Howard Blane

Published April 16, 2019

Howard Blane, former director of UB's Clinical and Research Institute on Addictions (RIA), passed away on April 7.

Blane was renowned for his research on the prevention and treatment of alcohol use disorders and on alcohol use among young adults. He was a graduate of Harvard University (1950) and received his PhD from Clark University (1957).

After a long and distinguished career at the University of Pittsburgh, Blane was named director of RIA in 1986 and served for 10 years, overseeing a period of tremendous change and growth.

Blane guided the institute, then known as the Research Institute on Alcoholism and part of New York State’s Division of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse, into its role as a national leader in the field of alcohol and other drug studies. During his tenure, the institute was renamed the Research Institute on Addictions to reflect its expanded exploration into other substance use disorders.

Under his direction, RIA expanded beyond traditional research into clinical and applied research, particularly into the etiology and treatment of alcohol disorders.

A signature achievement was Blane’s development of RIA’s Clinical Research Center (now known as Addiction Treatment Services), which opened in 1990. The only treatment program in New York State designed specifically for clinical research, the Clinical Research Center enabled clinicians and researchers to work together to develop and evaluate new methods of treatment.

Blane also pursued collaborative opportunities with UB, where he served as a research professor in psychology, laying the groundwork for RIA to join UB as a specialized research center in 1999. In addition, he launched the Research Development Program, renamed in his honor in 2013, to fund pilot studies for the purpose of pursuing external grant funding.

Blane retired as director in 1996 and was named Director Emeritus. He is survived by his son, Benjamin Blane, daughter, Eva Stock, and dearest friend Hiltrud Humbert.