Treatment Research Institute > News > David R. Gastfriend named CEO of the Treatment Research Institute; founder and current CEO, A. Thomas McLellan, becomes Chair of the Board

David R. Gastfriend named CEO of the Treatment Research Institute; founder and current CEO, A. Thomas McLellan, becomes Chair of the Board

Philadelphia, PA (Aug. 14, 2014) Treatment Research Institute (TRI) today announced that its Board of Directors has appointed David R. Gastfriend, M.D. as Chief Executive Officer effective September 1, 2014. Dr. Gastfriend previously held the position of Vice President for Scientific Communications at Alkermes, Inc. Concurrently, A. Thomas McLellan, Ph.D., founder of the Treatment Research Institute, will assume the role of Chair of the TRI Board of Directors.

 “We are very fortunate to welcome David Gastfriend as CEO of the Treatment Research Institute,” said Carolyn Asbury, Ph.D., Chair of the TRI Board for more than 10 years. “David is an internationally respected scientist, clinician and business leader. He brings extensive expertise that will help guide TRI’s growth and strengthen its impact in the era of healthcare reform.”

In nearly a decade of leadership at Alkermes, Dr. Gastfriend conducted biological, clinical, health economics and policy research on behalf of the company’s efforts in the field of addiction treatment. For 25 years, Dr. Gastfriend served on the faculty of Harvard Medical School, notably as the Director of the Addiction Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital and founder of the MGH/McLean Hospital Fellowship in Addiction Psychiatry. He is considered the world’s leading expert on two important treatment tools from both the biological and psychosocial realms: the opioid blocker Vivitrol, and the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) Criteria Software.

Treatment Research Institute is eager to have Dr. McLellan continue his role with the organization as Chair of the Board of Directors.

“Under Dr. McLellan’s leadership over the past 22 years, TRI has become one of the most innovative and prolific research organizations in the field,” said Dr. Gastfriend. “It is a profound honor to take the helm of such an influential organization – one that has consistently applied science to positively transform substance abuse treatments and policies. Each of us has personally suffered the impact of this disease among our loved ones. After two decades of providing direct care to patients and their families, I have seen the contributions of the recovery fellowship. I also foresee a watershed of new opportunities for progress through the integration of scientific advances with healthcare reform and parity implementation. TRI is well-poised through its work with large healthcare systems, payers, the investor world and government to fulfill its vital mission to change the way addiction is perceived and managed by society.”

Dr. McLellan co-founded TRI in 1992 and led its unique efforts to translate research into practice, education and policy. In 2009 the U.S. Senate confirmed President Obama’s appointment of him as Science Advisor and Deputy Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) to shape the nation’s public policy on illicit drug use.

“TRI is laying the foundation for a dramatic new phase in addiction treatment and policy,” said Dr. McLellan. “Dr. Gastfriend represents the passing of the torch to a new generation of leadership, which America needs if it is to deal with the waves of public health challenges that our field is facing, such as marijuana reform, the prescription painkiller epidemic and large-scale drug-offender prison release. TRI’s scientists are at the forefront, having recently developed the first comprehensive course in substance use disorders, entering use in 41 U.S. medical schools, the nation-wide Parity Tracking Initiative, and technology to assist criminal justice assessment that is already in use in a majority of U.S. states. To make a difference for people with addiction, this field now needs both leadership and collaboration. David and I are determined to grow TRI’s efforts on behalf of the public health of the American people.”

For more information about TRI’s impact solutions – tools, clinical practices and government policies that directly influence the needs of individuals with substance use disorders – visit Our Approach.

About TRI

Treatment Research Institute has been a leader in the substance use research field since 1992, with a mission to harness the power and impact of science by applying it to improve policies, programs and practices -with the ultimate goal of improving outcomes for individuals, families and communities affected by addiction. TRI’s relentless commitment to discovering and disseminating SOLUTIONS to substance-use problems drives its work, mission and vision. Learn more about TRI at