Dr. Kenneth Blum, PhD

Dr. Kenneth Blum - The Addictions AcademyKenneth Blum is a world renowned and nationally recognized authority on addiction research & studies. He is a researcher on neuro-psychopharmacology and genetics and is known from his study on the genetics of alcoholism published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1990. He works in the fields of neuropsychiatry and genetics, nutritional genetics, and pharmacogenetics. Blum’s research has been recognized through numerous awards. He has devoted his life to advancing scientific knowledge of the role of natural dopamine agonists as an anti-craving DNA directed therapeutic target for the prevention of relapse.

Blum received his B.S. in pharmacy from Columbia University in 1961, his M.S. in medical science in 1965 from the New Jersey College of Medicine, and his Ph.D. in pharmacology in 1968 from the New York Medical College. He also completed post-doctorate research in psychopharmacology at the Southwest Foundation for Research and Education where Irving Geller was his mentor and received a fellowship in pharmacogenetics under Gerald McClearn at the University of Colorado College of Pharmacy (Boulder) in 1977.

Blum’s most important work was a 1990 study he co-led with Ernest Noble, the former director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, that correlated the dopamine D2 Receptor Taq 1 allele with alcoholism. This study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Blum expanded his research of genes involved in brain reward circuitry. By the early 1980s there were many suggestions that alcoholism had genetic antecedents and a high heritability. This research stimulated further studies of gene associations. Though the press has called his finding the “alcoholic gene,” Blum believed his work to be of broader scope, calling this gene a “reward gene” which covers other addictive behaviors including drug addiction, smoking, overeating, and pathological gambling. Later the concept of Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS) coined in 1996 by Blum as a new way to look at all addictive, obsessive and compulsive behaviors including substance and process addictions, personality and spectrum disorders

In 1995 he retired as a full professor in the Department of Pharmacology, University of Texas, where he was also chief of the Division of Addictive Diseases, chief of the Division of Substance and Alcohol Misuse, and director of the Laboratory of Pharmacogenetics at the University of Texas Health Science Center (San Antonio, Texas). He is currently serving as Chief Science Officer for LaVita RDS, a Nano-Tech Natural Supplements company & LifeGen Inc. a nutrigenomic evidence-based corporation; furthermore, he also sits on multiple University medical advisory boards and continues to write and publish articles and papers on the subjects of addiction, chronic pain, eating disorders and cognition.