Susan Tapert

Title(s)Professor, Psychiatry
SchoolHealth Sciences
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    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse Awards and Honors
    American Psychological Association Division 50 (Addictions) 2008Distinguished Scientific Early Career Contribution Award
    American Psychological Association Division 50 (Addictions) 2010Elected to Fellow status
    Science and Management of Addictions 2012Researcher of the Year
    American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry2016Outstanding Mentor Award
    Research Society on Alcoholism2019Marlatt Mentorship Award

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse Overview
    Dr. Tapert became interested in addictive behavior research as an undergraduate at University of Washington, working with Dr. G. Alan Marlatt at the Addictive Behaviors Research Center. Her focus on adolescence started during her graduate studies with Dr. Sandra A. Brown in the UCSD-SDSU Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, where she specialized in neuropsychology and behavioral medicine. Her dissertation, completed in 1998, was on the reciprocal effects of neuropsychological functioning and substance use in youth. Following an APA clinical psychology internship at Brown University, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship at UC San Diego on functional magnetic resonance imaging under the mentorship of Dr. Gregory G. Brown.

    Research Focus
    Dr. Tapert’s research focuses on understanding neural sequelae of and risk factors for adolescent substance use. Her work uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), functional MRI, diffusion tensor imaging, and neuropsychological testing. Her studies evaluate adolescent brain development and sex differences. She has been awarded over 20 research grants, most from the National Institutes of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Dr. Tapert is Co-Director and a site PI for the National Consortium on Alcohol and NeuroDevelopment in Adolescence (NCANDA), and Associate Director and a site PI for the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, which was launched in 2015 to explore the development of nearly 12,000 children.

    Administrative Focus
    Dr. Tapert has been the Vice Chair, Academic Affairs, for the UC San Diego Department of Psychiatry since 2019.

    Collapse Research 
    Collapse Research Activities and Funding
    ABCD-USA Consortium: Research Project
    NIH/NIDA U01DA041089Sep 30, 2015 - May 31, 2020
    Role: Principal Investigator
    National Consortium on Alcohol and Neurodevelopment in Adolescence: Admin
    NIH/NIAAA U24AA021695Sep 5, 2012 - Jun 30, 2022
    Role: Principal Investigator
    National Consortium on Alcohol and Neurodevelopment in Adolescence: San Diego
    NIH/NIAAA U01AA021692Sep 1, 2012 - Jun 30, 2022
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Alcohol Research in the Science/Practitioner Model
    NIH/NIAAA T32AA013525Aug 1, 2002 - Jul 31, 2022
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator
    fMRI and Cognition in Youth at Risk for Alcoholism
    NIH/NIAAA R01AA013419Feb 1, 2002 - Mar 31, 2013
    Role: Principal Investigator

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