Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry & Psychology
Robert A. Zucker, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry in the Medical School and professor of psychology in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, retired from active faculty status on July 31, 2018.
Professor Zucker received his B.C.E. degree from City College of New York in 1956 and his Ph.D. degree from Harvard University in 1966. Prior to joining the University of Michigan faculty as a professor of psychiatry and director of the Addiction Research Center and director of the Substance Abuse Section in 1994, he held faculty positions at Rutgers University from 1963- 68 and Michigan State University from 1968-94. He also held additional appointments as a professor of psychology in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, faculty associate in the Research Center for Group Dynamics in the Institute for Social Research, and as Director for the University of Michigan-NIH Fogarty International Training Program.
Since the early 1980s, Professor Zucker's research focused on the lifespan etiology of alcoholism and other drug use disorders. The hallmarks of this work have been its utilization of multiple levels of analysis encompassing interpersonal, behavioral, neural, and genetic variation to characterize the very early development of risk and its unfolding through childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood. In 1987, he began the Michigan Longitudinal Study, the world's longest-running high-risk study on the development of substance abuse. This study has yielded the first-ever evidence that specific indicators in early childhood can predict an adult's likelihood of being diagnosed with alcoholism, a finding that was only possible because the study tracked the life course of a generation of children and their families. Professor Zucker was one of the major contributors to our understanding of alcoholism as a developmental disorder. He was involved in the translational ramifications of this work as a member of a number of NIH action committees focused on the identification and screening of early substance abuse. Professor Zucker has published more than 200 peer reviewed articles, 58 book chapters and almost 500 abstracts from scientific meetings. He also has edited 12 books, the most recent of which is the Oxford Handbook of Adolescent Substance Abuse (2018). He was a diplomate of the American Board of Professional Psychology in clinical psychology, a member of the Polish Society of Psychiatrists' Hall of Fame, and president of the American Psychological Association's Society of Addiction Psychology.
- Past-President of Division on Addictions, Division 50 of American Psychological Association (APA)
- Founding Member, Polish Society on Addiction Research (Polskie Towarzystwo Badañ nad Uzale¿nieniami (PTBU))
- 2006 Elected to Polish Society of Psychiatrists Hall of Fame
- Board Member, Research Society on Alcoholism
- 2010 Research Society on Alcoholism Distinguished Researcher Award