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Neil B. McGillicuddy, PhD

Neil B. McGillicuddy, PhD

Senior Research Scientist


Research Scientist, Family Medicine

Contact Information

1021 Main Street
Buffalo, NY  14203-1016
Phone: (716) 887-2504

Primary Research Areas

Parental interventions for families with an adolescent substance abuser; interventions for partners of addicted persons; adolescent drug and alcohol use; treatment for adolescent alcohol and drug abusers.

Factors Impacting Interest in Use of a Portable, Disposable Breathalyzer


This project will examine how individuals might employ a single-use disposable breathalyzer (breath tube), which permits a user to provide a breath sample to estimate whether their Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is above or below a predetermined level. Focus groups will provide reactions to the tube, its perceived benefits and anticipated barriers to use. A web survey will then assess, within a general population, willingness to use the tube following alcohol consumption. This project will provide preliminary information regarding the feasibility of using this innovative breathalyzer technology in prevention research. Funded by RIA's Howard T. Blane Director’s Award for Development of Innovative Research in the Addictions (BDAA), 2014-2015.

Development of a Telephone-Based Clinical Skills Assessment Tool

Barrick | McGillicuddy
This project proposes to develop a telephone-based, role-playing tool to assess the clinical skills practitioners learn in a variety of training settings.

Role play is an important method by which clinicians can practice a clinical intervention, receive feedback, and monitor application of that feedback to their clinical practice. When clinical training is offered online, by distance learning, or asynchronously, there are enormous challenges to conducting role plays or similar unrehearsed assessments of clinical skill. This project proposes to develop an alternate form of the telephone-based clinical skill assessment tool (T-CAT) and conduct a psychometric evaluation to examine the generalizability, alternate form reliability, and construct validity of the T-CAT. This approach has promise as a method to allow for improved clinical skill assessment for a variety of training methods in the alcohol and drug abuse treatment fields. 

Principal Investigator
Christopher Barrick, PhD
Research Institute on Addictions

Neil McGillicuddy, PhD
Research Institute on Addictions

Funding Agency
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

Grant Number


Measured Steps vs. Delayed Treatment for High Risk Veterans in Primary Care (funded by the Office of Nursing Services, Veterans Administration). The purpose of this pilot study is to test the feasibility of MEASURED Steps, a manualized and innovative treatment, with veterans at risk for depression and alcohol abuse/dependence in primary care. The MEASURED Steps Group will be compared with a Delayed Treatment Group that will receive standard integrated primary care (in collaboration with Principal Investigator Deborah Finnell of UB’s School of Nursing and the Western New York VA Healthcare System).

Developing Web Delivered Coping Skills Training for Women with Alcoholic Partners

Rychtarik | McGillicuddy | Barrick
This project is developing a Web-based coping skills training program to help reduce the psychological distress experienced by women living with an alcoholic partner.

In this study, Dr. Robert G. Rychtarik and colleagues are developing a web-delivered coping skills training program for women with alcoholic partners. The study’s early-stage treatment development work will use an iterative, user-centered web site development process to develop and preliminarily test the Internet-based Coping Skills Training program. Results will provide the foundation for a larger research effort evaluating this promising treatment delivery model. Dr. Rychtarik’s co-investigators on the study are Drs. Neil B. McGillicuddy and Christopher Barrick. Funded by a grant of $994,778 from NIAAA.This project is supported through funds provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), 2009-2013.

Assessing families at a residential substance abuse facility (funded by the RIA Research Development Program). This pilot study assesses youth residing at a local residential substance abuse facility for youth aged 12-20, and their parents. In this survey, participants are assessed regarding their past and current psychosocial functioning, the youth’s substance use history, and their potential interest in a special training program for parents of youth with substance use issues.

Project STARTT (Stress Tension and Alcohol Relationships Today and Tomorrow)

Rychtarik | McGillicuddy
Researchers evaluated different group-based interventions to reduce the physical, psychological and relationship stress felt by women with alcoholic partners.

Women with an alcoholic or problem drinking partner can experience significant physical, psychological and relationship distress. This project will evaluate different interventions to reduce this distress among women experiencing stress from a partner’s drinking problem, and whose partner is not in treatment. For more information about Project STARTT please visit

Principal Investigator
Robert Rychtarik, PhD

Research Institute on Addictions

Neil B. McGillicuddy, PhD
Research Institute on Addictions

Funding Agency
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)


Skill Training for Parents of Adolescent Drug Abusers

Parents of Teens Program

The investigators continued their research on skills parents use to deal with problem situations resulting from their adolescent's use of drugs and alcohol. The study evaluated the relative efficacy of skill training and 12 step facilitation interventions for parents of adolescent substance abusers not in treatment. Funded by a grant of $2,523,437 from NIDA, 1995-2003.

Treatment Settings for Alcoholics: A Field Extension

The research team matched and mismatched clients to inpatient vs. outpatient alcoholism treatment in a community field setting based on their drinking problem severity and cognitive functioning measures. Treatment consisted of 21 days of primary (inpatient or outpatient) care and 6 months of outpatient aftercare. Participants subsequently were followed for 18 months postprimary care. The results will contribute to the existing knowledge-base on efficient and effective client placement criteria. Robert Whitney, MD, of the Erie County Medical Center (ECMC), Division of Chemical Dependency Unit collaborated with RIA scientists. Funded by a grant of $2,364,815 from NIAAA, 2002-2008.