As the incoming editor of the journal Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, psychologist Nancy K. Mello, PhD, says she plans to emphasize the role of interdisciplinary research in developing drug abuse treatments.

"The scope of behavioral pharmacology continues to expand and to benefit from collaboration across a broad range of disciplines," says Mello, a professor at Harvard Medical School in Boston. "I hope the journal will publish some of the exciting advances that result from collaborative investigations."

In addition to welcoming interdisciplinary approaches, Mello will look for research on the biological factors that influence the effects of drugs.

"Recent research shows the importance of the effects of gender and menstrual cycle phase on the response to abused drugs," she explains. Biological factors appear to influence the effects of medications used to treat drug abuse and to alleviate pain, she adds.

Mello's six-year term editing the journal adds to her many professional accomplishments, which include co-founding the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Center at McLean Hospital in Boston. There, she says she and her colleagues helped establish the effectiveness of buprenorphine, a medication used in the outpatient treatment of heroin and cocaine abusers. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved buprenorphine for heroin addiction treatment in 2002. Mello's work at McLean still centers on interdisciplinary development of treatments for addictions to drugs, including heroin and cocaine combinations called "speedballs."

As editor, Mello says she plans to pay special attention to early-career psychologists. For example, she will feature the recipients of the annual Outstanding Young Psychopharmacologist Award from APA Div. 28 (Psychopharmacology and Substance Abuse) in one issue of the journal.


Further Reading

Mello will begin receiving manuscripts Jan. 1. Authors may submit manuscripts through the journal's electronic portal at http://www.apa.org/journals/pha.html.