Professor of Population and Public Health Sciences
Director of the Institute for Addiction Science
Dr. Leventhal is a licensed clinical psychologist and associate professor in the Department of Population and Public Health Sciences – Division of Health Behavior Research within the USC Keck School of Medicine. He holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Psychology in the USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. He is Founder and Director of the USC-Health, Emotion, & Addiction Laboratory (USC-HEAL; heal.usc.edu), which conducts interdisciplinary research on the intersection between addiction, mental health, and health behavior (heal.usc.edu).
Dr. Leventhal is the principal investigator of grants funded by the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse and American Cancer Society that total approximately $8M. These grants support studies aligned with his primary research interests in: (1) understanding drug use and other health behaviors (e.g., exercise, eating, risk taking) as mood-altering agents; (2) smoking cessation; (3) addiction psychopharmacology and genetics; and (4) addiction among individuals with mental health problems or other populations subject to health disparities (e.g., African Americans, Women. Dr. Leventhal has been recognized for his contributions to the field as the recipient of early career awards from the APA Division of Psychopharmacology and Substance Abuses, APA Society for Clinical Psychology, APA Society for Addiction Psychology, Society for Nicotine and Tobacco Research, and the American Academy of Health Behavior.
In addition to directing USC-HEAL, Dr. Leventhal serves as a research mentor for undergraduate Health Promotion students, graduate students in the Health Behavior Research doctoral program, and postdoctoral fellows in the Department of Population and Public Health Sciences. He also teaches in the Health Promotion B.S. program at USC. Furthermore, he is on the editorial boards of several peer-reviewed journals, including serving as an associate editors for Nicotine & Tobacco Research and Behavioral Medicine. Finally, he regularly serves as a reviewer on a U.S. National Institutes of Health study section on risk, prevention, and intervention on addictions.
Dr. Leventhal received his B.A. in Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara; M.A. in Psychology at the University of Houston; and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Houston. He completed a NCI predoctoral fellowship in tobacco addiction research at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center; a clinical psychology internship at Brown Medical School; and a NIDA postdoctoral fellowship in addiction research at the Brown University Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies. His personal interests include running, playing guitar, watching football, spending time with friends and family.