Albert Avila, PhD
Albert Avila received a B.S. in Psychobiology and a B.A. in English Literature from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Georgetown University. His doctoral research focused primarily in the area of neuropharmacology, studying the effects of cocaine, cocaine withdrawal, and stress on the immune response. He conducted
postdoctoral research at the NIH in the area of pain neurotransmission and control at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). Following his postdoc, he became the Director of the NIDCR Office of Education, and subsequently the Extramural Training Officer for the NIDCR. Dr. Avila began his career at NIDA as a Program Officer in the Division of Basic Neuroscience and Behavioral Research and managed a research and training portfolio in the area of neuroimmunology, HIV, and addictive drugs. Currently, he is the Director of the NIDA, Office of Diversity and Health Disparities (ODHD) where he leads NIDA’s diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) initiatives and serves on trans-NIH DEIA committees. His primary goals for the ODHD are to enhance the pool of funded scientists from diverse backgrounds conducting substance use and addiction research and to provide support, access, and opportunities for scientists from diverse backgrounds to meaningfully participate in and contribute to the scientific enterprise. Dr. Avila is passionate about helping scholars across the career spectrum navigate the NIH grant process and succeed at climbing the scientific career ladder.