Marc Potenza, MD, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience and in the Child Study Center at the Yale School of Medicine and Senior Research Scientist at the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling (CCPG), received the Marvin A. Steinberg Lifetime Achievement Award from the CCPG on Oct. 23.
The award “recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions in the field of problem gambling with the State of Connecticut.” Recognition is based on a person’s “commitment and outstanding efforts around the issue of problem gambling in research, advocacy, fundraising, professional practice, policy making, training and/or volunteerism.”
Potenza has made significant contributions in many of these domains. He has researched problem gambling behaviors and gambling disorder for over 20 years, and with collaborators has used multiple methodological approaches (surveys, neuroimaging, genetic, clinical trials) to understand gambling disorder and its impact.
With CCPG founder Marvin Steinberg, PhD, and other collaborators, Potenza published the first neuroimaging study of individuals with gambling disorder. He has also worked closely with Steinberg and others to develop an assessment instrument for diagnosing individuals with gambling disorder and to understand youth and adult problem gambling behaviors in Connecticut.
This work with Steinberg and CCPG has led to over 20 publications to date and has included pioneering reports that have informed approaches to prevent underage gambling.
Potenza has been awarded as principal investigator competitive grants (to Yale) from the National Institutes of Health to study gambling disorder, and has been awarded Center of Excellence in Gambling Research grants and other research grants from the National Center for Responsible Gaming to support gambling research at Yale.
He also receives support (to Yale and the Connecticut Mental Health Center) from the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS), CCPG, and the Mohegan Sun Casino for gambling research. He has served on the advisory board for the National Council on Problem Gambling and in this capacity has advocated at the national level (on Capitol Hill) for efforts to put into law provisions for screening for gambling problems among U.S. military personnel.
Potenza is also a consulting psychiatrist and medical director for a DMHAS-supported treatment program for people with gambling problems. He routinely provides training and educational lectures in Connecticut and around the world on gambling disorder and related topics.
He has been involved in efforts on how best to classify, screen for, and diagnose gambling disorder and other behavioral addictions in efforts relating to the DSM-5 (the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) and ICD-11 (the eleventh edition of the International Classification of Diseases). He was recognized in 2016 with a lifetime achievement award in gambling research from the National Council on Problem Gambling.