Dr. Leventhal is a licensed clinical psychologist and associate professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine - 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 also is a faculty member of the USC Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research, the USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the USC Institute for Genetic Medicine.
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 $7.8M. These grants support studies aligned with his primary research interests in: (1) the affective underpinnings of addiction; (2) Psycholopharmacology of drug dependence: (3) comorbidity between mood and substance use disorders; (4) smoking cessation; and (5) the affective correlates of physical activity, diet, and other health behaviors. Dr. Leventhal has been recognized for his contributions to the field as the recipient of the APA Division of Psychopharmacology and Substance Abuses’ Young Psychopharmacologist Award for excellence in research at the interface between the disciplines of pharmacology and psychology, the APA Society for Clinical Psychology’s David Shakow Early Career Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Clinical Psychology, the American Academy of Health Behavior’s Judy K. Black Early Career Research Award for innovative and rigorous research that makes an important contribution of health behavior science or practice, and the Jarvik-Russell Early Career Award for extraordinary contributions to the field of nicotine and tobacco research by the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco.
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 Preventive Medicine. See Training Opportunities. He has been recognized for his mentoring as the recipient of the USC Mellon Mentoring Award for Outstanding Mentoring of Undergraduate Students. Furthermore, he is on the editorial boards of several peer-reviewed journals, including serving as an associate editor for Nicotine & Tobacco Research, academic editor for PLOS ONE, and associate editor for 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.