Frank J. Vocci, Ph.D.
President of Friends Research Institute / Senior Research Scientist
Ph.D., University of Maryland
Phone: 410-837-3977 ext. 255 | Fax: 410-752-4218
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.
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.