Barbara S. McCrady, distinguished professor of psychology and director of The University of New Mexico’s Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse, & Addictions (CASAA) will step down as the director of CASAA effective July 31. McCrady has led CASAA since 2007 and will remain at CASAA and the department of psychology to focus on research and student mentoring.

“I have been honored to serve as director of CASAA for more than a decade; to have worked with outstanding faculty, staff, and students at CASAA; and to have had the opportunity to contribute to UNM’s research mission,” said McCrady.

CASAA will welcome J. Scott Tonigan as the new interim director on Aug. 1.

McCrady said, “I can think of no better leader for CASAA and am delighted that Professor Tonigan has accepted the position.”

Tonigan is a research professor in the department of psychology whose research has been supported by National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding for more than 31 years. His research interests include the investigation of processes of behavior change in mutual help programs, modeling the underlying mechanisms accounting for behavior change, and intensive mentoring of pre- and postdoctoral fellows.

“I am sincerely humbled by the support of the UNM administration and the CASAA faculty for the opportunity to serve as interim director of this world-class research center,” Tonigan said. “In the coming year I look forward to facilitating the research efforts of CASAA-affiliated faculty and to continue to provide an environment that fosters creativity, mutual respect for diversity, collaborative relationships, and cutting-edge research that addresses the multifaceted nature of substance misuse.”

Tonigan is a life-long Lobo who received his bachelor’s in history, and master’s and doctorate in educational psychology, from The University of New Mexico. During the course of his career Tonigan has served as chair of the NIH Clinical, Treatment and Health Services (AA-3) study section and the NIH Loan Repayment Program, chaired the UNM main campus Institutional Review Board for seven years, co-authored more than 150 peer-reviewed papers, and has been principal investigator on a dozen NIH awards.

“I am pleased that Professor Tonigan has agreed to lead CASAA in the interim following Distinguished Professor McCrady’s outstanding leadership,” UNM Vice President for Research Gabriel López said. “Throughout the years, CASAA investigators have made significant advancements in our understanding of substance use and addictive behaviors. With Professor Tonigan at the helm, I am confident CASAA will continue to generate high quality prevention and treatment research and remain at the forefront of addressing these complex health issues across diverse populations.”