Donald M. Dougherty, Ph.D.

Dr. Dougherty

The William & Marguerite Wurzbach Distinguished Professor

Director, Neurobehavioral Research Division
Deputy Chair for Research, Department of Psychiatry
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

Biographical Sketch

Dr Dougherty teaching1

Dr. Dougherty is the William and Marguerite Wurzbach Distinguished Professor and Director of the Neurobehavioral Research Division within the Department of Psychiatry at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.  He also serves as the Director of the Neurobehavioral Research Laboratory and Clinic (NRLC) and Co-Director of the Research Residency Program.  He completed his graduate training in Psychology at Ohio University and then held a National Institute for Drug Abuse sponsored postdoctoral research fellowship at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHSCH).  After completing his training, Dr. Dougherty joined the faculty at UTHSCH, where the NRLC group was founded.  After 12 years at UTHSCH, Dr. Dougherty and the NRLC research team moved to Wake Forest University Health Sciences in Winston-Salem, NC where Dr. Dougherty became Professor and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Psychiatry.  During his tenure as Vice Chair for Research, the Department of Psychiatry made significant progress toward the development of an interdisciplinary translational research program, which was evidenced by substantial increases in support from the National Institutes of Health and private donors.  Seeing a great potential for expanding a translational research program to include interactions with community leaders within San Antonio, Dr. Dougherty and the NRLC research team returned to The University of Texas Health Sciences System in 2007.

Dr. Dougherty's research interests are focused on understanding impulsive behaviors, with primary emphasis on problems associated with drug abuse and suicidality.  Current projects include examining how drug abuse and early stressful life events adversely affect adolescent development of impulse control, and their relationship to the development of other adolescent psychopathology.  Additionally, his interests include the identification of biological and behavioral risk factors for child and adult psychopathology.  As an extension of this research, Dr. Dougherty and his colleagues have developed behavioral software paradigms for objectively assessing underlying mechanisms of different types of impulsive behavior.  These paradigms have been validated in numerous studies and are freely available to other researchers.  The long-term goals of the NRLC are to use information gathered from their research to inform the development of better treatment and community-based substance abuse prevention programs.

Research Interests

  • Adolescent Development of Impulse Control
  • Substance Use Initiation and Abuse
  • Developmental Course of Suicidal Behaviors
  • Identification and Measurement of Impulsive and Aggressive Behaviors
  • Effects of Alcohol and Other Drugs of Abuse on Impulsive and Aggressive Behaviors
  • Therapeutic Pharmacotherapy and their Effect on Behavioral Processes
  • L-Tryptophan Depletion and Loading Methodologies
  • Biological and Behavioral Markers and Neuroendocrine Challenge Procedures
  • Behavioral Studies of Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Evaluation of Gender Differences in the above areas
  • Development of Software and Paradigms for Objective Assessment of Behavior


1985 B.S. Psychology Bridgewater College
1990 M.S. Experimental Psychology Ohio University
1992 Ph.D. Experimental Psychology Ohio University
1995 Fellowship Substance Abuse The University of Texas Medical School


Citation Record for Publications through the year 2013

4,864 Times Cited  

Citations per Year

Dougherty 2013 citations

Citations per Publication  


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