Mikhail Koffarnus

Mikhail Koffarnus, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine

Research Assistant Professor, Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC


Office phone: 540-526-2107

Office location: R2115

Email address: mickyk@vtc.vt.edu

Dr. Koffarnus's research focuses on understanding drug abuse and developing drug abuse treatments from behavioral economic and pharmacological perspectives. Decision-making processes are often disrupted in drug users, leading to a systematic preference for immediately available rewards like drugs over delayed rewards like improved health or gainful employment. One of the areas he studies involves how these impulsive versus self-controlled choices are involved in drug abuse and whether modifying these decision-making patterns can improve drug abuse treatment prospects. Additionally, he is interested in these same decision-making patterns that underlie other problematic health behavior such as overeating.

Education and Training

  • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine: Postdoctoral fellowship , Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit
  • University of Michigan: Ph.D. , Biopsychology

Previous Positions

  • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Postdoctoral fellow

Selected Publications

Koffarnus MK, Johnson MW, Thompson-Lake DGY, Wesley MJ, Lohrenz T, Montague PR, Bickel WK. (2016). Cocaine-Dependent Adults and Recreational Cocaine Users Are More Likely Than Controls to Choose Immediate Unsafe Sex Over Delayed Safer Sex. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology 24(4): 297-304. doi: 10.1037/pha0000080.

Wesley MJ, Lohrenz T, Koffarnus MN, McClure SM, De La Garza R 2nd, Salas R, Thompson-Lake DG, Newton TF, Bickel WK, Montague PR. (2014). Choosing Money over Drugs: The Neural Underpinnings of Difficult Choice in Chronic Cocaine Users. Journal of Addiction 2014: 189853. doi: 10.1155/2014/189853.

Koffarnus MN, Bickel WK. (2014). A 5-Trial Adjusting delay discounting task: accurate discount rates in less than one minute. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology 22(3): 222-8.