Research estimates that only one in three Americans has an advance directive, a number that is substantially lower among communities of color, those of lower socio-economic status, and lower levels of education. This semester, College of Law students in Professor…
Assistant Professor Ditre Recognized with Distinguished Early Career Award
Assistant Professor Joseph W. Ditre’s research is adding valuable insights into helping individuals who suffer from both addiction and chronic pain. His work is also garnering important recognition from the American Psychological Association’s Society of Addiction Psychology (SoAP).
Ditre, who is in the Department of Psychology in the College of Arts of Sciences, will receive the SoAP’s Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contributions to Psychology. The award will be presented at the APA’s annual convention held this year in Denver in August.
The award is given for excellence in research and is based on the individual’s scientific contributions early in their career.
“I am humbled and honored to have been selected for this award,” Ditre says. “I am also thankful to hold membership in an organization that provides so many opportunities for growth and recognition.”
Ditre’s research is in the areas of health psychology and behavioral medicine, with an emphasis on the intersection of addictive behaviors and comorbid medical disorders.
“There is little doubt that Professor Ditre already is one of the leading scientists in the field of substance use and pain research,” says Professor Lawrence J. Lewandowski, interim chairman of the Department of Psychology and co-director of clinical training in the school psychology program. “This award indicates recognition from top scholars that Professor Ditre is a productive and influential scientist. We in the department are proud of his accomplishments and delighted to have him as a colleague.”
Most of Ditre’s research has focused on understanding the associations between the experience of acute/chronic pain and the use/misuse of addictive substances (e.g., nicotine, alcohol, cannabis, opioids). “The goal is to use the data to help inform the development of innovative treatments,” Ditre says.
Since joining the department in 2012, Ditre’s research has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health, with two grants secured and a third currently under review. One program includes testing the effects of smoking abstinence on pain sensitivity, and applying these data to develop treatments for individuals with co-occurring medical and substance use disorders.
The SoAP award recognizes the significance of Ditre’s work, which has been funded in a highly competitive field.
His achievements have also been recognized by the University in granting Ditre tenure and promotion.
“Professor Ditre’s colleagues inside and outside of the University are aware of his scholarship and his commitment to his program of research as well as his mentoring the next generation of scholars,” Lewandowski says. Ditre and his students have been regularly publishing high-quality work that has highlighted important findings in his research programs.