Richard De La Garza, PhD
Professor and Director of Research,
Department of Psychiatry,
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Professor, Baylor College of Medicine
The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) is pleased to highlight alumnus Richard De La Garza, II, PhD. Dr. De La Garza received his PhD from the Neuroscience Graduate Program at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in 1996. He subsequently completed postdoctoral fellowships at Harvard Medical School and Yale University School of Medicine.
Most recently, Dr. De La Garza served as a tenured professor at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) in the Departments of Psychiatry, Neuroscience, and Pharmacology. He was also Director of Research and Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC) with a secondary appointment in the Department of Behavioral Sciences. At BCM, he conducted medications testing for cocaine, methamphetamine, and tobacco use disorders using techniques such as virtual reality, functional magnetic resonance imaging, and other neuroimaging modalities. He was also the co-director of the effort to establish an integrated, evidenced-based tobacco treatment program for the Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center, funded by National Cancer Institute.
At MDACC, he led the effort to evaluate psychiatric symptoms as a function of cancer diagnosis and stage, as well as the impact of cancer therapies and other treatments on psychiatric symptoms. He also developed the first electronic database to capture data on psychiatric symptoms in cancer patients, including anxiety, depression, distress, demoralization, body image, and substance use.
Dr. De La Garza has published over 120 peer-reviewed articles, written several book chapters, and has served as Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator for over two dozen NIH grants. Dr. De La Garza has received numerous honors including being named a Distinguished Alumnus of his alma mater and appointed a Kavli Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences. He is past-president of the College on the Problems of Drug Dependence, past member of the National Steering Committee for the National Hispanic Science Network, and currently serves on several external advisory boards for addiction training programs at institutions across the United States.
Dr. De La Garza is currently investigating opioid use disorder at the University of New Mexico. Congratulations to Dr. De La Garza as the GSBS 50th Anniversary September alumnus!