image009Frank J. Vocci
President of Friends Research Institute / Senior Research Scientist

Degree: Ph.D., University of Maryland
Phone: 410-837-3977 ext. 255
Fax: 410-752-4218

Brief Biography

Following a post-doctoral fellowship in addiction pharmacology at the Medical College of Virginia, Dr. Frank Vocci spent 11 years at the FDA, rising to the level of Chief of the Drug Abuse Staff. At the FDA, he reviewed applications for marketing of medications for analgesic medications and for the treatment of substance abuse disorders. He also participated in domestic and international drug control issues. In 1989, he joined the Medications Development Program at the National Institute on Drug Abuse. He became the Director of the Division of Pharmacotherapies and Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse (DPMC) in 1997 where he was responsible for overseeing research and development activities in medications development for the treatment of addictive disorders. He was also responsible for biomedical research in the medical consequences of drug abuse, primarily AIDS and hepatitis C research. During his tenure, the DPMC collaborated on the development of four addiction drug products that were approved by the FDA. Dr. Vocci has published over 80 articles in neuropharmacology and the treatment of substance abuse and its consequences. In 2001, he received a Meritorious Executive award from President Bush for his management of the NIDA medications development program. Dr. Vocci also received a Distinguished Service Award in 2003 from the College on Problems of Drug Dependence for his contributions to the development of buprenorphine as a treatment for opiate dependence. In 2006 Dr. Vocci received the Vernelle Fox award from the California Society of Addiction Medicine and the FeDerSerD (Italian Addiction Society) award.

Research Interests

Dr. Frank Vocci continues to be interested in developing medications for the treatment of substance abuse disorders. He has collaborated on the development of an implantable form of buprenorphine (PROBUPHINE) and has negotiated the participation of Friends Research Institute’s Torrance clinic in multi-center trials evaluating bupropion for the treatment of methamphetamine dependence and vigabatrin for the treatment of cocaine dependence. He is also working on two studies involving criminal justice clients: a study evaluating the administration of depot naltrexone (VIVITROL) to formerly opiate dependent prisoners prior to release and then for 6 months post-release; and on a protocol attempting to determine whether training Parole and Probations Officers on the features and benefits of medications –assisted therapy results in more referrals of drug-dependent criminal justice clients to clinics that dispense such therapies. Dr. Vocci is also a Co-Investigator in the Mid-Atlantic Node of the NIDA Clinical Trials Network.

Selected Publications

Gordon, M.S., Carswell, S.B., Peters, E.N., Tangires, S., Kinlock, T.W., Vocci, F.J., & Restivo, L. (in press).  Avatar assisted therapy: A novel technology-based Intervention to treat substance use disorders. In Pam Lassiter (ed.), Annual Review of Addictions and Offender Counseling: Best Practices III (p x-x). Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock Publishers.

Gordon, M.S., Kinlock, T.W., Schwartz, R.P., Couvillion, K.A., Sudec, L.J., O’Grady, K.E., Vocci, F.J., Shabazz, H. (2015). Buprenorphine Treatment for Probationers and Parolees. Subst Abus. 36(2):217-25.

Gordon MS, Kinlock TW, Vocci FJ, Fitzgerald TT, Memisoglu A, Silverman B. (2015). A Phase 4, Pilot, Open-Label Study of VIVITROL® (Extended-Release Naltrexone XR-NTX) for Prisoners. J Subst Abuse Treat. 59:52-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2015.07.005. Epub 2015 Jul 18. PMID: 26299956.

Peters, E.N., Harrell, P.T., Hendricks, P.S., O’Grady, K.E., Pickworth, W.B., Vocci, F.J. (2015). Electronic cigarettes in adults in outpatient substance use treatment: Awareness, perceptions, use, and reasons for use. Am J Addict. 24(3):233-9.

Vocci, F.J., Schwartz, R.P., Wilson, M.E., Gordon, M.S., Kinlock, T.W., Fitzgerald, T.T., O’Grady, K.E., Jaffe, J.H. (2015). Buprenorphine dose induction in non-opioid-tolerant pre-release prisoners. Drug Alcohol Depend. 156:133-8. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.09.001. Epub 2015 Sep 7. PMID: 26409751.

Gordon, M. S., Kinlock, T.W., Schwartz, R. P., Fitzgerald, T. T., O’Grady, K. E., Vocci, F. J. (2014). A randomized controlled trial of prison-initiated buprenorphine: prison outcomes and community treatment entry. Drug Alcohol Depend. 142, 33-40.

Lee, J.D., McNeely, J., Grossman, E., Vocci, F., Fiellin D. A. (2014). Clinical case conference: unobserved “home” induction onto buprenorphine. J Addict Med, 8(5):309-14.

Lee, J.D., Vocci, F., Fiellin, D. A. (2014). Unobserved “home” induction onto buprenorphine. J Addict. 8(5):299-308.

Paterson, N. E., Vocci, F., Sevak, R. J., Wagreich, E., London, E. D. (2014). Dopamine D3 receptors as a therapeutic target for methamphetamine dependence. Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse, 40(1):1-9. PubMed PMID: 24359505.

Peters, E. N., Hendricks, P. S., Clark, C. B., Vocci, F. J., Cropsey, K. L. (2014). Association of race and age with treatment attendance and completion among adult marijuana users in community-based substance abuse treatment. J Addict Med, 8(2):143-9. PubMed PMID: 24603621.

Rosenthal RN, Ling W, Casadonte P, Vocci F, Bailey GL, Kampman K, Patkar A, Chavoustie S, Blasey C, Sigmon S, Beebe KL (2013). Buprenorphine implants for treatment of opioid dependence: randomized comparison to placebo and sublingual buprenorphine/naloxone. Addiction, 108(12):2141-9. doi: 10.1111/add.12315. Epub 2013 Sep 18. PMID: 23919595.

Johnson, B. A., Elkashef, A. M., Seneviratne, C., Ait-Dauod, N., Kahn, R. C., Li, S. H., Bloch, D. A., Holmes, T. H., Wang, X. Q., Vocci, F. J. Jr., Li, M. D., & the Methamphetamine Study Group. (2010). Association between genotype of the serotonin transporter linked polymorphic region of the serotonin transporter gene and age of onset of methamphetamine use: a preliminary analysis. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 1, 145.

Anderson A. L., Reid, M. S., Li, S. H., Holmes, T., Shemanski, L., Slee, A., Smith, E. V., Kahn, R., Chiang, N., Vocci, F., Ciraulo, D., Dackis, C., Roache, J. D., Salloum, I. M., Somoza E., Urschel H. C. 3rd, & Elkashef A. M. (2009). Modafinil for the treatment of cocaine dependence. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 104(1-2), 133-139.

Johanson, C. E., Balster, R. L., Henningfield, J. E., Schuster, C. R., Anthony, J. C., Barthwell, A. G., Coleman, J. J., Dart , R., Gorodetzky, C. W., O’Keeffe, C., Sellers, E. M., Vocci, F., & Walsh, S. L. (2009). Risk-management and post-marketing surveillance for the abuse of medications acting on the central nervous system: expert panel report. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 105(Suppl 1), 565-571.

Vocci, F. J., Elkashef, E., & Appel, N. M. (2009). Pharmacological treatment of methamphetamine addiction. In J. M. Roll, R. A. Rawson, W. Ling & S. Shoptaw (Eds.) Methamphetamine addiction: From basic science to treatment (pp 202-229). New York: Guilford Press.

Vocci, F. J., & Montoya, I. D. (2009). Psychological treatments for stimulant misuse: comparing and contrasting those for amphetamine dependence and those for cocaine dependence. Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 23(3), 263-268.

Elkashef, A. M., Rawson, R. A., Anderson, A. L., Li ,S. H., Holmes, T., Smith, E. V., Chiang, N., Kahn, R., Vocci, F., Ling, W., Pearce, V. L., ,McCann, M., Campbell, J., Gorodetzky, C., Haning, W., Carlton, B., Mawhinney, J., & Weis, D. (2008) Bupropion for the treatment of methamphetamine dependence. Neuropsychopharmacology, 33(5), 1162-1170.

Elkashef, A., Vocci, F., Hanson, G., White J., Wickes, W., Tiihonen, J., & Acri, J. (2008). Pharmacotherapy of methamphetamine addiction: An update. Substance Abuse, 29(3), 31-50. PMCID: PMC2597382

Johnson, B. A., Ait-Daoud, N., Elkashef, A. M., Smith, E. V., Kahn, R., Vocci, F., Li, S. H., & Bloch, D. A. (2008). Methamphetamine Study Group: a preliminary randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of the safety and efficacy of ondansetron in the treatment of methamphetamine dependence. The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology 11(1), 1-17.

Somoza, E., Somoza, P., Lewis, D., Li, S. H., Winhusen T., Chiang, N., Vocci, F., Horn, P., & Elkashef, E. (2008). A new outcome measure for use in pharmacotherapy trials for cocaine dependence. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 93, 132-140.

Vocci, F. (2008). Cognitive remediation in the treatment of substance abuse disorders: A research agenda. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 6(6), 484-497.

Cantilena, L. R., Cherstniakova, S. A., Saviolakis, G., Kahn, R., Elkashef, A., Rose, L., & Vocci, F. (2007). Prevalence of abnormal liver-associated enzymes in cocaine experienced adults versus healthy volunteers during phase I trials. Contemporary Clinical Trials, 28(6), 695-704.

Khalsa, J., & Vocci, F. J. (2007). Management of HIV/HCV coinfection in drug abusers. In G. Barbaro, F. Nava, A. Lucchini, & G. Barbarini (Eds.), Management of medical disorders associated with drug abuse and addiction (pp. 161-186). Hauppauge, New York: Nova Publishers.

Montoya, I. D., & Vocci, F. (2007). Medications development for the treatment of nicotine dependence in individuals with schizophrenia. Journal of Dual Diagnosis, 3(3-4), 113-150.

Vocci, F. (2007). Can replacement therapy work in the treatment of cocaine dependence? And what are we replacing anyway? Addiction, 102(12), 1871-1887.

Vocci, F. J., Jr., & Appel, N. M. (2007). Approaches to the development of medications for the treatment of methamphetamine dependence. Addiction, 102(s1), 96-106.

Elkashef, A. M., Fudala, P. J., Gorgon, L., Li, S. H., Kahn, R., Chiang, N., Vocci, F., Collins, J., Jones, K., Boardman, K., & Sather, M. (2006). Double-blind, placebo controlled trial of selegiline transdermal system (STS) for the treatment of cocaine dependence. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 85(3), 191-197.

Haigney, M. C., Alam, S., Tebo, S., Marhefka, G., Elkashef, A., Kahn, R., Chiang, C. N., Vocci, F., & Cantilena, L. (2006). Intravenous cocaine and QT Variability. Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology, 17(6), 10-616.

Khalsa, J., Vocci, F., Altice, F., Fiellin, D., & Miller, V. (2006). Buprenorphine and HIV primary care: new opportunities for integrated treatment. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 15(Suppl 4), S169-S172.

Elkashef, A., Holmes, T. H., Bloch, D. A., Shoptaw, S., Kampman, K., Reid, M., Somoza, E., Ciraulo, D., Rotrosen, J., Leiderman, D. B., Montgomery, A., & Vocci, F. (2005). Retrospective analyses of pooled data from CREST I and II trials. Addiction, 100(S1), 91-102.

Leiderman, D. B., Shoptaw, S., Montgomery, A., Bloch, D. A., Elkashef, A., LoCastro, J., & Vocci, F. (2005). Cocaine rapid evaluation screening trial (CREST): A paradigm for the controlled evaluation of candidate medications for cocaine dependence. Addiction, 100(S1), 1-11.

Vocci, F. J., Acri, J., & Elkashef, A. M.  (2005). Medications development for addictive disorders: State of the science.  Am. J. Psychiatry 162:1432-1440, 2005. Available at:

Vocci, F. J., & Ling, W. (2005). Medications Development: Successes and Challenges. Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 108, 94-108.