Nasir H. Naqvi, MD, PhD

Addiction Psychiatry
Accepting New Patients


I am a psychiatrist and cognitive neuroscientist focused on translational research on addiction. In 2007, I discovered that damage to the insula leads to a profound and abrupt disruption of addiction to cigarette smoking. Since then, I have been trying to understand the role of the insula and related neural systems in the maintenance and treatment of addictive disorders. My work combines clinical and functional neuroimaging methods in order to understand how treatments, especially behavioral treatments, work through their effects on the brain.

My work is funded by a K23 Mentored Career Development Award from NIAAA. I am a recipient of the Louis V. Gerstner, Jr., Award for translational research at Columbia University Medical Center. As a resident, I was awarded the Outstanding Resident Award from the NIMH, and the Laughlin Fellowship from the American College of Psychiatrists.

In addition to my research, I am subspecialty trained in addiction psychiatry, and my clinical interests are in the treatment of substance use disorders by combining behavioral and pharmacological approaches.

Academic Appointments

  • Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry

Hospital Affiliations

  • NewYork-Presbyterian / Columbia University Irving Medical Center


  • Male

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Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • MD, PhD, 2007 Neuroscience, University of Iowa School Of Medicine
  • Residency: 2011 New York State Psychiatric Institute
  • Fellowship: 2013 NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center

Board Certifications

  • Psychiatry

Honors & Awards

1994 First Prize for Undergraduate Neuroscience, NYU

1998 Dean’s Scholarship, University of Iowa College of Medicine

2002 Fellowship, Dartmouth McDonnell-Pew Summer Institute for Cognitive Neuroscience

2009 Outstanding Resident Award, Division of Intramural Research, National Institute of Mental Health

2009 Leon Levy Resident Fellowship, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University/New York State Psychiatric Institute

2011 Laughlin Fellowship, American College of Psychiatry

2015 Louis V. Gerstner, Jr., Scholar Award, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons


My research combines functional MRI and clinical methods to explore the neural mechanisms by which awareness of risks impacts addictive behaviors, and how this process plays a role in behavior change through treatment.

Project 1: The role of neural systems for emotion regulation in the mechanisms of Cognitive Behavior Coping Skills Therapy for Alcohol Use Disorder.

Project 2: Neural and cognitive mechanisms of behavior change in disulfiram treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder.

Research Interests

  • Addiction Psychiatry

Selected Publications

  • Naqvi NH, Rudrauf D, Damasio H & Bechara A: Damage to the insula disrupts addiction to cigarette smoking. Science 2007;315: 531-534
  • Naqvi NH, Tranel D, Gaznick NV & Bechara A: The insula: a critical neural substrate for craving and drug seeking under conflict and risk. Annals of the NY Academy of Science 2014;1316: 53-70
  • Naqvi NH & Bechara A: The airway sensory impact of nicotine contributes to the conditioned reinforcing effects of individual puffs from cigarettes. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior 2005;81: 821-829
  • Naqvi NH, Ochsner KN, Kober H, Kuerbis A, Wall M, Feng T, Morgenstern J: Cognitive regulation of craving in alcohol dependent and social drinkers. Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 2015;39: 343-349
  • Naqvi NH, Morgenstern J: Cognitive neuroscience approaches to understanding behavior change in alcohol use disorder treatments. Alcohol Research: Current Reviews 2015;37