This website and our center are dedicated to the memory of Bruce Rounsaville, MD and reflect his enduring legacy. Bruce was the first principal investigator of this Center when it was founded in 1994 – it served as the focus and inspiration of his most creative and important work at Yale. He was a friend, colleague, and a most generous mentor to all current and past Center investigators. Bruce was also an accomplished clinician, helping and learning from his patients throughout his career. His sudden death in 2011 was an incalculable loss to the field, his family, friends, colleagues, patients, and the countless people he mentored and inspired.
Bruce was born May 21, 1949, finished at the top of his class at Las Vegas High School and came to Yale at 17 as an undergraduate in Silliman College. He received his MD from the University of Maryland in 1974 and completed his residency at Yale Medical School in 1977. He spent the rest of his career in the Department of Psychiatry and the Division of Substance Abuse, where he was promoted to full professor in 1993.
While his legacy will continue to reveal itself through his many collaborators and mentees, the scientific contributions of which he was most proud include the introduction of the Dependence Syndrome construct into the diagnostic criteria for Substance Use Disorders in DSM-III-R, the significance of psychiatric comorbidity in substance-using individuals, articulation of the Stage Model of behavioral therapies research, and the clinical trials demonstrating the efficacy of Cognitive Behavioral treatment for cocaine dependence, and naltrexone as treatment for alcohol dependence.
For the entirety of his time at Yale, he hosted the Annual Division Party in his beautiful home and beamed while showing off the English garden he had planted, nurtured, and loved so many years. Each of us, at one time or another, left these gatherings with a cutting from some obscure but lovely plant as well as odd anecdote from Bruce that, sometimes weeks or months later, revealed some profound advice or insight. The Center is the garden we continue to cultivate in Bruce’s memory.
- Kathleen Carroll