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Scientific Advisory Board

Mark S. Gold, M.D.

Mark S. Gold, M.D.

Chairman, RiverMend Health Scientific Advisory Board

My Clinical Expertise:

  • Addiction Medicine
  • Translational Research
  • Food and Addiction
  • Drug Research and Education

Dr. Gold is a teacher of the year, researcher and inventor who has worked for over 40 years to develop models for understanding the effects of tobacco, cocaine, and other drugs and also food on the brain and behavior. Dr. Gold has developed translational research models which have led to new treatments for addicts and also conceptualized hypotheses which were more than novel but also yielded new approaches to treat patients. He conceptualized the opiate withdrawal system and hypothesis that locus coeruleus hyperactivity was the neuroanatomical target for reversing the autonomic and many other signs and symptoms of opiate withdrawal. This mind experiment was tested in rats and nonhuman primates before he administered the first dose of clonidine to opiate withdrawal animals and then man. The discovery in 1978 of the non-addicting treatment for opiate withdrawal, neonatal withdrawal and as an analgesic potentiator was a major translational finding. With colleagues, he detoxified physician addicts with clonidine and treated them with naltrexone. After leaving Yale, he worked to understand cocaine use and addiction. While cocaine was considered non-addicting, he described cocaine addiction in Cocaine helpline callers, reported the first case of crack use, and helped define the cocaine abstinence syndrome. By 1984 he had conceptualized a dopamine depletion hypothesis for cocaine addiction and craving. This was reported in detail, with by himself and a colleague with supporting data, in 1985. This work led to his interest in cocaine smoking, smoking, and second and third hand exposures. He brought smoking rat and smoking research models to the University of Florida when he returned to UF as Professor in 1990.

Dr. Gold is the Donald Dizney Eminent Scholar, and former Distinguished Professor and Chair of Psychiatry at the University of Florida. He was selected as the University of Florida’s 17th Distinguished Alumni Professor in 2011. This position is a University – wide academic leadership position. Prior to assuming the position as Chair he was a Distinguished Service Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry, Neuroscience, Anesthesiology, and Community Health & Family Medicine at the University of Florida College of Medicine located in Gainesville, Florida. He is also a member of the McKnight Brain Institute and a Founder of the UF Center for Alcohol and Drug Research and Education (CARE).

Dr. Gold has been recognized many times for his innovations and also as an inventor. Since beginning his career in research at the University of Florida in 1970, he has been the author of over 900 medical articles, chapters, and abstracts in journals for health professionals on a wide variety of psychiatric research subjects and authoring twelve professional books including practice guidelines, ASAM core competencies, and medical text books for primary care professionals. He was the first Addiction Medicine Editor for UpToDate and served for a decade He is the author of over 900 scientific papers, books, chapters and also general audience books .

According to by Founding National Institute of Drug Abuse Director , Robert Dupont, M.D. in a review in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA 272:18, 1996), "Mark S. Gold, M.D. the most prolific and brilliant of the addiction experts writing today... Dr. Gold has spent his career trying to bridge the gap in medical education and practice with the belief that addictions are diseases and that all physicians have a critical role in prevention and, if that fails, in early identification and prompt treatment."

Dr. Gold has been awarded Distinguished Alumni awards from each University he has attended; University of Florida, in 1984; Washington University, in 1989 and Yale University, in 2008. He has been active in education and prevention; setting up the UF addiction medicine fellowship, now the largest in the USA.

  • Doctor of Medicine (M.D.), with Honors for Research in Neurobiology and Neurosciences, University of Florida College of Medicine
  • Psychiatry, Translational Research, Yale University
  • Donald Dizney Eminent Scholar
  • U.F. Chair of Psychiatry at the University of Florida
  • 17th Distinguished Alumni Professor in 2011, University of Florida
  • Distinguished Service Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry, Neuroscience, Anesthesiology, and Community Health & Family Medicine at the University of Florida College of Medicine
  • Member, McKnight Brain Institute
  • Founder, UF Center for Alcohol and Drug Research and Education (CARE)
  • Co-Inventor, opiate withdrawal system; pioneer in detoxing addicts
  • Co-Inventor a dopamine depletion hypothesis for cocaine addiction and craving
  • Pioneered the study of second hand tobacco, opium, and cannabis smoking
  • Pioneered the study of food and food constituents as addicting substances
  • Researcher and innovator, treatment of hedonic overeating and obesity
  • Author, over 900 medical articles, chapters, and abstracts in journals for health professionals on a wide variety of psychiatric research subjects
  • Author, twelve professional books including practice guidelines, ASAM core competencies, and medical text books for primary care professionals
  • Author, 15 general audience books including one best seller
  • First Addiction Medicine Editor, UpToDate
  • Recipient, Distinguished Alumni awards: University of Florida, 1984; Washington University, 1989 and Yale University, 2008
  • Founder, UF Division of Addiction Medicine
  • Founder, UF's Florida Recovery Center
  • Leader and developer, UF Addiction Medicine Fellowship program and UFCOM’s 2-week mandatory addiction medicine clerkship
  • Member, Board of Directors or Scientific Advisory Boards

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