Dr. Erin E. Bonar was recently awarded the inaugural NIH HEAL Initiative® Director’s Award for Mentorship at the 4th Annual NIH HEAL Initiative Investigators meeting on February 22nd, 2023. This national award recognizes Dr. Bonar’s exemplary work and dedication to mentorship in the field of opioid and other substance use research. Dr. Bonar was presented with her award in recognition of her commitment to providing guidance and support to students and colleagues throughout her career.
The Helping to End Addiction Long-term® Initiative, or NIH HEAL Initiative®, is a trans-agency effort to find scientific solutions to the national opioid public health crisis. The NIDA Director’s Award for Mentoring honors those who have provided exceptional mentorship in the opioid research field and demonstrate a commitment to supporting future generations of researchers in this important area of study.
Dr. Bonar is an Associate Professor at the University of Michigan Addiction Center, where she studies ways to prevent and treat substance use disorders spanning developmental periods of adolescence, emerging adulthood and adulthood. Her work uses novel technologies including social media, telemedicine, text messaging, and patient portal approaches to increase reach and access to preventive and treatment services, particularly for populations that experience health disparities (e.g., under-served, mental health/suicide, economically-disadvantaged, etc.). She has received numerous awards for her work including NIH grants totaling over $7 million dollars for work related to opioid misuse prevention among vulnerable populations.
Dr. Bonar was nominated for this award by early career faculty member and clinical psychologist in the Addiction Center, Dr. Lara Coughlin.
"Dr. Bonar is a tremendous mentor and extremely deserving of this award. Her advice, collaboration, and guidance to the large and diverse cadre of people she mentors is elevating the addiction field, ensuring the next generation of scientists and clinicians are able to meet the critical challenges that we face related to the substance use and overdose epidemic in this country.” - Lara Coughlin, Ph.D.
This prestigious award further demonstrates Dr. Bonar’s dedication to fostering collaboration between researchers across disciplines so that we can better understand how addiction works and develop effective treatments that can meet people where they are.