MS in Clinical Psychopharmacology Program Faculty/Staff


Michael A. Ansonoff, Ph.D.

Dr. Ansonoff received his Ph.D. from the Sue Golding Graduate program at Albert Einstein Medical School of Yeshiva University (Neuroscience Program) following training in the laboratory of Dr. Anne Etgen on cellular and behavioral mechanisms by which ovarian steroids regulate brain function. His research involved investigating the regulatory mechanisms by which ovarian steroids desensitize adrenergic receptors in the female rodent. He then completed a 5-year post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey studying the behavioral and pharmacological consequences of opioid receptor gene ablation in mice. Presently, he is still at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, however, his research interests have shifted towards examining the consequences of the knockout of the nociceptin receptor and its endogenous ligand on food consumption and obesity. In addition, he has developed a keen interest in science education leading him to complete a M.A. in education at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Anne R. Farrar-Anton, Ph.D., MSCP

Dr. Anne Farrar-Anton is a licensed psychologist in New Jersey and New York. Dr. Farrar-Anton earned her master's in Counseling and her doctorate degree in Counseling Psychology from Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ. Dr. Farrar-Anton completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship in pediatric neuropsychology at the Institute for Child Development at Hackensack University Medical Center. Dr. Farrar-Anton completed a Post-Doctoral Master's of Science in Clinical Psychopharmacology (MSCP, 2009) from Fairleigh Dickinson University along with the Certificate Program in Integrated Primary Care (2011) in order to better understand psychotropic medications as well as how to collaborate/integrate psychology within a medical setting. Dr. Farrar-Anton is able to utilize her knowledge on psychotropic medications to better understand her patient's symptoms and be able to collaborate with the physicians prescribing these various medications.

Dr. Farrar-Anton currently serves as the Director of the Post-Doctoral Masters in Clinical Psychopharmacology Program at Fairleigh Dickinson University, which is 1 of the 4 programs designated by the American Psychological Association in the country, which trains licensed psychologists to be able to prescribe psychotropic medications. In addition, to her role as Director, she also services as an adjunct professor for the School of Psychology and the School of Education as well as a testing/therapy supervisor at the Center for Psychological Services. Dr. Farrar-Anton teaches the Professional Development and Ethics course (PSYC 7935) for the MSCP program along with the Psychopharmacology courses for the Clinical Ph.D. Program and the School/Clinical Psy.D. Program.

She has been with Hackensack University Medical Center for the past 18 years in various capacities and is currently on Medical Staff within the Department of Psychiatry and Pediatrics. She began working at the Institute for Child Development and was there for 5.5 years prior to transitioning to the Children's Cancer Institute where she has worked for the past 13 years; she has been working with the patients and their families who have been diagnosed with various types of cancer, blood disorders, or those requiring a bone marrow transplant. She currently serves as the Supervisor of the Psychological and Educational services; she conducts comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations, psychotherapy and crisis counseling with children and families, supervises and trains doctoral students, and has an active research agenda. Her primary goal is to assist the children and families suffering from various life-threatening medical illnesses to find adaptive ways to cope with the stressors that are presented to them and utilizes a biopsychosocial orientation. The focus can be anywhere on the spectrum from adjusting to diagnosis, survivorship issues and late effects of treatment, palliation, to end-of-life issues.

Dr. Farrar-Anton established a small private practice in 2010 in Bergen County and provides both psychological and neuropsychological services with weekend hours. She has been involved in numerous leadership positions at the county, state, and national level as well as is involved with national psychological and neuropsychological organizations. In July 2015, Dr. Farrar-Anton was appointed by the Governor to serve on the New Jersey Board of Psychological Examiners, which is the state licensing board. She is currently serving as Secretary of the New Jersey Neuropsychological Society. In addition, Dr. Farrar-Anton has been involved in the New Jersey Psychological Association in numerous capacities including previously completing serving several terms as a Member of the Executive Board. She is also an author of several journal publications and a book chapter. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her therapy and agility dog, learning ballroom dancing, and reading.

Laura G. Leahy, MSN, APRN, PMH-CNS/FNP, BC

Ms. Leahy received her B.S. in Psychology & Human Development from Duke University in 1987 and her B.S.N. (1989) and M.S.N. (1991) in Child and Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing from the University of Pennsylvania. She is presently working on her DrNP at Drexel University and has completed all but her dissertation. Ms. Leahy has also been certified as a Master Psychopharmacologist through Stephen Stahl's Neuroscience Educational Institute. Laura has taught Advanced Psychopharmacology across the Lifespan at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Nursing for the past ten years. She was also involved as a clinical instructor for the inaugural Post-Doctoral Psychopharmacology Program at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Presently, Ms. Leahy maintains a private outpatient practice, specializing in treatment-resistant symptoms and psychopharmacology. She has been prescribing and providing psychotherapy services as a Family Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner for over 23 years. She was the co-founder of Center for Family Guidance, the largest privately held psychiatric mental health organization in New Jersey.

Ms. Leahy recently (May 2013) published The Manual of Clinical Psychopharmacology for Nurses through the American Psychiatric Association and had previously published Pocket Psych Drugs (2010) through F. A. Davis. She presents extensively on the local, state and national levels on various topics related to psychopharmacology, pharmacogenetics, child & adolescent psychiatric disorders & pharmacological treatments as well as women's mental health, among other areas of psychiatry and mental health

Bret A. Moore, Psy.D., ABPP

Bret A. Moore is a board certified clinical psychologist in San Antonio, Texas, Prescribing Psychologist in New Mexico, and Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He is the author or editor of ten books including Pharmacotherapy for Psychologists: Prescribing and Collaborative Roles, Handbook of Clinical Psychopharmacology for Psychologists and Anxiety Disorders: A Guide for Integrating Psychopharmacology and Psychotherapy, which he co-edited with Stephen Stahl. He is also the series editor of Psychopharmacology and Psychotherapy in Clinical Practice for Routledge/Taylor & Francis Press.

Dr. Moore is a former active-duty Army psychologist and two-tour veteran of Iraq. He is a recipient of the Arthur W. Melton Award for Early Career Achievement in Military Psychology from Division 19 of the American Psychological Association and the Early Career Achievement Award from Division 18, and is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association. His views and opinions on clinical and military psychology have been quoted in USA Today, the New York Times, and the Boston Globe, and on NPR, the BBC, CNN, CBS News, Fox News and the CBC.

Merrill A. Norton, Pharm. D., D.Ph., ICCDP-D

Dr. Norton is a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy with his specialty areas to include psychopharmacology and addiction pharmacy. He has also been a faculty member of the Fairleigh-Dickinson University Postdoctoral Training Program in the Masters of Psychopharmacology, Alliant International University of San Francisco College of Psychology, University of Georgia School of Continuing Education, and Berry College in the areas of Psychopharmacology and Addiction Pharmacy. His area of specialty in addiction pharmacy is the management of chronic pain in the addicted patient.

Dr. Merrill Norton was recently honored by the Georgia Addiction Counselors Association in receiving the prestigious Distinguished Service Award for 2015. The award is bestowed on individuals for recognition of their long term support and commitment to the treatment and welfare of those affected by alcohol and drug addiction in Georgia and nationally. Dr. Norton’s efforts of educating thousands of behavioral health practitioners nationally to the disease states of substance use disorders and his dedication to the early prevention and intervention of addictive disease in Georgia’s families makes him a person uniquely qualified for this award. Also, Dr. Norton was the 2009 recipient of the Georgia School of Addiction Studies (GSAS) Excellence in Addiction Treatment Individual Achievement Award “for his unselfish dedication to the treatment of addicted families, not only in the state of Georgia, but nationally.” Dr. Norton was recognized by the GSAS Board of Directors for the ongoing development of undergraduate and graduate curriculum and drug research in the area of addiction pharmacy.

His book, The Pharmacology of Psychoactive Chemical Use, Abuse, and Dependence, and his DVD series, “The Hijacking of the Brain” have been used to train thousands of mental health professionals nationally; they have become the standards of teaching excellence in the addiction treatment profession. His new book, The Pharmacology of Substance Use Disorders will be released in 2016.