Scientific Advisory Board

David R. Gastfriend, M.D.

David R. Gastfriend, M.D. is a psychiatrist and internationally recognized addiction treatment researcher, policy expert and technology developer. Gastfriend led research on the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) criteria for placing patients in addiction treatment programs, which is now standard in more than 30 U.S. states. After 25 years at Harvard Medical School and directing the Addiction Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, he was Vice President for Scientific Communications at the pharmaceutical company Alkermes® from 2004 to 2013. Gastfriend has authored over 150 scientific publications and consulted to the governments of Belgium, China, Iceland, Israel, Norway, Russia, and the U.S.

Michael Howcroft, Pharm.D.

Michael Howcroft, Pharm.D., is currently a consulting pharmacist. Mr. Howcroft’s credentials include a B.S. in biology, an M.Sc. in biology, and is a registered pharmacist in the state of Ohio. Mr. Howcroft’s education includes Xavier University in Cincinnati, the University of Cincinnati and a fellow of the Kellogg School of Management. Mr. Howcroft was a co-founder of one of the first Pharmacy Benefit Management Companies, currently is known as Anthem. Mr. Howcroft’s experience is in drug formulary management, preferred drug list management, rebate contracting, outcomes and value-based contracts, benefit analysis and design, disease state management, drug utilization review management, data analysis, experience in writing legislative administrative code policies, an acute understanding of medical and pharmacy coding, management of the pharmacy and therapeutics committee and drug utilization review board. Mr. Howcroft also served as secretary to the Chief Medical Officer in the development and implementation of the Ohio Governor’s Cabinet Opiate Action Team (GCOAT) which developed policies in Ohio for Opioid prescribing guidelines. Mr. Howcroft has worked with Governor Mike DeWine’s office to develop provider education programs on opioids.

Priya Jambehekar, M.Sc. in Organic & Biochemistry and M.S. in Pharmacy

Priya Jambehekar, M.Sc. in Organic & Biochemistry and M.S. in Pharmacy is a drug development entrepreneur with over 25 years of executive experience in worldwide regulatory, quality, clinical and pharmacovigilance operations, as well as early and late-stage development product registration and commercial support. She has held positions including Global Senior Vice President of Regulatory & Quality Operations at Paramount BioSciences, Global Vice President at Ethicon, a Johnson & Johnson company, and Worldwide Vice President of Regulatory and Government Relations at Alkermes.  She is certified by the Regulatory Affairs Professional Society and the New Jersey Pharmaceutical Quality Control and Assurance Society.

Evgeny M. Krupitsky, M.D., Ph.D., D.M.Sc.

Evgeny M. Krupitsky, M.D., Ph.D., D.M.Sc., serves as a Vice-Director for Research and the Chief of the Department of Addictions at Bekhterev National Medical Research Center for Psychiatry and Neurology and Chief of the Laboratory of Clinical Psychopharmacology of Addictions at St. Petersburg State Pavlov Medical University, Russia. Krupitsky has received multiple national and international awards He has been published extensively in Russian and international peer reviewed psychiatric journals has been a Co-Principal Investigator of several NIDA and NIAAA grants.

Jie Shen, Ph.D., Drug Delivery Expert

Jie Shen, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Chemical Engineering at the University of Rhode Island (URI). Prior to joining URI, Dr. Shen was a postdoctoral fellow and then Assistant Research Professor at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Shen’s current research areas of interest include: 1) sustained and/or targeted brain and ophthalmic drug delivery to improve bioavailability and reduce side effects of a variety of therapeutics; 2) in vitro dissolution testing, as well as the development of in vitro-in vivo correlation (IVIVC) for complex dosage forms such as microspheres, implants, and nanoparticles; and 3) manufacturing of advanced drug delivery systems such as liposomes, and microspheres. Dr. Shen was the recipient of AAPS Postdoctoral Fellow Award in 2014 and IPEC-Americas Foundation Emerging Researcher Award in 2017. Dr. Shen received her Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the China Pharmaceutical University, Nanjing, China. She is also an editorial board member of the International Journal of Pharmaceutics and Frontiers in Drug Delivery-Oral Drug Delivery, and a reviewer for several scientific journals.

Jeffrey M. Witkin, Ph.D.

Jeffrey M. Witkin, Ph.D. is a Research Fellow with RespireRx Inc, and the co-founder of the Laboratory of Antiepileptic Drug Discovery where he holds a research appointment at Ascension St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana.  He is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI. He heads the Witkin Consulting Group that advises companies working on the development of novel therapeutics in the areas of neurology and psychiatry. For 17 years prior, Dr. Witkin headed a laboratory in Neuroscience Discovery at the Lilly Research Labs, Eli Lilly and Company, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Prior to working at the Lilly Research Labs, he headed the Drug Development Group for the intramural research program of the NIH for 14 years.  He is a world class scientist with over 250 peer-reviewed publications and multiple scientific awards and honors.

George E. Woody, M.D.

George E. Woody, M.D., is Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania and Principal Investigator of the Delaware Valley Node of the NIDA Clinical Trials Network. He is a reviewer for many journals and has authored or co-authored over 200 publications including a recent JAMA publication on Suboxone treatment of opioid addicted youth. He was a member of the DSM-IV Work Group on Substance Use Disorders and the FDA Drug Abuse Advisory Committee, has been co-editor of Treatment Improvement Protocols on methadone maintenance, and is a member of research groups studying the abuse liability of prescription opioids.