William Stoops, PhD, a professor in the University of Kentucky College of Medicine’s Department of Behavioral Science, Psychiatry and Psychology, is one of 16 University Research Professors for 2023-24. The University Research Professorships honor faculty members who have demonstrated excellence that addresses scientific, social, cultural and economic challenges in our region and around the world.

College leadership develop criteria for excellence within their area of expertise and then nominate faculty who excelled at these criteria. Each University Research Professor receives a one-year award of $10,000.

“I’m very grateful to President Capilouto, Vice President Cassis, Senior Associate Vice President Dwoskin and the UK Board of Trustees for selecting me as a University Research Professor,” said Stoops. “This honor really reflects the work of our full team at the UK Laboratory of Human Behavioral Pharmacology, so I also want to acknowledge them; without my amazing team, this type of research would be impossible.”

Stoops’ research uses human laboratory and clinical trial methods to understand the behavioral and pharmacological factors contributing to substance use disorder, focusing mainly on cocaine use disorder.

Stoops’ research has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health since 2008. He is currently leading a clinical trial funded by a five-year $2.9 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse that is focused on the physical and mental health outcomes of reduced use in cocaine use disorder.

Stoops also conducts human laboratory studies determining the role of various neurotransmitters on the abuse related effects of cocaine, most recently evaluating orexin and serotonin 5-HT1b systems.

Stoops is a faculty member of UK’s Center on Drug and Alcohol Research and serves as the associate director for clinical research of the UK Substance Use Priority Research Area and director of the UK Clinical Research Support Office.