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Denise B. Kandel

Professor of Sociomedical Sciences (in Psychiatry)

Research Scientist of Department of Psychiatry, New York State Psychiatric Institute

Dr. Denise Kandel's major research interests are in the epidemiology, risk factors and consequences of drug use; the epidemiology of substance dependence; comorbidity between substance use and psychiatric disorders; developmental pathways of problem behaviors in adolescence; and the intergenerational transmission of deviance. Her current work focuses almost exclusively on the epidemiology and etiology of smoking and nicotine dependence in adolescence. Dr. Kandel currently is conducting a major longitudinal study of the transition from experimental smoking to nicotine dependence in adolescence and early adulthood, in which she is following a cohort of over 1,000 adolescents and their mothers. She had pioneered charting the developmental phases of drug use and identified the specific risk factors for adolescent initiation into each major stage, which provided the basis for the Gateway Hypothesis. Dr. Kandel has initiated a novel area of research, focused on the molecular bases of epidemiological paradigms, in particular the Gateway Hypothesis, in mice in collaboration with Drs. Eric Kandel and Amir Levine from the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior.
Education & Training:

    PhD, 1960, Columbia University

    MA, 1953, Columbia University

    BA, 1952, Bryn Mawr College


University Affiliations:

  • Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center  

Additional Affiliations:

  • Member, Centers Grant Review Committee, National Institute on Drug Abuse 1998-
  • Member, Etiology Scientific Advisory Panel, American Legacy Foundation 2000-2004
  • Member Scientific Advisory Board, Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Center, University California, Irvine 2000-2005
  • Member, National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, 1986-1990
  • Member, Extramural Science Advisory Board, National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1990-1993
  • Co-chair, Tobacco Dependence: Measurement and Characterization Working Group, sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2004-2005
Honors and Awards:
  • Research Scientist Award, National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1981- 2012
  • R. Brinkley Smithers Distinguished Scientist Award, American Society of Addiction Medicine, 2002
  • H. David Archibald Lecturer, The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Addiction Research Foundation, Ontario, Canada, 2002
  • Prevention Science Award, Society for Prevention Research, 2003
  • Selected Editorial Boards

    • Journal of Prevention Research
    Nicotine dependence among adolescents
    Comparative study of the epidemiology and risk factors for nicotine dependence among high school students in the United States and Sweden.
    Countries: Sweden

Selected Publications:
  • Kandel DB, Wu P,Davies M Maternal smoking during pregnancy and smoking by adolescent daughters American Journal of Public Health 84 1407-1413 1994
  • Hu, M.C., Muthen, B., Schaffran, C., Griesler, P., Kandel, D. Developmental Trajectories of Criteria of Nicotine Dependence in Adolescence Drug and Alcohol Dependence 98 94-104 2008
  • Jon Clark (ed.) James S. Coleman: Falmer Sociology Series Falmer Press London 33-45 1996
  • Kandel DB The parental and peer contexts of adolescent deviance: an algebra of interpersonal influences Empirical Validity of Theories of Durg Abuse (Journal of Drug Issues, Special Issue, H. White, ed.) 26 289-315 1996
  • Kandel DB, Johnson JG, Bird HR, Weissman MM, Goodman SH, Lahey BB, Regier DA, Schwab-Stone ME Psychiatric comorbidity among adolescents with substance use disorders: findings from the MECA Study Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 38 693-699 1999
  • Kandel DB (ed.) Stages and Pathways of Drug Involvement: Examining the Gateway Hypothesis Cambridge University Press Cambridge, England 2002
  • Kandel DB Does marijuana use cause the use of other drugs? JAMA 289 482-483 2003
  • Kandel DB, Kiros GE, Schaffran C, Hu MC Racial/ethnic differences in cigarette smoking initiation and progression to daily smoking: a multilevel analysis American Journal of Public Health 94 128-135 2004
  • Hu MC, Davies M, Kandel DB Epidemiology and correlates of daily smoking and nicotine dependence amoung young adults in the U.S. American Journal of Public Health (in press) 2005
  • Denise B. Kandel, Mei-Chen Hu, Christine Schaffran, J. Richard Udry and Neal Benowitz Urine nicotine metabolites, smoking and nicotine dependence in a multiracial/ethnic national sample of young adults American Journal of Epidemiology 165 901-910 2007

Contact Information


1051 Riverside Drive, Unit 20

New York, NY 10032