Mark S. Gold

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Dr. Mark S. Gold was the University of Florida Distinguished Alumni Professor for 2011-2015.[1] He was the Donald Dizney Eminent Scholar Emeritus and was a distinguished professor of psychiatry, neuroscience, community health and family medicine and the former chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the Dr. Gold is a researcher and inventor who has worked for over 40 years to develop models for understanding the effects of tobacco, cocaine, other drugs, and food on the brain and behavior. He created the Division of Addiction Medicine at UF and its treatment program, the Florida Recovery Center. With Drs. Bob DuPont and Tom McLellan, he has studied physician and health professionals who have become addicted and their outcomes 5 years after treatment. He has reported on physician treatment since reporting on the sequential use of clonidine and naltrexone in addicted physicians.

Dr. Gold has been working on new, addiction-based models for understanding hedonic overeating, food addiction and the development of new therapies. He has done similar work for opiate addiction which led to the discovery of clonidine’s efficacy in opiate withdrawal and cocaine addiction which led to the dopamine depletion hypothesis (Patent #4/312,878). Dr. Gold was Chief Scientist for the Afghanistan National Urban Drug Use Survey which gathered information on second and third hand opium exposure in Kabul and other urban Afghan areas for the US State Department and the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. Dr Gold identified second and third hand exposure to opiates in the body, fluids and hair of children of Kabul and subsequent epidemiological studies of the mothers [1]

He has worked on smoking, second and third hand tobacco smoke previously with support from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and FAMRI. He has worked with a variety of government agencies concerned with drug use and youth. Among those organizations are the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy, Media Partnership for a Drug Free America, the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, and the Betty Ford Center Foundation. He has served as a consultant on website design for NIDA: The Science of Drug Abuse and Addiction as a Council Member of the American Psychiatric Association's Addiction Psychiatry group and also a Research Report and Co-Editor of the American Society of Addiction Medicine's Journal. Dr. Gold is the 2015 John P. McGovern Award Recipient, this prestigious award is given in recognition and honor to the individual who has made highly meritorious contributions to public policy, treatment, research, or prevention which has increased our understanding of the relationship of addiction and society. NIDA Founding Director Robert Dupont in his McGovern presentation in Austin, TX said "Dr. Gold" a pioneering work in treatment, research, and prevention has helped addiction, reduced stigma, and increased our understanding of addiction. In 2016, Dr. Gold was recognized for his Lifetime Achievements in Addiction Research, Mentoring and Treatment Research by Obama Administration Drug Czar Micheal Botticelli at the PATH Award ceremony in NYC.

Along with tobacco, alcohol and other neurobiology of drug addiction studies, Dr. Gold has worked for over 30 years to evaluate the hypothesis that hedonic overeating is a pathological attachment to food like any other addiction. The UF Research Foundation, Drs. Gold and Avena were awarded a patent (PCT/US2012/065486) for translation of the food addiction model into new combination treatments. Dr. Gold is a co-editor of the 2012 textbook, Food and Addiction, published by Oxford Press. He is also the author of general audience books and has written over 1,000 scientific articles, chapters, and abstracts published in journals for neuroscientists and health professionals

In a recent interview for the Congressional Quarterly (CQ Researcher) Dr. Gold stated that there is universal agreement that genes can be changed by exposure to drugs. He used the example of a person whose mother smoked when she was pregnant. This person has genetic receptors that were changed because of the exposure, making that person more likely to become addicted to nicotine.[2] Friedman J. Treating Addiction. CQ Researcher. 2014 May 2; 24(17). Intrauterine and early childhood exposure may also change risk trajectories for other drugs and food and become an acquired risk for obesity.



  1. ^ "Dr. Mark Gold named UF's Distinguished Alumni Professor" (Press release). University of Florida. May 19, 2011. Retrieved October 4, 2012. 
  2. ^ [http:/ "Friedman J. Treating Addiction. CQ Researcher. 2014 May 2; 24(17)"] Check |url= value (help) (Press release). 

Friedman J. Treating Addiction. CQ Researcher. 2014 May 2; 24(17)

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