Thomas Brown, PhD

Thomas Brown



6875 Boulevard LaSalle
Montréal, QC
H4H 1R3

 Office:E-4116, Perry Pavilion

 Office phone: (514) 761-6131

 Fax: (514) 761-3033

  Lab website:

Director and Principal Investigator, Addiction Research Program, Douglas Research Centre
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University

Lab name: Addiction Research Program


Alcohol and drug misuse can profoundly harm one’s physical, social, occupational, and financial well-being. Its burden on the health and well-being of Canadians is significant. Finding effective interventions for substance misuse remains a major challenge, and ongoing research in this area is crucial.

Dr. Brown and his team of students and collaborators are developing psychosocial interventions to combat substance abuse. They also aim to identify individual characteristics of vulnerability in order to optimally provide the most suitable intervention.

In addition, Dr. Brown works on the prevention of alcohol and drug-related risk taking and injury. Since 2009, he has directed the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Transdisciplinary Team into Driving While Impaired: onset, persistence, treatment and prevention. This international team of multidisciplinary researchers, traffic authorities, licensing program administrators and graduate trainees is conducting studies into the human factors responsible for road traffic crashes. To address this complex global public health problem, multiple levels of analyses are deployed, included virtual reality simulation, engineering, neurobiology, psychology, policy and the law.

A licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Brown is also the head of research of Foster Addiction Rehabilitation Centre, a large public treatment facility serving the Anglophone community of Quebec.

Dr. Brown obtained his Ph.D. in General and Experimental Psychology in 1990 at Concordia University and was licensed as a clinical psychologist in 1991. He holds positions as Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, Director of the Addiction Research Program of the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, and head of research and evaluation at Foster Addiction Rehabilitation Centre, a provincial health facility. His focus is on translational addiction research. His team has conducted descriptive studies, randomized controlled trials, and quasi-experimental naturalistic studies to characterize vulnerable substance misusing subpopulations and evaluate the selective benefits of established and novel therapeutic approaches for these groups. These approaches include Relapse Prevention, 12-Step aftercare, Motivational Interviewing, as well as other brief interventions modalities. Since 2008, Dr. Brown has directed the Canadian Institutes of Health Research-funded “Team in Transdisciplinary Studies into Driving While Impaired Onset, Persistence, Treatment and Prevention”. Its pioneering research agenda explores substance misuse from the optic of injury prevention and its nexus with psychosocial and psychological adjustment, neurobiology, sex and gender, law, prevention policy and program administration, and clinical practice.

Research Scholar, “Treatment Milieu-based Applied Research Program in Substance Abuse”. Funding Agency: Conseil Québécois de Recherche Sociale (CQRS); 1996-2008

Principal investigators
Thomas G. Brown, Douglas Institute
Louise Nadeau, University of Montreal
Marie Claude Ouimet, University of Sherbrooke

Associate investigators
Antoine Bechara
Maurice Dongier
Christina Gianoulakis
Reut Gruber
Martin Lepage
Ng Mien Kwong Ng Ying Kin
Jens C. Pruessner
Norbert Schmitz
Jacques Tremblay

Candide Beaumont, Association des centres de réadaptation en dépendance du Québec
Robyn Robertson, Traffic Injury Research Foundation
Ward Vanlaar, Traffic Injury Research Foundation
Lyne Vézina, Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec

Graduate students
Derek Albert
Farah Averill
Nevicia Case
Manal El-Deb
Kaitlyn Enright
Jose Arturo Santisteban Lopez
Queenie Wong

Undergraduate students
Andréane Lauzer
Catherine Allard-Chapais
Camille Deshaies-Guilbault
Raphaëlle Tremblay
Marie-Sarah Girard
Emmanuelle Beaulieu
Marilyne Laverdière
Karine Veilleux
Luis-Manuel Vacaflor

Research associate

Katarina Dedovic

Lucie Legault
Lysiane Robidoux Léonard
Laurence Fecteau-Fortin

Brown, T.G., Seraganian, P., Tremblay, J. & Annis, H. (2002). Matching Substance Abuse Aftercare Treatments to Client Characteristics. Addictive Behaviors, 27(4) 585-604.
Brown, T.G., Seraganian, P., Tremblay, J. & Annis, H. (2002). Process and Outcome Changes with Relapse Prevention Versus 12-Step Aftercare Programs for Substance Abusers. Addiction, 97 (6), 677-690.
Gianoulakis, G., Xing Dai, J. & Brown, T.G. (2003). Effect of chronic alcohol consumption on the activity of the HPA-axis and pituitary b-endorphin as a function of alcohol intake, age and gender. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 27(3), 410-423.
Brown, T.G., Gianoulakis, C., Tremblay, J., Dongier, M., Ng Ying Kin, N.M.K, Seraganian, P. & Ouimet, M.C. (2005). Salivary cortisol: a predictor of convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol? Alcohol and Alcoholism, 40(5), 474-481.
Chanut, F., Brown, T.G. & Dongier, M. (2005). Motivational interviewing and clinical psychiatry. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 50, 548-555.
Gianoulakis, G., Xing Dai, Thavundayil, J., & Brown, T.G. (2005). Levels and Circadian Rhythmicity of Plasma ACTH, Cortisol and [beta]-Endorphin as a Function of Family History of Alcoholism and Meals. Psychopharmacology, 181, 437-444.
Ouimet M.C., Brown T.G., Nadeau L., Lepage M., Pelletier M., Couture S., Tremblay J., Legault L., Dongier M., Gianoulakis C., & Ng Ying Kin, N.M.K. (2007). Neurocognitive Characteristics of DUI Recidivists. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 37, 743-750.
Couture, S., Brown, T.G., Ouimet, M.C., & Gianoulakis, C., Tremblay, J. & Carboneau, R. (2008). Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis response to stress in male DUI recidivists. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 40(1), 246-253.
Brown, T.G., Ouimet, M.C., Nadeau, L., Gianoulakis, C., Lepage, M., Tremblay, J., Dongier, M. (2009). From the brain to bad behaviour: Neurocognitive and psychobiological mechanisms of driving while impaired. Drug and Alcohol Review, 28, 406–418.
Couture, S., Brown, T.G., Tremblay, J., Ng Yin Kin, N.M.K., Ouimet, M.C., Nadeau, L. (2010). Are biomarkers of chronic alcohol misuse useful in the assessment of DWI recidivism status? Accident Analysis and Prevention, 42, 307-312.
Brown, T.G., Dongier, M., Ouimet, M.C., Tremblay, J., Chanut, F., Legault, L., Ng Yin Kin, N.M.K. (2010). Brief motivational interviewing for DWI recidivists who abuse alcohol and are not participating in DWI intervention: a randomized controlled trial. Alcoholism: Experimental & Clinical Research, 34(2), 292-301.
Couture, S., Brown, T.G., & Brochu, S. (2010). Neurobiologie et trajectoire des contrevenants de l’alcool au volant : vers un modèle multidimensionnel. Revue internationale de criminologie et de police technique et scientifique, 63, 445-468.
Maldonado Bouchard, S., Brown, T.G., Nadeau, L. (2012). Decision-making capacities and affective reward anticipation in DWI recidivists compared to non-offenders: a preliminary study. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 45, 580-587.
Brown, T. G., Dongier, M., Ouimet, M. C., Tremblay, J., Chanut, F., Legault, L., & Kin, N. M. (2012). The role of demographic characteristics and readiness to change in 12-month outcome from two distinct brief interventions for impaired drivers. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 42(4), 339-446.
Brown, T.G. & Ouimet, M.C. (2012). Treatments for Alcohol-Related Impaired Driving. In: M. McMurran (Ed). Alcohol-Related Violence: Prevention and Treatment. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.
Wells, S. & Brown, T.G. (2012). Patient attitudes towards change in Adapted Motivational Interviewing for substance abuse: a systematic review. Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation, 3(1), 61-72.
Ouimet, M.C., Dongier, M., Di Leo, I., Legault, L., Tremblay, J., Chanut, F., Brown, T.G. (2013). A randomized controlled trial of brief motivational interviewing in impaired driving recidivists: a 5-year follow-up of traffic offenses and crashes. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 37(11), 1979-85.
Brown, T.G., Bhatti, J., Di Leo, I. (2013). Driving While Impaired (Treatments). In: Peter M. Miller (Ed.) Interventions for Addiction. San Diego: Academic Press, pp. 207–217.
Ouimet, M.C., Brown, T.G., Guo, F., Klauer, S. G., Simons-Morton, B. G., Fang, Y., Dingus, T. A. (2014). Higher Crash and Near-Crash Rates in Teenaged Drivers With Lower Cortisol Response: An 18-Month Longitudinal, Naturalistic Study. JAMA Pediatrics, 168(6), 517-522.
Couture, S., Ouimet, M. C., Gianoulakis, C., Tremblay, J., Ng Ying Kin, N. M. K., Brochu, S., Pruessner, J., Dedovic, K. & Brown, T. G. 2015. Lower cortisol activity is associated with first-time driving while impaired. Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment, 9, 25-32.