BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Gerard Connors, PhD, senior research scientist
and former director of the University at Buffalo’s Research
Institute on Addictions, was recently recognized for his exemplary
mentorship of promising scientists with a national award from the
American Psychological Association’s Society of Addiction
Connors received the Distinguished Career Contributions to
Education and Training Award at the 2013 annual APA conference in
A recognized expert in the study of alcohol and drug abuse and
treatment, Connors joined the RIA in 1987 and served as director
from 1998 to 2011.
RIA’s current director, Kenneth Leonard, PhD, nominated
Connors for the award, citing the effective and lasting impact of
his mentorship on graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and
“Dr. Connors is unique among mentors in that his
contributions to the mentor-mentee relationship are dynamic and
often continue across many career stages,” Leonard said.
“His meaningful counsel has been instrumental to our
postdoctoral fellows in their transitions to professional careers,
and has been valuable to junior and more established scientists as
In addition to providing individual guidance to scientists at
RIA, Connors served for 12 years as co-training director with R.
Lorraine Collins, PhD, for RIA’s postdoctoral training
program grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and
Alcoholism (a division of the National Institutes of Health), which
fostered the development of more than 20 postdoctoral research
Ronda Dearing, PhD, senior research scientist at RIA, was
mentored by Connors in the postdoctoral training program and
praised his knowledge, experience and generosity with his time and
“From the time that I began as a new postdoctoral fellow,
Dr. Connors treated me as a valued colleague,” Dearing said.
“Over the ensuing years, he has facilitated my professional
development with gentle guidance and respect. Dr. Connors has
consistently demonstrated his investment in my success, and has
provided numerous opportunities that encouraged me to stretch my
Connors has made multiple important contributions to the field
of addictions research, particularly in developing new
interventions for alcohol dependence, characterizing relapse
following alcohol treatment and understanding the role of
spirituality and therapeutic alliance as related to treatment and
treatment outcomes. He has received more than $10 million in
funding from the National Institutes of Health and the National
Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
His research findings have been published in numerous scholarly
journals, including Addiction, Alcoholism: Clinical and
Experimental Research, Journal of Consulting and Clinical
Psychology, Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, and Psychology
of Addictive Behaviors, among others. He also is co-author of
several books, including “Substance Abuse Treatment and the
Stages of Change.”
A member of the APA, Connors is a fellow of the APA’s
Society of Clinical Psychology and Society of Addiction Psychology.
He also is a member of the Research Society on Alcoholism, the
College on Problems of Drug Dependence and the Association for
Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies.
RIA is a research center of the University at Buffalo and a
national leader in the study of alcohol and substance abuse issues.
RIA’s research programs, most of which have multiple year
funding, are supported by federal and private foundation grants.
Located on UB’s Downtown Campus, RIA is a member of the
dynamic Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and helps promote UB’s
strategic focus on research initiatives.