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John F. Kelly, PhD, associate director of the MGH Center for Addiction Medicine and program director of the Addiction Recovery Management Service, has been named as the inaugural incumbent of the Elizabeth R. Spallin Professorship in Psychiatry in the Field of Addiction Medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS). The professorship is named after Kelly’s mother, a nurse who, like her son, immigrated to a new country and worked hard to establish herself in the medical field.

“John is a deserving recipient of this professorship. He has focused his research on improving the quality and effectiveness of addiction care, while also serving as an exceptional mentor to the next generation mental health professionals-in-training,” said MGH President Peter L. Slavin, MD, during a Jan. 24 ceremony. “The Elizabeth R. Spallin Professorship will provide John with an important resource to sustain his vital work and to make new contributions. He will have the flexibility to pursue his research when financial resources for pioneering investigation are limited.”

In October 2013, Kelly announced the establishment of the Recovery Research Institute within MGH Psychiatry, which aims to conduct high quality, novel recovery research and to compile this information as a free resource to increase the effectiveness of both treatment and long-term recovery. Kelly is internationally recognized for his work in addiction care. He serves as a consultant to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institutes of Health, as well as foreign governments.

“I’m deeply honored to be the inaugural incumbent of the first professorship at HMS in Addiction Medicine,” Kelly said. “This will facilitate continuous dedicated efforts in research, practice, teaching, and training in addiction. It sends a message also that underscores the importance of addiction in medicine at the highest academic level.”

During the ceremony, Slavin welcomed members of Kelly’s family and expressed thanks to the anonymous donors who made the professorship possible, remarking on the importance of endowed professorship support for research clinicians like Kelly. Other speakers included Jerrold Rosenbaum, MD, chief of the Department of Psychiatry, who said this professorship – the first of its kind – will advance research and create a legacy in the area of addiction medicine.

Read more articles from the 02/07/14 Hotline issue.