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Department of Psychiatry

Department of Psychology


Picture of Dr. Christian Hopfer
        Christian J. Hopfer, MD

Email:  Dr. Hopfer

Recent Publications


Christian J. Hopfer, MD



Positions and Employment:

2006 -  Present  Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of Colorado School of Medicine

1999 - 2006 Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Colorado School of Medicine

1997 - 1999 Instructor of Psychiatry, University of Colorado School of Medicine


2006 -  Present  Elected to College on Problems of Drug Dependence

2002 - 2003 President, Colorado Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Society

Other Research and Professional Experience:

2000 - 2003 American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) Substance Abuse

2006 - 2010 American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) Substance Abuse, Committee

2009 - 2012 AACAP Program Committee

2010 - 2013 Developmental Psychobiology Research Group Executive Director



Co-Director, “Adolescent Substance Use Disorders and Comorbidity,” subspeciality clinic and clinical course of PGYIV child psychiatry residents, University of Colorado School of Medicine, 1999 –This course trains PGY-IV child psychiatry residents in the etiology, diagnosis, and management of adolescent substance use Disorders.

Presenter, “The Big Six Substance Problems in Primary Care Medicine,” 8001 elective course for medical students, University of Colorado School of Medicine, 1999 – Present. Lecture to 1-2, 4th year medical students on “Motivational Interviewing” approximately every 4 weeks.

Presenter, “Substance Dependence for Psychiatric Residents”, PGYII course for psychiatric residents, 1999 - Present.This course trains PGYII residents in the etiology, diagnosis, and management of substance abuse disorders. Annually present one or two lectures of “Motivational Interviewing.”

Clinical Attending 2007 - . Weekly supervision of PGY III integrated track child/adult resident during their rotation at the Addiction Research and Treatment Services.



Adult Psychiatric Director – Addiction Research and Treatment Services since 1997. Provides direct patient care to patients with comorbid drug dependence and other mental health disorders.



1R01DA021913     Hopfer (PI)     07/1/08-12/30/13

NIH/NIDA              $619,064

Genetics of Adolescent Antisocial Drug Dependence

This proposal continues a multi-site collaboration to conduct a prospective study to address critical issues in the genetic epidemiology of adolescent onset antisocial drug dependence. We will complete five year follow-up assessments, examine drug use and antisocial behavior trajectories and their predictors, and we will conduct genome wide association analyses of persistent adolescent-onset antisocial drug dependence.


2P60DA011015     Hewitt (PI)     05/01/09-02/28/14

NIH/NIDA              $2,210,188

Center on Antisocial Drug Dependence: The Genetics of HIV Risk Behaviors                                                                                                               

This Comprehensive P60 Center extends our study of antisocial drug dependence to encompass its implications for HIV/AIDS. Hewitt is the Center PI and Hopfer is the PI of component 1 and Co-I on component 2. The overall goal of the Center is to contribute to our understanding of the etiology of individual differences in behavioral disinhibition, the relationship of this to drug abuse and the development of dependence, and the role that these play in the propensity for risky behaviors that may result in STDs, including HIV/AIDS. This Center is conducting four component studies: 1) to identify specific genetic loci that influence behavioral disinhibition, we will conduct a genome-wide association study on an existing sample of 1000 adolescent cases and 1000 controls with Substance Dependence, Conduct Disorder, and HIV-related risk behaviors, and a newly ascertained sample of 600 adolescents recruited from adolescent substance abuse treatment programs and a control sample of 600 adolescents without serious substance or behavioral problems. 2) We will collect a third assessment in young adulthood on the clinical families and community family and twin samples participating in the Center, with detailed assessments of HIV risk behaviors. 3) We will conduct brain imaging studies to explore a neural basis for risky behaviors in disinhibited individuals, and explore the association of SNPs identified in component 1 with activation of brain regions of interest, and 4) we will conduct a series of pilot studies of innovative approaches to the genetics of HIV risk behaviors. These projects will be supported by cores providing: A) Administrative, Educational, and Ethics support; B) Data management, informatics, and biostatistics; C) Genotyping and molecular genetics. 


1R01DA021624-01A2     Olds (PI)     04/01/08-03/31/12                   NIH/NIDA                        $1,894,824

Age-17 Follow-up of Home Visiting Intervention                                                                                               

This study is a longitudinal follow-up of 670 primarily African American women and their 17-year-old first-born children enrolled since 1990 in an Randomized Clinical Trial of prenatal and infancy home visiting by nurses. It is designed to determine whether earlier program effects on maternal and child functioning lead to less violent antisocial behavior, psychopathology, substance abuse, and risk for HIV; whether these effects are greater for those at both genetic and environmental risk; and whether program effects replicate those found in an earlier trial with whites. Dr. Hopfer is a Co-I focused on assessment of adolescent substance use disorders and gene-environment interactions in the development of adolescent substance use and conduct disorders. 


2P01HD031921-11A1     Harris (PI)     03/01/97-12/31/10

NIH/NIHCD                  $25,773 (UCD Subcontract)

The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health

The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) is a longitudinal study of a

nationally representative sample of more than 20,000 adolescents in grades 7-12 in the United States in 1994-95 who have been followed through adolescence and the transition to adulthood with three in home interviews. The fourth follow-up interview with the Add Health cohort is being conducted in 2007-08 when survey respondents will be aged 24-32. A series of analytic subprojects represents an interdisciplinary research program entitled "Add Health Wave IV: Social, Behavioral, and Biological Linkages." 


5 T32 AA 007464-29     Hoffman (PI)     07/1/07-06/30/11                                          NIH/NIAAA                  $350,379

NIAAA Institutional Postdoctoral Training Grant: Behavioral Pharmacokinetics of Drug and Alcohol Abuse

The major goal of this project is to produce well-trained independent researchers in the area of alcohol effects, alcoholism, and drug abuse. Dr. Hopfer acts a preceptor for post-doctoral trainees.

5 T32 MH15442-27     Ross (PI)     07/1/78-06/30/11          

NIH/NIMH                  $391,032

Development of Maladaptive Behavior

This NIMH Training grant’s primary purpose is to train clinician-scientists in the area of the

development of maladaptive behavior. Dr. Hopfer is on the program faculty and acts as a preceptor for post-doctoral trainees.