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R. Ross MacLean, PhD

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry; Clinical Psychologist, VA CT Healthcare System

Research Summary

My research and scholarly activity is grounded by a desire to promote and explore behavioral, biological, and motivational processes related to the maintenance and treatment of addiction and related disorders. In the service of this focus, I have sought opportunities to investigate addiction using ecological momentary assessment and brief interventions. Additionally, I am interested in developing focused treatments for chronic pain that compliment opioid agonist treatment. My current project evaluates cognitive bias modification for pain and opioid stimuli as an adjunctive treatment to opioid agonist treatment.

Extensive Research Description

As a clinical research assistant at McLean Hospital and Penn State, I was extensively involved in the development, execution, and analysis of multiple research projects that investigated behavioral and neural responses associated with drug and alcohol use. In my graduate work, I examined relationships between diagnostic features of addiction (e.g., craving) and individual difference variables that are related to addiction severity (e.g., smoking). During this time, I collaborated with multiple distinguished researchers, developed methodological and analytical expertise for both behavioral and neuroimaging data, and significantly contributed to multiple peer reviewed publications from each project. The gestalt of my prior research experience has emphasized the importance of working within a team of investigators to examine rigorous research questions with an interdisciplinary approach, and highlighted the need for improving the resolution of behavioral assessment to better understand addiction-related phenomena. As a MIRECC Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale University and the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, my research interests expanded to include innovative perspectives and clinically grounded research that can immediately inform treatment in multiple diagnosis populations (e.g., addictions and mental health). My methodological background in addiction research is focused on enhancing interventions in substance use disorders to ultimately improve treatment outcomes.


Research Interests

Alcohol Drinking; Buprenorphine; Mental Health; Methadone; Opioid-Related Disorders; Pain; Substance-Related Disorders; Drug-Seeking Behavior; Tobacco Use

Selected Publications