Sharon Walsh, PhD

Dr. Walsh is a Professor of Behavioral Science, Psychiatry, Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences in the Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy at the University of Kentucky. She is the Director of the Center on Drug and Alcohol Research. She earned her PhD from Rutgers University in Behavioral Neuroscience and, after her postdoctoral training, she joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where she remained for 13 years, leaving at the rank of Professor. Her clinical research focuses on pharmacological and behavioral issues in opioid abuse and dependence, including studies on the pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic characteristics of opioid dependence pharmacotherapies (i.e., buprenorphine, methadone, LAAM) and more recently on widely used opioid analgesics (i.e., oxycodone, hydrocodone, tramadol and morphine).

She lectures nationally and internationally on opioid abuse, dependence and its treatment. More broadly, she has conducted studies in cocaine, nicotine and marijuana dependence and contributed to clinical practice guidelines and board specialty requirements in addiction medicine. She has published over 100 manuscripts and book chapters. Her honors include receiving the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from President Bill Clinton, the Joseph Cochin Young Investigator Award, the Betty Ford Award, the Provost’s Distinguished Service Professorship and serving as President of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence. She has served on review and advisory boards for the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the Veteran’s Administration, National Institutes of Health, and the American Society for Addiction Medicine. She also served as an expert reviewer for the World Health Organization, and presently serves as a Special Government appointee to the Food and Drug Administration.