Heather M. Gray, PhD is Director of Academic Affairs at the Division on Addiction, Cambridge Health Alliance, a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital and an Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She received her PhD in social psychology from Harvard University in 2006 and completed a post-doctoral fellowship with the Boston University Health and Disability Research Institute.

Dr. Gray joined the Division during 2008. She has collaborated with her Division colleagues to study the development of, and recovery from, addictive disorders. In particular, she has studied how social networks and personal identities relate to alcohol and other drug use behavior. She has completed program evaluation to document how people change their lives after completing substance use disorder and wellness interventions. In collaboration with Internet and land-based gambling operators in the United States and internationally, Dr. Gray has studied how people gamble and respond to interventions designed to promote responsible gambling.

In her role as Director of Academic Affairs at the Division, Dr. Gray serves as Course Director of our annual live course, Addiction Medicine: A Case-based Approach. She also serves as Course Director for a Harvard Medical School online Continuing Medical Education (CME) course, Gambling Disorder in Your Practice: Information and Resources. This course aims to provide non-specialists with tools for assessing and responding to gambling disorders among their patients. Dr. Gray serves as the Senior Editor of The BASIS (The Brief Addiction Science Information Source). She encourages others to help advance the Division’s mission by coordinating the Division’s Undergraduate Summer Mentorship and Visiting Scholars programs, which bring undergraduate students and researchers to the Division to become partners in our ongoing research projects.

Current Projects

Lead Investigator: Addiction Treatment Center of New England Evaluation

Principal Investigator: Building Cultures of Recovery in Tribal Nations (NARCH X)

Principal Investigator: Dissemination, Training, & Strategic Consulting for Responsible Online Gaming & Gambling Activities

Principal Investigator: Evaluating and Enhancing GameSense: Public Health, Social Science, and Business Perspective

Lead Investigator: Expanding Peer to Peer Opportunities

Principal Investigator: Responsible Drinking Extension

Project Director: Statewide Capacity Building & Technical Assistance for Problem Gambling Treatment Services

Selected Publications


Gray, H. M., Louderback, E. R., LaPlante, D. A., Abarbanel, B., & Bernhard, B. J. (2021). Gamblers’ beliefs about responsibility for minimizing gambling harm: Associations with problem gambling screening and gambling involvement. Addictive Behaviors, 114. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2020.106660

Gray, H. M., Louderback, E. R., LaPlante, D. A., Abarbanel, B., Kraus, S. W., & Bernhard, B. J. (2021).Who holds a shared responsibility view of minimizing gambling harm? Results from a multiwave survey of casino gamblers. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors (ahead of print). https://doi.org/10.1037/adb0000767

Gray, H. M., Wiley, R. C., Williams, P. M., & Shaffer, H. J. (2021). A scoping review of “responsible drinking” interventions. Health Communication, 36(2), 236-256. https://doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2020.1733226

Gray, H. M., Wiley, R. C., Williams, P. M., & Shaffer, H. J. (2021). Understanding responsible drinking is in the service of evidence-based public health: A response to Petticrew et al. (2020). Health Communication, 36(2), 260-262. https://doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2020.1827542

LaPlante, D. A., Whelshula, M., Gray, H. M., & Nelson, S. E. (2021). Understanding American Indian youth in residential recovery from substance use disorder: Risk and protective experiences and perceived recovery support. American Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health Research, 28(1), 39–70. https://doi.org/10.5820/aian.2801.2021.39

Louderback, E. R., Gray, H. M., LaPlante, D. A., Abarbanel, B., & Bernhard, B. J. (2021). A comparison of two GameSense implementation approaches: How program awareness and engagement relate to gambling beliefs and behaviors. Journal of Gambling Studies (ahead of print). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10899-021-10013-6

Whelshula, M. M., LaPlante, D. A., Nelson, S. E., & Gray, H. M. (2021). Recommendations for improving adolescent addiction recovery support in six northwest tribal communities. Journal of Community Psychology, 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1002/jcop.22665


Abarbanel, B., Kraus, S., Huang, Q., Gray, H. M., Louderback, E. R., LaPlante, D. A., & Bernhard, B. J. (2020). Association between employee department and responsible gambling program perceptions: Extension and follow-up study. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights. https://doi.org/10.1108/JHTI-07-2020-0116

Edson, T. C., Gray, H. M., Nelson, S. E., & LaPlante, D. A. (2020). Prevalence and correlates of self-harm among a sample of repeat DUI offenders. Addiction Research & Theory, 28(3), 231-239. https://doi.org/10.1080/16066359.2019.1622685

Gray, H. M., Edson, T. C., Nelson, S. E., Grossman, A. B., & LaPlante, D. A. (2020). Association between gambling and self-harm: A scoping review. Addiction Research & Theory. https://doi.org/10.1080/16066359.2020.1784881

Gray, H. M., Juviler, J., & LaPlante, D. A. (2020). Gambling industry employees’ experiences with an onsite responsible gambling program. Journal of Gambling Studies. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10899-020-09969-8

Gray, H. M., Keating, L., Shaffer, H. J., & LaPlante, D. A. (2020). Observations of the first GameSense-branded responsible gambling centre in a US casino. Health Education Journal, 79(1), 104-120. https://doi.org/10.1177/0017896919863121

Shaffer, H. J., Gray, H. M., Nelson, S. E., & LaPlante, D. A. (2020). Technology, the Internet, and gambling: How the medium can facilitate addiction, adaptation, and intervention. In M. N. Potenza, K. Faust, & D. Faust (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Digital Technologies and Mental Health: Second edition (Second ed., Vol. 1, pp. 135-142). Waltham, MA: Academic Press.


Abarbanel, B., Gray, H. M., LaPlante, D. A., & Bernhard, B. J. (2019). Association between employee department and responsible gambling program perceptions. International Gambling Studies, 19(3), 471-488. https://doi.org/10.1080/14459795.2019.1615528

Gray, H. M., LaPlante, D. A., Abarbanel, B., & Bernhard, B. J. (2019). Gamblers’ perceptions of stakeholder responsibility for minimizing gambling harm. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-019-0056-4

LaPlante, D. A., Gray, H. M., & Nelson, S. E. (2019). Should we do away with responsible gambling? Perspectives from research scientists. In H. J. Shaffer, A. Blaszczynski, R. Ladouceur, P. Collins, & D. Fong (Eds.), Responsible gambling: Primary stakeholder perspectives (pp. 35–57). Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/med-psych/9780190074562.003.0002

Nelson, S. E., Edson, T. C., Singh, P., Tom, M., Martin, R. J., LaPlante, D. A., Gray, H. M., & Shaffer, H. J. (2019). Patterns of daily fantasy sport play: Tackling the issues. Journal of Gambling Studies, 35(1), 181-204. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10899-018-09817-w


LaPlante, D. A., Gray, H. M., Williams, P. M., & Nelson, S. E. (2018). An empirical review of gambling expansion and gambling-related harm. SUCHT, 64, 295-306. https://doi.org/10.1024/0939-5911/a000563

Nelson, S. E., LaPlante, D. A., Gray, H. M., Tom, M. A., Kleschinsky, J. H., & Shaffer, H. J. (2018). Already at the table: Patterns of play and gambling involvement prior to gambling expansion. Journal of Gambling Studies, 34(1), 275–295. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10899-017-9711-5


Gray, H. M., Nelson, S. E., Shaffer, H. J., Stebbins, P., & Farina, A. R. (2017). How do homeless adults change their lives after completing an intensive job-skills program? A prospective study. Journal of Community Psychology, 45(7), 888-905. https://doi.org/10.1002/jcop.21900


Gray, H. M., Shaffer, P. M., Nelson, S. E., & Shaffer, H. J. (2016). Changing social networks among homeless individuals: A prospective evaluation of a job- and life-skills training program. Community Mental Health Journal, 52(7), 799–808. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10597-014-9817-5


Gray, H. M., Jónsson, G. K., LaPlante, D. A., & Shaffer, H. J. (2015). Expanding the study of internet gambling behavior: trends within the Icelandic lottery and sportsbetting platform. Journal of Gambling Studies, 31(2), 483–499. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10899-013-9427-0

Gray, H. M., Tom, M. A., LaPlante, D. A., & Shaffer, H. J. (2015). Using opinions and knowledge to identify natural groups of gambling employees. Journal of Gambling Studies, 31(4), 1753–1766. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10899-014-9490-1


LaPlante, D. A., Nelson, S. E., & Gray, H. M. (2014). Breadth and depth involvement: Understanding Internet gambling involvement and its relationship to gambling problems. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 28(2), 396-403. doi:10.1037/a0033810

Planzer, S., Gray, H. M., & Shaffer, H. J. (2014). Associations between national gambling policies and disordered gambling prevalence rates within Europe. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 37(2), 217-229. doi:10.1016/j.ijlp.2013.11.002


Gray, H. M., LaPlante, D. A., & Shaffer, H. J. (2012). Behavioral characteristics of Internet gamblers who trigger corporate responsible gambling interventions. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 26(3), 527-535. doi:10.1037/a0028545

LaPlante, D. A., Gray, H. M., LaBrie, R. A., Kleschinsky, J. H., & Shaffer, H. J. (2012).Gaming industry employees’ responses to responsible gambling training: A public health imperative. Journal of Gambling Studies, 28(2), 171-191. doi:10.1007/s10899-011-9255-z

Nelson, S. E., Gray, H. M., Maurice, I. R., & Shaffer, H. J. (2012). Moving ahead: Evaluation of a work-skills training program for homeless adults. Community Mental Health Journal, 48(6), 711-722. doi:10.1007/s10597-012-9490-5


Gray, H. M., LaPlante, D. A., Bannon, B. L., Ambady, N., & Shaffer, H. J. (2011). Development and validation of the Alcohol Identity Implicit Associations Test (AI-IAT). Addictive Behaviors, 36(9), 919-926. doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2011.05.003


Gray, H. M., & Tickle-Degnen, L. (2010). A meta-analysis of performance on emotion recognition tasks in Parkinson’s disease. Neuropsychology, 24(2), 176-191. doi:10.1037/a0018104

LaPlante D. A., Gray, H. M., Bosworth, L., & Shaffer, H. J. (2010). Thirty years of lottery public health research: methodological strategies and trends. Journal of Gambling Studies, 26(2), 301-329. doi:10.1007/s10899-010-9185-1