From lab to leader

Kathleen Brady was among the first to bridge psychiatry and addiction research

While some children grow up in families steeped in sports or immersed in the arts, Kathleen Brady’s childhood was framed by science.

Her father, a behavioral pharmacologist at Johns Hopkins, helped train the primates that preceded NASA astronauts in space flight. His friends and colleagues were frequent guests in their home, and young Kathleen would sit in on their conversations. She conducted her own small behavioral experiments and turned to her father for advice on science fair projects.

Brady has contributed to a major shift … by establishing the neurobiological basis of addiction

John Imbrie, chair of the College’s Department of Mathematics, says if there were one word to describe Ken, it would be “engagement.”

“His help and our discussions over the years were a huge influence,” says the daughter who earned her first author credit in the fourth grade with a paper in the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior.

Today, Kathleen Brady, M.D., PHD’81 (PHTX), is vice president for research, a distinguished university professor in psychiatry and director of the South Carolina Clinical and Translational Research Institute at the Medical University of South Carolina, dividing her time equally between administrative and research roles. She is the current president of the International Society of Addiction Medicine and has served in extensive advisory and leadership positions in her field.

A widely respected and extraordinarily accomplished clinical researcher, a committed mentor and a tireless advocate, Brady has dedicated her career to helping redefine our understanding of addiction and to promoting evidence-based approaches to treatment.

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