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Michelle Lofwall, MD, DFAPA, DFASAM


First Bridge and Straus Clinics


  • Professor
  • Bell Alcohol and Addictions Chair

College Unit(s)

Biography and Education


Dr. Michelle Lofwall, board-certified in psychiatry and addiction medicine, is a Professor in the Departments of Behavioral Science and Psychiatry and the Bell Alcohol and Addictions Endowed Chair at the University of Kentucky. She received her bachelor's degree from Northwestern University in Psychology and her MD and Master’s in Pathology from Chicago Medical School. She completed internship, psychiatry residency, and a fellowship in behavioral pharmacology from Johns Hopkins University. Currently she is the medical director of UK’s Robert Straus and First Bridge Clinics, which provide comprehensive opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment within the UK Center on Drug and Alcohol Research. She oversees the Bell Addiction Medicine Scholar Program that aims to grow a highly competent physician faculty in a variety of medical specialties to train medical students, residents, and faculty in clinically relevant addiction medicine practice. Her passion is in improving the care of patients with addiction, and her research has included evaluation of novel treatments for opioid use disorder (e.g., buprenorphine implants and depot injections), understanding factors associated with buprenorphine diversion, improving care of complex patients with OUD and deep-seated infections, and best practices for linking and retaining persons in care for OUD treatment. She was elected as a Distinguished Fellow of American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and the American Psychiatric Association, is a past President of the KY Chapter of ASAM, ASAM board member and co-director of the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry’s annual addiction treatment review course. She has received numerous teaching and mentoring awards and was an expert panel member for SAMHSA’s Treatment Improvement Protocol on Medication Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder and invited speaker to the National Academy of Medicine.


Dr. Lofwall graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and received her MD and Masters in Pathology from the Chicago Medical School. She completed an internship, psychiatry residency, and a behavioral pharmacology research fellowship at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. In 2006, she joined the faculty at the University of Kentucky where her primary focuses are on research, teaching, clinical care and advocacy for patients with substance use disorders. Currently, she serves as the Bell Alcohol and Addictions Chair and the Medical Director of the Straus Clinic and the First Bridge Clinic that provides rapid access to comprehensive opioid use disorder treatment for patients with serious health complications.

Selected Publications