Robert Anthenelli, MD Robert M. Anthenelli, M.D.
Director, Pacific Treatment and Research Center
Professor of Psychiatry & Vice Chair for VA Affairs
UC San Diego School of Medicine
Associate Chief of Staff for Mental Health
VA San Diego Healthcare System
Phone #:  (858) 534-9458
FAX #:  (858) 534-9410


Robert M. Anthenelli, MD earned his baccalaureate degree from The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, USA and his MD degree from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. After graduating medical school, he completed his internship in internal medicine at Mercy Hospital in Baltimore. Dr. Anthenelli did residency training in psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine and VA San Diego. Additional post-doctoral training included a 2-year fellowship in addiction psychiatry research that was funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs. He was formerly a Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine where he founded and directed the Center for Treatment, Research & Education in Addictive Disorders and the Addiction Sciences Division. Dr. Anthenelli is now Professor and Vice Chair for VA Affairs in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine where he directs the Pacific Treatment and Research Center.  He also serves as the Associate Chief of Staff for Mental Health at the VA San Diego Healthcare System.

Clinical Focus
Dr. Anthenelli is a board certified psychiatrist licensed in the states of California and Ohio, who has been treating substance abusing patients for 25 years. The program he directed at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center was awarded the Department of Veterans Affairs, Under Secretary for Health's Award as a Clinical Program of Excellence in Substance Abuse. He specialized in the treatment of tobacco, alcohol and other drug dependence.

Selected Publications: (5 recent)

Anthenelli, RM.  How – and why – to help psychiatric patients stop smoking.  Current Psychiatry 2005;4(1):77-87.

Anthenelli RM, Blom TJ, McElroy SL, Keck PE, Jr.  Preliminary evidence for gender-specific effects of topiramate as a potential aid to smoking cessation.  Addiction 2008; 103:687-694.

Heffner JL, Tran GQ, Johnson CS, Winders Barrett S, Blom TJ, Thompson RD, Anthenelli RM.  Combining motivational interviewing with compliance enhancement therapy (MI-CET):  development and preliminary evaluation of a new, manual-guided psychosocial adjunct to alcohol dependence pharmacotherapy.  J Stud Alcohol Drugs 2010; 71(1): 61-70. PMCID: PMC2815064

Heffner JL, Anthenelli RM.  Strategies to help patients break the chains of tobacco addiction:  evidence-based treatments can help patients quit despite psychiatric illness.  Current Psychiatry 2011;10(8):41-49.

Heffner JL, Strawn JR, DelBello MP, Strakowski SM, Anthenelli RM.  The co-occurrence of cigarette smoking and bipolar disorder:  phenomenology and treatment considerations.  Bipolar Disord. 2011;13(5-6):439-53.


University of California, San Diego, Department of Psychiatry, 9500 Gilman Drive, Mail Code 0603 La Jolla, CA 92037-0603
Telephone: (858) 534-3684, Fax: (858) 534-7653, Electronic Mail: