After twenty-five years, Dr. Dennis Donovan is stepping down as Director of the Alcohol & Drug Abuse Institute at the University of Washington. He will continue his work in the NIDA Clinical Trials Network as the Co-PI (with Dr. Mary Hatch-Maillette) of the Pacific Northwest Node, as well as selected other activities within ADAI, and the UW, under his new status as Professor Emeritus.
Dennis M. Donovan (aka “Dr. Pun-ovan”) has been the director of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute since 1993 and a UW faculty member since 1981; he has been a Professor in Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences and Adjunct Professor in the UW Departments of Psychology, Health Services, and Global Health. He also directed the Substance Abuse and HIV/STI Scientific Working Group within the UW’s Center for AIDS Research. Dr. Donovan has been a Principal Investigator of numerous federally funded grants, including NIAAA’s Project MATCH, the NIAAA COMBINE Study, and NIDA’s National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network (CTN). He developed close relationships with members of tribal communities in the Pacific Northwest through their collaborative work developing and implementing the Healing of the Canoe project. He has published more than 300 articles, chapters, and books in the area of alcoholism and addictive behaviors.
Before coming to ADAI, Dr. Donovan was affiliated with the Addictions Treatment Center at the Seattle Division of the Department of Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System for over 20 years, involved in clinical, administrative, training, and research activities. At the VA he directed the Inpatient Treatment Program and Assistant Director of the Addictions Treatment Center. Prior to moving full time to the University of Washington and ADAI, he served as the Associate Director and then Acting Director of the first Center of Excellence in Substance Abuse Treatment and Education (CESATE) within the Department of Veterans Affairs nationally. Among his many contributions within the VA system was the development of the first interdisciplinary fellowship in substance abuse treatment, including postdoctoral clinical psychologists, and post-masters nursing, social work, and occupational therapist trainees. In 2013, he was invited to serve on the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Committee for an Evaluation of the Department of Veterans Affairs Mental Health Services.
The University of Washington will launch a national search for a new director of ADAI soon; until then, Dr. Caleb Banta-Green, Principal Research Scientist at ADAI, will serve as interim director.
Dennis’s research career and contributions to ADAI and many partner organizations were lauded at a retirement party on August 30, with many Seattle colleagues and friends on hand to wish him well. (We'll publish photos and some of the best puns in a future post)! Thank you, Dennis, for your decades of good work and good cheer at ADAI. Best wishes, and happy kayaking!