executive Office of President. Her research has focused on molecular mechanisms of addiction biology, and the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic agents for addiction, ADHD, and Parkinson’s disease. For her work, Madras has received an NIH MERIT award, a NIDA Public Service Award, and the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry Founders’ Award. In 2006, her invention of a brain imaging strategy was recognized by the Better World Report (the Association of University Technology Masters), as one of “25 technology transfer that changed the world.”