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Warren K. Bickel, Ph.D.

Warren K. Bickel, Ph.D.

Virginia Tech Carilion Behavioral Health Research Professor
Director, Addiction Recovery Research Center
Director, Center for Health Behaviors Research

“A week of being opioid-free may be an important milestone for many individuals, but remaining drug-free for years and having a happy, productive life with great family relationships is the outcome we strive to achieve.”


Understanding, preventing, and treating addiction

Why do people engage in self-harming behaviors? 
Substance abuse damages health in both long-term and acute ways, and the health impacts of addiction are severe and widespread. Warren Bickel, Ph.D., studies why people continue to engage in harmful behaviors - such as smoking, substance abuse, and overeating - even when they know what’s at stake. A hallmark of addiction is the tendency to choose immediate gratification over longer term, healthier benefits. As director of the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute Addiction Recovery Research Center, and co-director of the institute’s Center for Health Behaviors Research, Dr. Bickel searches for new diagnostics, interventions, and treatments to improve dysfunctional decision-making and help people adopt healthy behaviors. 

  • Virginia Tech Carilion Behavioral Health Research Professor, Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC
  • Director, Addiction Recovery Research Center
  • Director, Center for Health Behaviors Research
  • Professor of Psychology, College of Science
  • Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, VTC School of Medicine

Koffarnus MK, Johnson MW, Thompson-Lake DGY, Wesley MJ, Lohrenz T, Montague PR, Bickel WK. (2016). Cocaine-Dependent Adults and Recreational Cocaine Users Are More Likely Than Controls to Choose Immediate Unsafe Sex Over Delayed Safer Sex. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology 24(4): 297-304. doi: 10.1037/pha0000080.

Bickel WK, Quisenberry AJ, Snider SE. (2016). Does impulsivity change rate dependently following stimulant administration? A translational selective review and re-analysis. Psychopharmacology 233(1): 1-18.

Wilson AG, Franck CT, Mueller ET, Landes RD, Kowal BP, Yi R, Bickel WK. (2015). AddictiveBehaviors.

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Wilbur D. Mills Professor of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Prevention, Department of Psychiatry
Professor, Department of Health Behavior
Director, Center for Addiction Research
Director, Interdisciplinary Tobacco Program

University of Vermont College of Medicine
Inaugural Director, Chittenden Center, An Addictions Treatment Program; Program of the Howard Center for Human Services in Alliance with Fletcher Allen Health Care and the University of Vermont's College of Medicine
Interim Chair, Department of Psychiatry
Professor, Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology
Vice-Chair for Research, Department of Psychiatry

Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University
Assistant Director for Clinical Research, Division of Substance Abuse
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry

  • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine: Postdoctoral fellowship
  • University of North Carolina Chapel Hill: Postdoctoral fellowship
  • University of Kansas: Ph.D., Developmental and Child Psychology
  • University of Kansas: M.A., Developmental and Child Psychology
  • University of New York New Paltz: B.A., Psychology
  • Nathan B. Eddy Award, College on Problems of Drug Dependence, 2016
  • Fellow, Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research, 2014
  • Distinguished Alumni Award, University of Kansas, 2014
  • Service as Past President Recognition, Division 50, Society of Addiction Psychology, American Psychological Association, 2013
  • Scholar of the Week, Virginia Tech, 2012


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