Our Team


Robert O. Messing, M.D.

Robert O. Messing, M.D.

M. June and J. Virgil Waggoner Chair in Molecular Biology | Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience | Chair, Department of Neuroscience | Director, Waggoner Center for Alcohol & Addiction Research

Dr. Messing joined the Center in 2013 and became its director in 2017. He has coauthored over 150 articles, book chapters and reviews and is a recognized authority on the neurobiology of addiction. His major interests are in alcohol and opioid use disorders, and co-morbid pain, anxiety, and mood disorders. He received an MD in 1979 from Stanford University and trained in Neurology at UCSF from 1981-1984, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in neuroscience at UCSF from 1984-86 with David A. Greenberg, M.D., Ph.D. He was a faculty member in Neurology at UCSF from 1986 until 2013 when he moved to UT Austin as Vice Provost for Biomedical Sciences to help launch the Dell Medical School. Dr. Messing was recipient of the 2002 MERIT Award from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and was founding Director of the NIAAA funded Alcohol Center for Translational Genetics at UCSF.


R. Adron Harris, Ph.D.

M. June and J. Virgil Waggoner Chair Emeritus in Molecular Biology | Director, Integrative Neuroscience Initiative on Alcoholism (INIA) ​| Associate Director, Waggoner Center for Alcohol and Addiction Research

Dr. R. Adron Harris, a leading investigator of the molecular pharmacology of alcohol and related drugs, joined UT Austin in 1998 and became the Founding Director of the Center in 1999. Dr. Harris is author or co-author of more than 500 scientific articles which have been cited more than 30,000 times. He is the recipient of the 1999 Outstanding Researcher of the Year, 2010 Seixas Service and 2017 Marlatt Mentorship Awards from the Research Society on Alcoholism, and the 2004 Jellinek Memorial Award, an international prize given each year to the scientist who has made the greatest contribution to the understanding of alcoholism as a disease. He is currently Professor Emeritus of Neuroscience, Pharmacology and Psychiatry.

Affiliated Faculty

Amy Brock headshot

Amy Brock

Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Johann K. Eberhart

Johann K. Eberhart

Associate Professor of Molecular Biosciences
Kim Fromme

Kim Fromme

Professor of Clinical Psychology | Director, Studies on Alcohol, Health, and Risky Activities (SAHARA) Laboratory
Rueben A. Gonzales

Rueben A. Gonzales

Professor of Pharmacy | Jacques P. Servier Regents Professor in Pharmacy
Vishwanath R. Iyer

Vishwanath R. Iyer

Professor of Molecular Biosciences
Photo of Dr. Deborah Jacobvitz

Deborah Jacobvitz

Phyllis L. Richards Endowed Professor of Child Development

Regina Mangieri

Research Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Stephen F. Martin

Stephen F. Martin

Professor of Chemistry | M. June and J. Virgil Waggoner Regents Chair in Chemistry
Luis Natividad

Luis Natividad

Assistant Professor of Pharmacology & Toxicology
Charles B. Nemeroff headshot

Charles B. Nemeroff

Chair and Professor of Psychiatry | Director, Institute for Early Life Adversity Research
Long John Nguyen headshot

Long H. Nguyen

Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
Kimberly Nixon Headshot

Kimberly Nixon

Associate Professor | James T. Doluisio Fellow in the Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Jonathan T. Pierce

Jonathan T. Pierce

Associate Professor of Neuroscience
Stephen Strakowski

Stephen Strakowski

Vice Dean of Research, Dell Medical School | Associate Vice President for Regional Mental Health and Professor of Psychiatry
Photo of Prof. Mary Velasquez

Mary M. Velasquez

Centennial Professor in Leadership for Community, Professional and Corporate Excellence; Director, Health Behavior Research and Training Institute


Marsha Berkman

Executive Assistant to Robert O. Messing

Jayna Dixon

Research Manager, Harris Lab and INIA Neuroimmune

Niki (Katherine) García-Holmes

Communications Coordinator

Jody Mayfield

Scientific Editor