David H. Epstein, Ph.D.


Translational Addiction Medicine Branch, Real-world Assessment, Prediction, and Treatment Unit


Biomedical Research Center
251 Bayview Boulevard
Suite 200, Room 01B606
Baltimore, MD 21224



Research Topics

The RAPT Unit was established by Dr. Epstein in 2017 to bring the IRP’s treatment research into the age of predictive analytics and personalized medicine. Implicit in the name—“Real-world Assessment, Prediction, and Treatment”—is our intent to show that when addiction research moves forward, so do prevention and treatment. So our watchword, even if it sounds like a buzzword, is actionable:
  • We derive actionable information from our use of smartphones, GPS, and biosensors in everyday assessment of people’s moods, exposure to built and social environments, and drug use. That information can help us deliver mobile treatments, electronically, when and where they’re needed.
  • We formulate actionable ideas from neuroscience and laboratory-based behavioral sciences, collaborating closely with colleagues at the IRP and worldwide to translate their discoveries into treatments.
Our aim is to maintain a portfolio of studies that, taken together, address the whole continuum of causes of addiction, from the psychosocial to the neurobiological, and to use our wide in-house expertise to match the tool to the task for different kinds of patients.

Selected Publications

  1. Stull SW, Panlilio LV, Moran LM, Schroeder JR, Bertz JW, Epstein DH, Preston KL, Phillips KA. The chippers, the quitters, and the highly symptomatic: A 12-month longitudinal study of DSM-5 opioid- and cocaine-use problems in a community sample. Addict Behav. 2019;96:183-191.
  2. Epstein DH, Heilig M, Shaham Y. Science-Based Actions Can Help Address the Opioid Crisis. Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2018;39(11):911-916.
  3. Preston KL, Kowalczyk WJ, Phillips KA, Jobes ML, Vahabzadeh M, Lin JL, Mezghanni M, Epstein DH. Exacerbated Craving in the Presence of Stress and Drug Cues in Drug-Dependent Patients. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2018;43(4):859-867.
  4. de Wit H, Epstein DH, Preston KL. Does human language limit translatability of clinical and preclinical addiction research? Neuropsychopharmacology. 2018;43(10):1985-1988.

Related Scientific Focus Areas

This page was last updated on Friday, November 2, 2018