Local addictions research goes global

Researchers at the Peter Boris Centre for Addictions Research have been pushing the boundaries of knowledge about addiction and bridging the gap between science and practice. The Centre conducts ground-breaking research on the causes, consequences and treatment of addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. And research studies and findings also directly impact patient care – in real time – through St. Joe’s programs such as the Concurrent Disorders Program and the Womankind Addiction Service.

In the summer of 2018, Dr. James MacKillop, clinical psychologist at St. Joe’s and Director and Chair of the Peter Boris Centre for Addictions Research, was recognized for his leadership and renown by being awarded two new research grants through the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism at the National Institute of Health in the United States.

Through the Peter Boris Centre for Addictions Research, Dr. MacKillop will serve as Principal Investigator on two new studies in collaboration with investigators from Harvard Medical School and the University of Georgia. The first study will use new experimental methods to understand why Alcoholics Anonymous is helpful to some people and not others, and the second will use new brain imaging techniques to better understand the biological processes that determine the value a person places on alcohol.

The Peter Boris Centre for Addictions Research was made possible in 2011 because of a transformative gift from Owen and Marta Boris in memory of their youngest son, Peter. Not only did their generosity create a research centre dedicated to advancing the understanding of addiction and an endowed Chair to direct the Centre, but it was a huge step forward in helping others openly share their struggles with addiction and the impact it has on the individual and on families, friends and the community.

Ever since that gift, it is donations in support of addiction and mental health research that have fuelled further research studies. To contribute to the leading research underway at the Peter Boris Centre for Addictions Research, visit stjoesfoundation.ca/donate.