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Marc Potenza, MD, PhD, Inaugural Endowed Professorship

April 22, 2024
by Christopher Gardner

A professorship has been established at Yale to honor and commemorate the contributions of the late Steven M. Southwick, MD, one of the world’s leading experts on psychological trauma and human resilience. The Director of the Women and Addictive Disorders Core within Women’s Health Research at Yale Marc Potenza, MD, PhD, has been named the inaugural Steven M. Southwick Professor of Psychiatry. Named professorships are among the highest honors Yale bestows on its faculty.

At the time of his death in 2022, Southwick was the Glenn H. Greenberg Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry, PTSD, and Resilience at Yale School of Medicine, and medical director emeritus of the Clinical Neuroscience Division of the National Center for PTSD of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

“I’m thrilled that Marc Potenza is the inaugural Southwick professor,” said John H. Krystal, MD, Robert L. McNeil, Jr. Professor of Translational Research and Professor of Psychiatry, of Neuroscience, and of Psychology, and chair of the Yale Department of Psychiatry. “Like Dr. Southwick, Marc has spent his entire professional career at Yale. The two were also friends and collaborators. Marc has emerged as an important leader in the addiction field and an expert in non-drug addictions, including gambling disorder.”

“I am deeply honored to be named as the Steven M. Southwick professor," Potenza said. “I am particularly grateful to have worked with Dr. Southwick and have experienced firsthand his kindness, thoughtfulness, and expertise in researching resilience in the setting of trauma. His pioneering perspective to focus on resilience is one that resonates strongly with me as resilience is key to navigating significantly disruptive life experiences. My hope is to continue research into what helps people manage stressful life events and thrive moving forward, and his work greatly facilitates future research in this area.”

Potenza, who completed his undergraduate and medical school education at Yale as well as his internship, psychiatric residency, and addiction psychiatry fellowship training, leads the Division of Addiction Research within the Department of Psychiatry. He is also director of the Center of Excellence in Gambling Research at Yale, and the Yale Program for Research on Impulsivity and Impulse Control Disorders.

At the state level, he is a senior scientist at the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling. Nationally and internationally, he has consulted to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, National Registry of Effective Programs, National Institutes of Health, American Psychiatric Association, and World Health Organization on matters of addiction. He is on the boards of multiple national organizations including Children and Screens, the Addiction Policy Forum, and the National Center on Problem Gambling and is the president-elect of the International Society of Addiction Medicine.

Submitted by Sara Luciano on April 16, 2024