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Investigator

David H. Epstein, Ph.D.

Real-world Assessment, Prediction, and Treatment Unit

Chief, Real-world Assessment, Prediction, and Treatment Unit, NIDA
Room 01B606
Biomedical Research Center
251 Bayview Blvd Suite 200
Baltimore MD 21224
Office: 443-740-2328


depstein@intra.nida.nih.gov

Dr. David Epstein is an investigator and Chief of the Real-world Assessment, Prediction, and Treatment (RAPT) Unit with NIDA. The RAPT Unit was established by Dr. Epstein in 2017.



The RAPT Unit was established by Dr. Epstein in 2017 to bring the IRP’s treatment research into the age of predictive analytics and personalized medicine. Implicit in the name — “Real-world Assessment, Prediction, and Treatment”— intends to show that when addiction research moves forward, so do prevention and treatment.

The watchword, even if it sounds like a buzzword, is actionable:

The lab derives actionable information from the use of smartphones, GPS, and biosensors in everyday assessment of people’s moods, exposure to built and social environments, and drug use. That information can help deliver mobile treatments, electronically, when and where they’re needed.

The lab formulates actionable ideas from neuroscience and laboratory-based behavioral sciences, collaborating closely with colleagues at the IRP and worldwide to translate their discoveries into treatments.

Their aim is to maintain a portfolio of studies that, taken together, address the whole continuum of causes of addiction, from the psychosocial to the neurobiological, and to use their wide in-house expertise to match the tool to the task for different kinds of patients.

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  • 1) Preston, Kenzie L; Kowalczyk, William J; Phillips, Karran A; Jobes, Michelle L; Vahabzadeh, Massoud; Lin, Jia-Ling; Mezghanni, Mustapha; Epstein, David H (2018)
  • Exacerbated Craving in the Presence of Stress and Drug Cues in Drug-Dependent Patients
  • Neuropsychopharmacology, 43 (4), pp. 859–8672018, ISSN: 1740-634X (Electronic); 0893-133X
  • 2) Preston, Kenzie L; Kowalczyk, William J; Phillips, Karran A; Jobes, Michelle L; Vahabzadeh, Massoud; Lin, Jia-Ling; Mezghanni, Mustapha; Epstein, David H. (2017)
  • Context and craving during stressful events in the daily lives of drug-dependent patients
  • Psychopharmacology (Berl), 234 (17), pp. 2631–2642, ISSN: 1432-2072 (Electronic); 0033-3158
  • 3) Kowalczyk, William J; Bertz, Jeremiah W; Moran, Landhing M; Phillips, Karran A; Ghitza, Udi E; Epstein, David H; Preston, Kenzie L. (2017)
  • Clonidine Increases the Likelihood That Abstinence Can Withstand Unstructured Time in Buprenorphine-maintained Outpatients
  • J Addict Med, 11 (6), pp. 454–460, ISSN: 1935-3227 (Electronic); 1932-0620. 2017
  • 4) Heilig, Markus; Epstein, David H; Nader, Michael A; Shaham, Yavin (2016)
  • Time to connect: bringing social context into addiction neuroscience
  • Nat Rev Neurosci, 17 (9), pp. 592–599, ISSN: 1471-0048 (Electronic); 1471-003X
  • 5) Epstein, David H; Kennedy, Ashley P; Furnari, Melody; Heilig, Markus; Shaham, Yavin; Phillips, Karran A; Preston, Kenzie L (2016)
  • Effect of the CRF1-receptor antagonist pexacerfont on stress-induced eating and food craving
  • Psychopharmacology (Berl), 233 (23-24), pp. 3921–3932, ISSN: 1432-2072 (Electronic); 0033-3158
  • 6) Kowalczyk, William J; Phillips, Karran A; Jobes, Michelle L; Kennedy, Ashley P; Ghitza, Udi E; Agage, Daniel A; Schmittner, John P; Epstein, David H; Preston, Kenzie L. (2015)
  • Clonidine maintenance prolongs opioid abstinence and decouples stress from craving in daily life: a randomized controlled trial with ecological momentary assessment
  • Am J Psychiatry, 172 (8), pp. 760–767
  • 7) Epstein, David H; Tyburski, Matthew; Craig, Ian M; Phillips, Karran A; Jobes, Michelle L; Vahabzadeh, Massoud; Mezghanni, Mustapha; Lin, Jia-Ling; Furr-Holden, Debra C M; Preston, Kenzie L (2013)
  • Clonidine maintenance prolongs opioid abstinence and decouples stress from craving in daily life: a randomized controlled trial with ecological momentary assessment
  • Drug Alcohol Depend, 134, pp. 22–29
View Pubmed Publication