Treatment Team

Treatment Team

bjohnsonProfessor Bankole Johnson, DSc, MD, PhD and Founder

Internationally acclaimed addictions expert Professor Bankole Johnson and colleagues created the UVa Excelsior Program for the Treatment of Alcohol and Drug Abuse in 2006 to provide evidence-based, multi-modal treatment for addictive disorders. Professor Johnson, Chairman of UVa's Department of Psychiatry & Neurobehavioral Sciences has nearly two decades of experience in performing clinical and laboratory studies. As such, it is the first program of its kind to offer comprehensive and uniquely adaptive pharmacological and psychological treatment. Professor Johnson's research has appeared in over 200 publications, and he is the recipient of numerous honors and awards.



Dr. Ait-DaoudNassima Ait-Daoud, MD

Dr. Ait-Daoud, a psychiatrist and the Director of the University of Virginia Center for Addiction Research and Education (UVa C.A.R.E.) and has over a decade of hands-on experience in the field of addiction treatments and research. Her areas of expertise include assessments, pharmacotherapy for different type of addictions, and conducting brief interventions. Her intense and current involvement in research allows her to use evidence based interventions in her treatment planning giving her patients early access to new discoveries. She has authored and co-authored over 100 publications and book chapters and serves in national committees for the National Institute of Health.


jkpenberthyJ. Kim Penberthy, PhD

Dr. Penberthy has been on the UVa faculty for since 2000, completed her post-doctoral training at UVa, and has extensive experience in treating multiple psychiatric disorders and addictions. She is the Chief Clinical Psychologist for the Clinical Research Programs at the UVa Center for Addiction Research and Education and is certified in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and cognitive behavioral analysis system of psychotherapy (CBASP). Dr. Penberthy also has extensive training in motivational interviewing (MI), interpersonal therapy (IPT), and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) which are used in assessing and treating the "whole" person who presents with an addiction and related psychological issues. Her clinical work and research are based upon empirically proven and evidence-based treatments and are provided in the context of a healthy therapeutic relationship. She has been exceptionally successful in her treatment approach and has helped individuals in the Excelsior and CARE program achieve lasting success.