Dr. Stoops Elected President of National Group Dedicated to Addressing Drug Abuse

William W. Stoops, PhD, professor within the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, has been elected as president of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD), the longest standing group in the U.S. dedicated to addressing issues of drug dependence and abuse.

The national organization, with more than 1,000 members, offers a platform for scientists to improve the understanding of the molecular-neurobiological aspects of addictive disorders while developing treatments, promoting scientific discovery, and advocating for policies that advance addiction research and treatment.

Through this leadership position, Dr. Stoops will function as chief executive officer, chairing the executive committee that oversees the organization and presiding over Board of Directors meetings, as well as the group’s annual conference.

“CPDD has been the primary research society I’ve belonged to since I was a graduate student. As such, I feel like I’ve ‘grown up’ in the organization,” Dr. Stoops said. “I wanted to continue to give back to the organization, and I felt this was a good next step considering my history with CPDD and how much it has meant to me.”

As president Dr. Stoops has goals to foster an environment of diversity and inclusion to ensure all members feel welcome and that all voices are heard; to partner with other professional research societies in order to expand advocacy efforts; and to share members’ important findings across audiences through increased media presence. 

Dr. Stoops will serve a three-year term, starting as president-elect in June, during which he will learn the duties and functions of this new position. He’ll serve as president from June 2021-June 2022, and then past president through June 2023, carrying out duties assigned by the president and chairing the long-range planning committee.

Dr. Stoops is a professor in the College of Medicine Departments of Behavioral Science and Psychiatry, as well as the College of Arts and Sciences Department of Psychology. He was recently appointed as the director of the college’s Clinical Research Support Office (CRSO), a position through which he manages the CRSO’s operational and regulatory branches and collaborates with chairs, center directors, and leadership from other colleges to promote clinical trials, among other responsibilities.

A major focus throughout Dr. Stoops’ professional career at UK has been researching treatments for cocaine use disorder. Dr. Stoops has been leading a project that compares the health outcomes of abstinence from cocaine use to those of reduction of cocaine use. The project aims to develop a better data set through the measurement of physiological, cognitive, and psychological responses and functions, and it is funded by a five-year, $2.9 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Dr. Stoops received his master’s degree, doctorate, and postdoctoral training from the University of Kentucky after completing his undergraduate education at Davidson College in North Carolina in 2000. He has received numerous awards and honors throughout his subsequent professional career in Lexington, including the University of Kentucky Center of Excellence in Medical Education Abraham Flexner Master Educator Award for Educational Innovation and Curriculum Development in 2014, and in 2016, Kentucky Psychological Association’s annual Psychologist of the Year Award.