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Annabelle M. Belcher, PhD

Academic Title:

Assistant Professor

Primary Appointment:



University of Maryland Drug Treatment Center 1001 W. Pratt Street

Phone (Primary):

443-462-3400 X78525

Education and Training

  • Loyola University New Orleans, BA, Psychology
  • National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH-IRP/NIH), Laboratory of Neuropsychology (mentor: Mortimer Mishkin), Pre-Doctoral IRTA
  • University of California, Irvine, PhD, Neurobiology & Behavior (mentor: John F. Marshall)
  • University of California, Santa Barbara, MacArthur Foundation Law & Neuroscience Project Post-Doctoral Fellow (mentors: Michael Gazzaniga and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong)
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA-IRP/NIH), Neuroimaging Research Branch (mentors: Elliot A. Stein and Afonso C. Silva), Post-Doctoral IRTA


My research interests are in the identification of novel approaches to increase retention and adherence to evidence-based treatments for opioid use disorder.  

Other areas of research interest include:

-Implementation and clinical outcomes of hub-and-spoke telemedicine-based buprenorphine treatment in rural jails and other settings 

-Co-morbid mental health disorders

-Polysubstance use

-Harm reduction 

Research/Clinical Keywords

Opioid Use Disorder, Substance Use Disorders, Methadone Treatment, Individual Differences, Susceptibility and Resilience to SUD, Medication for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD) Treatment, Telemedicine for OUD, Addiction

Highlighted Publications

A complete list of all published work can be found in MyNCBI:

Belcher AM*, Cole TO, Massey E, Billing AS, Wagner M, Wooten W, Epstein DH, Hoag SW, Wickwire EM, Greenblatt AD, Colloca L, Rotrosen J, Magder L, Weintraub E, Wish ED, Kaptchuk TJ. Effectiveness of conditioned open-label placebo with methadone in treatment of opioid use disorder: A randomized clinical trial. JAMA Netw Open2023 Apr 3;6(4):e237099doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.7099. PubMed PMID: 37043203; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC10099063.  

Abidogun TM, Cole TO, Massey E, Kleinman M, Greenblatt AD, Seitz-Brown CJ, Magidson JF, Belcher AM*. Patient experiences of COVID-19-induced changes to methadone treatment in a large community-based opioid treatment program in Baltimore. J Subst Use Addict Treat2023 Feb;145:208946doi: 10.1016/j.josat.2022.208946. Epub 2023 Jan 7. PubMed PMID: 36880915; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC9822549.

Kozak Z, Ciccarone D, Thrul J, Cole TO, Pappas AL, Greenblatt AD, Welsh C, Yoon M, Gann D Jr, Artigiani EE, Wish ED, Belcher AM*Harm reduction behaviors are associated with carrying naloxone among patients on methadone treatment. Harm Reduct J2023 Feb 14;20(1):17doi: 10.1186/s12954-023-00745-6. PubMed PMID: 36788601; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC9928141

Belcher AM*, Coble K, Cole TO, Welsh CJ, Whitney A, Weintraub E. Buprenorphine Induction in a Rural Maryland Detention Center During COVID-19: Implementation and Preliminary Outcomes of a Novel Telemedicine Treatment Program for Incarcerated Individuals With Opioid Use Disorder. Front Psychiatry. 2021 Oct 28;12:703685. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2021.703685. PMID: 34777036.

Weintraub E, Seneviratne C, Anane J, Coble K, Magidson J, Kattakuzhy S, Greenblatt A, Welsh C, Pappas A, Ross TL, Belcher AM. Mobile Telemedicine for Buprenorphine Treatment in Rural Populations With Opioid Use Disorder. JAMA Netw Open. 2021 Aug 2;4(8):e2118487. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.18487. PMID: 34448869.

Deutsch-Link S, Belcher AM*, Massey E, Cole TO, Wagner MA, Billing AS, Greenblatt AD, Weintraub E, Wish ED. Race-based differences in drug use prior to onset of opioid use disorder. J Ethn Subst Abuse. 2021 Feb 7:1-17. doi: 10.1080/15332640.2021.1879702. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33554763. 

Weintraub E, Greenblatt AD, Chang J, Welsh CJ, Berthiaume AP, Goodwin SR, Arnold R, Himelhoch SS, Bennett ME, Belcher AM*. Outcomes for patients receiving telemedicine-delivered medication-based treatment for Opioid Use Disorder: A retrospective chart review. Heroin Addict Relat Clin Probl. 2021;23(2):5-12. PMID: 33551692. 

Cole TO, Robinson D, Kelley-Freeman A, Gandhi D, Greenblatt AD, Weintraub E, Belcher AM*. Patient Satisfaction With Medications for Opioid Use Disorder Treatment via Telemedicine: Brief Literature Review and Development of a New Assessment. Front Public Health. 2021 Jan 21;8:557275. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2020.557275. PMID: 33553083. 

Belcher AM*, Cole TO, Greenblatt AD, Hoag SW, Epstein DH, Wagner M, Billing AS, Massey E, Hamilton KR, Kozak ZK, Welsh CJ, Weintraub E, Wickwire EM, Wish ED, Kaptchuk TJ, Colloca L. Open-label dose-extending placebos for opioid use disorder: a protocol for a randomised controlled clinical trial with methadone treatment. BMJ Open. 2019 Jun 21;9(6):e026604. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-026604. PubMed PMID: 31230007 

Cai NS, Quiroz C, Bonaventura J, Bonifazi A, Cole TO, Purks J, Billing AS, Massey E, Wagner M, Wish ED, Guitart X, Rea W, Lam S, Moreno E, Casadó-Anguera V, Greenblatt AD, Jacobson AE, Rice KC, Casadó V, Newman AH, Winkelman JW, Michaelides M, Weintraub E, Volkow ND, Belcher AM*, Ferré S*. Opioid-galanin receptor heteromers mediate the dopaminergic effects of opioids. J Clin Invest. 2019 Mar 26;130:2730-2744. doi: 10.1172/JCI126912. PubMed PMID: 30913037 

Belcher AM, Lejuez CW, Moeller FG, Volkow ND and Ferre S (2018). Choice Impulsivity, a drug-modifiable personality trait. In: Pickard and Ahmed (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy and Science of Addiction.

Belcher AM, Volkow ND, Moeller FG, Ferré S. Personality traits and vulnerability or resilience to substance use disorders. Trends Cogn Sci. 2014 Apr;18(4):211-7. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2014.01.010. Epub 2014 Mar 5. Review. PubMed PMID: 24612993

Belcher AM, Volkow ND, Moeller F, Ferre S. The Cognitive Neurosciences V (fifth edition). Gazzaniga MS, Mangun GR, editors. Cambridge: MIT; 2014. Chapter 88, Society and addiction: Bringing understanding toward appreciation of a mental health disorder. p.1035-1042.

*corresponding author

Awards and Affiliations

2021 American Society of Addiction Medicine Honorable Mention: Underserved Populations 

2019 Research highlighted on the Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation blog (“Methadone May be Less Addictive Than Other Opioids, Study Finds” April 8, 2019) 

2019 Interviewed for research that was featured as a “NIDA Science Spotlight” (“Opioids without the risk of addiction?” March 26, 2019) 

2013  NIDA FARE Award for Research Excellence 

2011 NIDA Director’s Award of Merit  

2008 American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) Policy Fellowship (declined)  

2007 UCI Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS) Program Awardee                     

Links of Interest

Teaching service

2018-present   Academic Project Supervisor, UMB Department of Psychiatry Addiction Psychiatry/Addiction Medicine Fellowship Program. The one-year Fellowship (Directors: Devang Gandhi, MD & Aaron Greenblatt, MD) admits a new cohort of 2-4 Fellows every year. I work with trainees in groups and in one-on-one settings to advise on their individual academic research projects, which are presented as a formal talk to the Division and as a poster at the Psychiatry Department’s annual Research Day.

2018, 2019, 2023       Lecturer, Responsible Conduct of Research course

2018, 2023    Lecturer, UMB Spring Mini-Course in Addiction 

2016                GPLS 775 “The Interface of Pain, Addiction and Affect” Course Lecturer

2011-2014       Research Mentor, NIDA post-baccalaureate IRTA Fellow

2011-2012       Course Instructor, Introduction to Addiction Science, Neuroimaging Research Branch, NIDA-IRP

2010-2012       Research Mentor for the NIDA Summer Student Programs

2009                Course Instructor, Law and Neuroscience (Psychology 594LN), University of California, Santa Barbara

2008                Course Instructor, COSMOS, COSMOS-University of California, Irvine

2001-2003       Course Instructor, Neurobiology lecture/lab course (BIO113L), University of California, Irvine

2000-2001       Graduate Teaching Assistant, Neurobiology (BIO110L), University of California, Irvine