Program Director

Laura E. Kwako, Ph.D.

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6700B Rockledge Drive
Room 1326
Bethesda, MD 20892-6902

Focus Area

Behavioral treatments; Health care systems; Precision medicine; Recovery.; SBIRT; Service integration; Treatment services research, including availability, utilization, and quality

Biographical Summary

Dr. Kwako is a clinical psychologist and program officer in the Division of Treatment and Recovery Research at NIAAA.  Her research portfolio focuses on health services, including treatment availability, quality, and use, along with health care systems and integration of various health care services.  Dr. Kwako received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Catholic University of America and completed postdoctoral clinical training at Springfield Hospital Center in Maryland, specializing in treatment for addiction and trauma-related disorders in an inpatient, primarily forensic, setting.  She was a postdoctoral fellow and then clinical research psychologist in the NIAAA Intramural Research Program, where she managed implementation of the Addictions Neuroclinical Assessment initiative, among other responsibilities.  She has research experience in long-term, longitudinal family studies; clinical trials; and educational settings.   Dr. Kwako is licensed in Washington, DC and credentialed at the NIH Clinical Research Center as a clinical psychologist.  

Selected Publications

Kwako, L.E., Schwandt, M.L., Ramchandani, V.A., Diazgranados, N., Koob, G.F., Volkow,  N.D., Blanco, C., and Goldman, D. (2019). Neurofunctional domains derived from deep behavioral phenotyping in alcohol addiction. American Journal of Psychiatry.

Kwako, L.E., Momenan, R., Litten, R.Z., Koob, G.F., & Goldman, D. Addictions neuroclinical assessment: A neuroscience-based framework for addictive disorders. (2016). Biological Psychiatry, 80, 179-189.

Kwako, L. E., Spagnolo, P. A., Schwandt, M. L., Thorsell, A., George, D. T., Momenan, R., Rio, D. E., Huestis, M., Anizan, S., Concheiro, M., Sinha, R., & Heilig, M.  (2015). The corticotropin releasing hormone-1 (CRH1) receptor antagonist pexacerfont in alcohol dependence: A randomized controlled experimental medicine study. Neuropsychopharmacology, 40, 1053-1063.