Michael W. Otto, Ph.D.

Director, Translational Research Program Professor of Psychology

  • Title Director, Translational Research Program
    Professor of Psychology
  • Office 900 Commonwealth Avenue, Floor 2

Dr. Otto is Professor of Psychology at Boston University and Director of the Translational Research Program at the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders. Dr. Otto specializes in the cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT) of anxiety, mood, and substance use disorders. An enduring theme across these disorders is the role of exposure-based emotional tolerance/acceptance strategies in improving mental health. Dr. Otto has current and past federal funding from NIMH and NIDA, and his research focuses on difficult-to-treat populations, including the application of cognitive-behavioral strategies to patients who have failed to respond to previous interventions, as well as developing novel strategies for bipolar disorder and substance use disorders. Current research includes investigations of potential moderators of CBT efficacy, including several translational-research agendas ranging from studies of de novo fear conditioning to the application of putative memory enhancers (e.g., d-cycloserine) to facilitate exposure-based treatments. Dr. Otto also focuses on health behaviors ranging from medication adherence to engagement in exercise. Dr. Otto has published over 270 articles, chapters, and books spanning his research interests, and was recently identified as a “top producer” in the clinical empirical literature. For clinical training, he has numerous treatment manuals published in the Treatments That Work series for Oxford University Press. Dr. Otto is past President of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (formerly AABT), a fellow of the American Psychological Association, and a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the Anxiety Disorders Association of America. Dr. Otto is a regular provider of continuing education and continuing medical education workshops across the United States.

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