University of Vermont

College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Psychological Science

Richard (Rik) E. Musty

Richard Musty

Richard (Rik) E. Musty
Emeritus Professor

At UVM 1968-2006
  • B.A. Carleton College, 1964
  • M.A. McGill University, 1965
  • Ph.D. McGill University, 1968

Phone: (802) 865-0970
Cell: (802) 598-6538

"Rik's teaching philosophy has always been aimed at maximizing student achievement. He is a passionate teacher of psychology and has taught thousands of undergraduate students in his 37 years at UVM. We are all indebted to him for his outstanding academic leadership and service as the Chair of the Psychology Department for 12 years. He has been recognized internationally for his outstanding scholarship in the field of therapeutic cannabinoids drugs."

Professor Robert B. Lawson, Chair, Department of Psychology, University of Vermont
May, 2006

University of Vermont Career

  • Assistant Professor, 1968-72
  • Associate Professor, 1973-79
  • Professor, 1980-present
  • Acting Chair, 1974-75 and Chair, 1975-87

Key Scholarly Interests

Cannabis effects in humans, therapeutic effects of cannabinoid (chemicals similar to those in the cannabis plant)

Publication Highlights

Publications and presentations include over 80 concerning the effects of cannabinoids both in humans and animals and more than 20 on animal models of hyperactivity, alcohol use in humans and in behavioral neuroscience.

Teaching / Research / Memberships

  • Mentor for 31 Master's theses and doctoral dissertations and a committee member for an additional 20 theses and dissertations.
  • Supported numerous undergraduate College Honors theses and 2-3 independent study students in his lab almost every year.
  • Served on the Premedical-Predental Advisory Committee, Committee for the Experimental College (predecessor to Living and Learning Programs), The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee and chaired reviews of several departments.
  • Faculty advisor for two National Science Foundation Student-Originated Studies grants: the first on cannabinoids and the second on environmental enhancement for primates living at the Granby Zoo, Granby, Quebec.
  • Member of several national associations including the American Psychological Association and the Society for Neuroscience.

Other Professional Experience

  • Research Scientist, The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota, 1968
  • Visiting Professor, Departamento de Psicobiologia, Escola Paulista de Medicina, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 1973-74, 1975
  • Visiting Research Professor, Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology, University of Arizona, 1981
  • Sabbatical Leave Visiting Professor, Departamento de Bioquimica, Universidade Federal Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil, 1981
  • Sabbatical Leave, Visiting Professor, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirao Preto, Departamento de Neurologia, Psiquiatria e Psicologia Medica, 2004
  • Review member of National Science Foundation Undergraduate Equipment Grant Applications

Awards and Honors

  • Open Society Institute Individual Project Fellowship: Medical Uses of Marijuana
  • Special Award from the International Association for Cannabis as Medicine for outstanding work on Cannabis and the Cannabinoids, 2005
  • Founding Member of the International Cannabinoid Research Society (which has held a research meeting very year), served as Treasurer and is currently Executive Director

Community Service

  • Director of a project named Giant Step, which moved over 30 individuals with developmental disabilities from Waterbury State Hospital to community living and work
  • City Council Member of Burlington, Vermont, 1983-87

Official Retirement Citation (2006)

Rik, you arrived at the University of Vermont in 1968 after receiving your doctoral degree from McGill University. You have served the university as an exceptional teacher, scholar and colleague, for 37 years. You have been a mentor to numerous graduate students, supported numerous undergraduate College Honors theses, and have had a continuous stream of independent study and graduate students working in your lab.

You were chair of the psychology department for 12 years (1975 to 1987), the longest term as chair of the department. We are all indebted to you for your outstanding academic leadership.

You were director of a project from the Vermont Department of Mental Health, which moved over 30 individuals with developmental disabilities from Waterbury State Hospital to community living and work from 1978 to 1984 and served as a City Council Member of Burlington from 1983 to 1987.

Author of nearly 100 scholarly publications, you have accomplished outstanding work in cannabinoids for therapeutic applications, which contributed to the development of two new drugs, one for neuropathic pain and one for weight loss in obesity.

You received an Open Society Institute Project Fellowship on the medical uses of marijuana. You were an expert panelist on the Institute of Medicine's report to the President on marijuana as medicine in 1998, and last year received a special award from the International Association for Cannabis as Medicine for your outstanding work in this field. You are founding member of the International Cannabinoid Research Society, which has made astonishing breakthroughs in cannabinoid science since1992, and are presently the society's executive director.

Your retirement will be one of great activity. Your plans are to continue research on the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids for the potential treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. We wish you the very best.

Acting Chair
Clinical Training Program Director
General/Experimental Program Acting Director
Undergraduate Director
Business Manager
Behavioral Pharmacology
Joint Appointment
Behavior Therapy and Psychotherapy Faculty
Clinical Psychology Internship Program (CPIP)
Post-Doctoral Fellows
Emeriti Faculty
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