Dr. Barrett received his Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University and had postdoctoral training in neuropsychopharmacology and behavioral neurobiology at the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology. Following his postdoctoral training he served on the faculty at the University of Maryland and was promoted to Professor of Biopsychology. Before moving to the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Barrett was a Professor of Psychiatry, Medical Psychology and Pharmacology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD.
His research programs at the University combined behavioral, pharmacological and neurochemical techniques to focus on anxiety, depression and substance abuse. He received the Solvay-Duphar Award for Research on Affective Disorders. Dr. Barrett joined Wyeth in 1995 following the merger with Lederle Laboratories where he had been Director of Central Nervous System Research for three years. At Wyeth Dr. Barrett was Vice President of Neuroscience Discovery Research. Dr. Barrett has extensive experience in the identification of targets and drug discovery and development in neurodegenerative and neurological diseases as well as in neuropsychiatric disorders. He was responsible for several external alliances and licensing agreements with outside biotechnology organizations and academic research centers. Prior to his current position at Drexel University College of Medicine,he was Senior Vice President, Chief Scientific Officer, and President, Research at Adolor Corporation, a company focused on pain pharmaceuticals. He moved to Adolor after serving as President of Research and Development at Memory Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing innovative drugs for the treatment of debilitating central nervous system (CNS) disorders, where he oversaw all exploratory, discovery, preclinical and clinical research, and development activities for the company. He has published more than 275 scientific articles, books and abstracts in the areas of neuropharmacology, neurobiology, behavioral pharmacology,and neuroscience and serves on several editorial boards. He has also served on numerous NIH review committees, most recently the NIMH, NIAAA and NIDA National Cooperative Drug Discovery Group Program and the Clinical Trials and Translational Medicine Committee. For several years, Dr. Barrett was a member of the Scientific Advisory Board, New England Regional Primate Research Center, Harvard Medical School. He is Past President of the Behavioral Pharmacology Society and, recently, was elected president of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) for the 2005 term. He is currently Chair of the Board of Publication Trustees for ASPET and serves on the Board of Directors for the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB).