Obama taps Penn scientist for number-two drug job

A. Thomas McLellan, an adjunct professor of psychology in Penn Medicine's Department of Psychiatry, has been nominated as the nation’s No. 2 drug czar. If confirmed by the Senate as the Deputy Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, McLellan will advise the president and coordinate anti-drug efforts.

McLellan is one of the nation’s top researchers on drug addiction and treatment, and has published more than 400 articles and chapters on those subjects. As a scientist at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Philadelphia in the 1980s, he led the development of two measures, known as the addiction severity index and treatment services review, that characterized multiple dimensions of substance abuse. The tools, used worldwide, help determine the type and duration of treatment.

In 1991, McLellan also founded the Philadelphia-based Treatment Research Institute, a nonprofit research and development organization dedicated to reducing the devastating effects of alcohol and other drug abuse on individuals, families and communities by employing scientific methods and disseminating evidence-based information.

Originally published on April 14, 2009

Originally published on April 14, 2009