RTI Policy Forum

Policies and Technologies Needed to Rein In "Designer" Drugs —
Speaker Biographies

Jenny Wiley

Jenny Wiley, PhD, Senior Fellow in behavioral pharmacology, currently designs and supervises a program of in vivo research that complements existing strengths of RTI's Center for Discovery and Analytical Sciences, including the synthesis and development of candidate medications and investigation of neural mechanisms underlying substance abuse. She also works on National Institutes of Health grant-supported research in the area of cannabinoid pharmacology, an area in which she has an extensive record of peer-reviewed publications. She has worked extensively with various multidisciplinary and multi-institutional teams focused on studies that used a wide range of methods, from molecular to behavioral.

Michael Baumann

Michael Baumann, PhD, is a staff scientist at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, where he works in the Chemical Biology Research Branch. His current research interests involve developing medications for the treatment of substance use disorders; determining the mechanism of cognitive-enhancing medications; determining interactions between brain dopamine and serotonin; and examining the effects of non-nicotine constituents of cigarette smoke. Dr. Baumann sits on the editorial board of the European Journal of Pharmacology and is a scientific reviewer for numerous prestigious publications. He also serves as an instructor in the Department of Biology at Morgan State University.

Patrick Beardsley

Patrick Beardsley, PhD, is a professor of pharmacology and toxicology at Virginia Commonwealth University ,where his research includes behavioral pharmacology of drugs of abuse and medication development for central nervous system disorders. His research laboratories are concerned with answering questions entailing the nature of the controlling determinants involved in drug abuse and the development of medications for treating drug abuse and other neurological disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and psychosis. Dr. Beardsley has authored numerous publications and contributed to articles in journals such as Behavioral Pharmacology, the European Journal of Pharmacology, and Psychopharmacology.

Scott Novak

Scott Novak, PhD, currently leads the program of research on prescription drug use and misuse within RTI's behavioral health epidemiology program. Dr. Novak's expertise is in novel statistical and methodological approaches to the analysis of epidemiological and clinical data, including extensions of the generalized linear mixed model to classification, measurement, and diagnosis of disease. He is the principal investigator on several NIH grants to examine substance use and psychiatric trajectories over the life course. Prior to coming to RTI, Dr. Novak was on the faculty of Brown University in the Department of Community Health and was a Robert Wood Johnson Faculty Fellow in the Department of Health Care Policy/Maternal and Child Health at Harvard University.

Brian Thomas

Brian F. Thomas, PhD, is the senior director of Analytical Chemistry and Pharmaceutics at RTI. He is the principal investigator on two National Institute on Drug Abuse chemical repository and dose formulation contracts. He is also engaged in grant-supported research with the National Institutes of Health. His principal duties include overseeing the development of chromatographic assays and spectrophotometric assays for the qualitative and quantitative analysis of bulk chemicals or chemicals in dosage formulations, biological fluids, tissues, or other complex matrices. He has nearly 30 years of experience in analytical chemistry and mass spectrometry (MS), with a particular emphasis on central nervous system pharmacology, substance abuse research, and medications development. Dr. Thomas was awarded the RTI President's Award in 2005 and in 2006 for his scientific contributions to the institute.

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