A practitioner and scholar

The College of Social Work has announced a new Distinguished Endowed Chair in Research.  The prestigious endowed chair title recognizes academic excellence and enables the University of Utah to attract and retain outstanding faculty who have distinguished themselves in their field.

Eric Garland, associate dean for research at the College of Social Work and associate director of integrative medicine at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, is the first person to be appointed to this new chair position.

“Dr. Garland’s dedication to quality research and a high level of productivity, his exceptional success with grant awards and his presence on the national research stage merit this high level of recognition,” said Martell Teasley, dean of the College of Social Work. “His scholarly work continues to set a pioneering trail, and reflects greatly on the college and the U as a top-tier research institution.”

Garland, who joined the U’s social work faculty in 2013, is also the director of the U’s Center on Mindfulness and Integrative Health Intervention Development (C-MIIND). He has 150 publications to his name—including a treatment manual for Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE), an innovative mind-body therapy he developed to simultaneously address addiction, pain and stress.

He has been the principal investigator or co-investigator on nearly $50 million in grant-funded research, as he continues to conduct clinical trials of MORE and other behavioral therapies as treatments for opioid misuse and chronic pain. His expertise in the neuroscience and treatment of opioid misuse led to his appointment to a 16-person National Institutes of Health multidisciplinary working group focused on addressing the national chronic pain and opioid crisis.

Selected for his accomplishments as a scholar and practitioner, and nationally recognized for his achievement and advancement of social good in the field of social work, Garland was inducted as a fellow to the American Academy of Social Work & Social Welfare earlier this year. He is also a fellow with the Society for Social Work and Research and the Mind and Life Institute.