VCU School of Medicine names F. Gerard Moeller as division chair of addiction psychiatry

F. Gerard Moeller, M.D., has been named division chair of addiction psychiatry in the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and will hold a joint appointment in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology.

Moeller, a preeminent researcher with a focus on brain imaging in addiction medicine, comes to VCU from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, where he is currently the Louis A. Faillace Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Medical School. He also is an adjoint professor in the Department of Nanomedicine and Biomedical Engineering and on the faculty of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

“Dr. Moeller will make significant contributions to the VCU School of Medicine’s substance abuse program with his extensive experience in the study of cocaine addiction and impulsivity,” said Jerome F. Strauss III, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the VCU School of Medicine.

“As a clinical and translational investigator, Dr. Moeller will add a new dimension to VCU’s exceptional research base in the neurobiology and genetics of drug and alcohol addiction,” he said.

At VCU, Moeller will lead a functional MRI research facility and work with leadership to recruit clinician-teachers and researchers in addiction medicine to VCU and the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center. He also will play a key role shaping the overarching vision of addiction medicine at VCU by fostering the link between clinical research and ongoing preclinical and genetic addiction research currently taking place at VCU.

“Dr. Moeller’s extensive portfolio of work in addiction psychiatry will fit well with VCU’s commitment to be a leader in translational research,” said John Clore, M.D., associate vice president for clinical research and director of the VCU Center for Clinical and Translational Research.

“At VCU, Dr. Moeller will build upon his research to develop new treatments and interventions to help those with substance abuse issues,” he said.

Since 1996, Moeller has been an investigator funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, conducting clinical research on addictions. He has published work in more than 110 peer-reviewed publications in his research field.

“The issues of addictions must be better addressed to improve the health of our citizens and communities,” said Joel Silverman, M.D., James Asa Shield Jr., M.D., Professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry. “It is a necessary component of health care reform and one of the most promising research agendas in all of medicine. We are fortunate to have an international leader to foster our growth in this critical area.”

Joining Moeller at VCU will be Joel Steinberg, M.D., a psychiatrist and brain imaging expert, and Liangsuo Ma, Ph.D., an electrical engineer who is also a brain imaging expert from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Steinberg joins the VCU Department of Psychiatry and Ma will be in the VCU Department of Radiology.

Moeller received his undergraduate degree from the University of Saint Thomas in Houston and his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.  He completed his internship and residency at the University of Texas, San Antonio, followed by a fellowship in Clinical Psychopharmacology Research at the University of California, San Diego. He is board certified in psychiatry and neurology.