Ned Nunes, MD
Professor of Psychiatry, Columbia University, New York State Psychiatric Institute
Dr. Nunes is the Principal Investigator of the Greater New York Node of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Clinical Trials Network as well as other NIDA funded studies on behavioral and medication treatments for substance dependence and related psychiatric disorders. Early in his career he led NIDA funded projects developing and testing methods for treating co- occurring depression among patients with opioid use disorder at community- based methadone maintenance clinics, developing an enduring interest in development of treatments that will be of value and can be realistically implemented in the community. The depression studies showed that co- occurring depression could be evaluated and treated among patients with opioid and other substance use disorders, establishing Dr. Nunes as an international expert on co-occurring mood disorders among people with substance use disorders, and helping to promote the now widespread acceptance of addressing psychiatric comorbidity as part of the standard treatment of substance use disorders.
Interests and ongoing studies include treatments for opioid use disorder, cocaine and other substance use disorders. He has led or co-led a series of studies on strategies to improve the effectiveness of the opioid receptor blocker naltrexone for treatment of opioid use disorder, including behavioral interventions, adjunctive medications, and extended release injection or implanted naltrexone formulations.
Through his work in the CTN he has become further engaged in the challenges involved in implementing evidence-based treatments for substance use disorders in real-world community-based treatments settings, and methods for testing the effectiveness of treatments in the community. He and his CTN team have led/co-led four major multi-site clinical trials, including a trial comparing behavioral interventions for women with post-traumatic stress disorder and substance use disorders, a trial testing a computer- delivered intervention for substance use disorders, and a trial comparing the effectiveness of sublingual buprenorphine with extended-release injection naltrexone for treatment of opioid use disorder, all conducted at community- based treatment programs.
Dr. Nunes has placed emphasis throughout his career on mentoring young investigators, particularly physicians and other clinician-investigators, who can bring the clinical perspective to bear on research design and analysis. He has held a series of NIDA career awards including recently completed K24s that emphasized mentoring. He has served on the faculty of the NIDA T32 based at DSUD since its inception, and on the national faculty of the Research on Addiction Medicine Scholars (RAMS) R25 training program. Dr. Nunes previously served on the Board of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence and as Chair of the NIDA Treatment Research Review Committee, and currently serves on the American Board of Preventive Medicine, Addiction Medicine Sub-Board, as Co-Chair of the Columbia/NYSPI Institutional Review Board, and on the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse and the NIH Working Group on the HEAL (Helping End Addiction in our Lifetimes) initiative.