Dr. Rajita Sinha Presents this Year's Eric D. Hadar Distinguished Lecture

(New York, NY) - The Eric D. Hadar Distinguished Lecture at the Columbia University Department of Psychiatry will take place Nov. 16. This year’s speaker, Rajita Sinha, PhD, professor in neuroscience and in child psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine, will present her talk, “Can We Rescue Stress and Trauma Related Pathophysiology in Addiction to Improve Treatment Outcomes?,” at 11 a.m. in an in-person lecture in the Hellmann Auditorium on the first floor of the Pardes Building.

The event is a part of the annual lecture series on substance use disorders sponsored by the Eric D. Hadar Family Foundation. The Foundation’s generous commitment of $2 million was given to support the work of the Division on Substance Use Disorders. A portion of this gift included an endowed fund of $750,000 for the annual Hadar Distinguished Lecture. The remaining amount established the Eric D. Hadar Research Fund, which advances research by providing resources for fellowship and faculty support, research projects, and laboratory infrastructure. 

As one of the leading addiction psychiatry programs in the nation, and routinely in the top five university drug and alcohol abuse programs as ranked by U.S. World and News Report, Columbia’s Division of Substance Use Disorders is at the forefront of addressing the critical addiction challenges facing New York City, New York State, and the nation.

The Division, which comprises 30 faculty members, has had continuous NIH and industry funding for nearly 30 years, including 37 active federal grants and subawards, training awards, and industry contracts.

Eric Hadar is Chair and CEO of Allied Partners, the real estate investment, development, and asset management company he founded in 1993. He also is a member of the Samaritan Daytop Foundation Board of Trustees, which raises money to support Samaritan Daytop Village, a human services agency that provides addiction recovery and support. 

In addition to her appointment at Yale School of Medicine, Dr. Sinha is the Foundations Fund Endowed Professor in Psychiatry. She is a licensed clinical psychologist and clinical neuroscientist, chief of the psychology section in psychiatry, and deputy chair of psychiatry for psychology at the Yale School of Medicine. She is also the founding director of the Yale Interdisciplinary Stress Center, which has made discoveries in furthering our understanding the neurobiology of stress, trauma, and resilient versus vulnerable coping mechanisms that promote neuropsychiatric diseases, such as alcohol use disorders, substance use disorders, chronic pain, PTSD, and other chronic diseases. She has developed novel stress, pain and craving provocation paradigms to understand mechanisms that drive these states and related pathologies. Her lab has also developed and tested novel treatments to address these processes to address stress pathophysiology of addiction and related illnesses to improve addiction treatment outcomes. She has received a number of awards for her work, including the recent Research Society on Alcoholism’s Distinguished Researcher Award in 2020, and also the James Tharp Award from the American Society of Addiction Medicine. Her research has been supported by a series of NIH funded research projects continuously for over 25 years.

Since 2016, the Eric D. Hadar Distinguished Lecture series has expanded understanding of both substance use and the treatments available to those dealing with these disorders. Previous speakers include Dr. Steven Shoptaw, a Professor in the Departments of Family Medicine, and Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Family Medicine and Director of the Center for Behavioral and Addiction Medicine at UCLA Health, who spoke about medications as foundation for stimulant use disorder treatment; Dorothy K. Hatsukami, PhD, Forster Family Chair in Cancer Prevention and Associate Director of Cancer Prevention and Control of the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota, who spoke about tobacco harm reduction; Markus Heilig, MD PhD, Director of the Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience at Linköping University, who spoke about the need to update how studies on alcohol addiction are conducted; Dr. Kathleen M. Carroll, Principal Investigator of the Center for Psychotherapy Development at Yale, who spoke on moving validated behavioral therapies from the research clinic to the real world via the Stage Model; Dr. Paula Riggs, the Director of the Division of Substance Dependence at the University of Colorado Denver, who spoke on the public health impact and clinical implications of marijuana legalization; and Professor Sir John Strang, the head of the National Addictions Centre at Kings College London, who spoke on preventing opiate overdose deaths. 

For any questions about how to support Columbia Psychiatry, please contact Rachel Edelman at rachel.edelman@columbia.edu.


Columbia University Department of Psychiatry 

Columbia Psychiatry is among the top ranked psychiatry departments in the nation and has contributed greatly to the understanding and treatment of brain disorders. Co-located at the New York State Psychiatric Institute on the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Irving Medical Center campus in Washington Heights, the department enjoys a rich and productive collaborative relationship with physicians in various disciplines at the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. Columbia Psychiatry is home to distinguished clinicians and researchers noted for their clinical and research advances in the diagnosis and treatment of depression, suicide, schizophrenia, bipolar and anxiety disorders, eating disorders, substance use disorders, and childhood psychiatric disorders.