People picture

In the Spotlight

In the Spotlight
Christopher S. Martin, PhD


Christopher S. Martin, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology, has built a successful career that combines his passion for scientific research, teaching, and service to the academic community.

After graduating from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Dr. Martin earned a PhD in Psychology from Indiana University at Bloomington and completed postdoctoral training in the area of alcohol and substance disorders at Brown University and the University of Pittsburgh.   In 1993, Dr. Martin was appointed to the University of Pittsburgh Department of Psychiatry faculty where he has established an impressive research career and a reputation as an outstanding member of the academic community.

Dr. Martin enjoys a broad range of research interests. He conducted foundational research characterizing stimulant and sedative acute effects of alcohol across the rising and falling limbs of the blood alcohol curve in human subjects. As part of this work he developed and validated the widely-used Biphasic Alcohol Effects Scale. Dr. Martin’s current interests include the assessment, diagnosis and clinical course of alcohol and substance use disorders in adolescence and young adulthood. His work on limitations of DSM-IV criteria for substance use disorders was influential and helped shape revisions of these criteria in DSM-5. Dr. Martin currently is the Principal Investigator of a federally funded R01 grant examining alcohol and substance use disorders from adolescence through age 30. He also is Principal Investigator on a Mid-Career Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) that supports his mentoring of trainees in alcohol and drug research. He has served as a Principal Investigator for four other federally funded grants and as a Co-Investigator for 11 other externally sponsored projects. In addition to publishing over 100 peer-reviewed articles as a lead author or co-author in prestigious journals including the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, the American Journal of Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and the Journal of the Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Dr. Martin has co-written eleven book chapters and published numerous abstracts. He is a currently Consulting Editor for the Journal of Abnormal Psychology and a member of the International Advisory Board for Drug Abuse Reviews.

Dr. Martin is a devoted teacher, mentor and supervisor.  He has taught courses and given lectures to medical and graduate students on a host of topics. He served for years as the Co-Director of the postdoctoral Clinical Research Training in Psychiatry program, and is currently a member of the teaching faculty for two other federally funded research training grants.  Dr. Martin has served on several dissertation committees for students at the University of Pittsburgh. He has mentored a number of pre-doctoral and postdoctoral students leading to peer-reviewed publications. He received the WPIC mentor of the year award in 2005.

Throughout his career, Dr. Martin’s service to the academic community has been exemplary.  He has served on a number of departmental and University committees, including the WPIC Psychology Internship Program applicant review committee, the University’s Institutional Review Board, and the Scientific Advisory Committee for the University of Pittsburgh Neuroscience Research Center. He is a member of the University of Pittsburgh Postdoctoral Association’s Faculty Advisory Board. He regularly provides internal grant reviews for WPIC’s Research Review Committee, and was given the WPIC Reviewer of the Year Award in 2013. On a national level, Dr. Martin has served as a standing IRG member, a reviewer and the Chair of four federal Special Emphasis Panels, and as an ad hoc reviewer for several NIH institutes. He has served on several expert panels and committees for NIAAA, and helped develop the Institute’s widely disseminated Clinician’s Screening Guide for Alcohol Problems in Youth.

The Department of Psychiatry is honored to have Dr. Martin as a member of its faculty and look forward to his many contributions to the field of psychiatry and the training and education of the next generation of research scientists and clinicians.