Patrick Bordnick, PhD, MPH, LCSW


Elk Place, Room 322-A
Photo of Dr. Patrick Bordnick


Patrick Bordnick, PhD, MPH, LCSW envisions a world where people interact seamlessly with technology to improve health and behavioral health clinically to increase knowledge in teaching and research settings. He is a pioneer in the use of virtual reality and other disruptive technologies (e.g., tech that changes current methods) for substance abuse and behavioral disorders assessment and intervention and is continuing to examine ways this innovative technology can empower people to make long-term changes in their health and wellbeing.

Dr. Bordnick has over twenty years of experience in clinical and laboratory research on cocaine, marijuana, alcohol, amphetamine, heroin, and nicotine addiction, published over 50 peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals, and received $4.5 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health. From 2007-2016, he was the founding director of the Virtual Reality Clinical Research Lab (VRCRL) at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. This state-of-the-art facility uses the latest technology to study human behavior for the assessment and treatment of addictions along with eating and other behavioral health disorders. Today, he serves as the Dean of the Tulane University School of Social Work and continues his research there across disciplines. His goal for the school is to blend its mission, research, and programs with the community’s needs to create a better quality of life for New Orleanians and beyond.

In 2018, as part of the Not Impossible Awards, Dr. Bordnick was awarded the Vitality Award for Innovation in Healthcare sponsored by Blue Cross-Blue Shield. for VR-Project Δ (Delta) and VR-Qualis Est Vita (Quality of Life). VR-Project Δ will put patients into realistic virtual worlds using smartphone-based virtual reality and recreate situations that identify and trigger cravings akin to drug and alcohol addiction. This tool allows for individualized patient diagnostics and aids in treatment by teaching coping mechanisms to avoid relapse. The other application, VR-Qualis Est Vita, uses virtual reality to help people with autism develop interpersonal skills. Dr. Bordnick received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Madonna University (Livonia, Michigan), a Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Michigan, and his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia School of Social Work. Dr. Bordnick also holds a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of South Florida. He currently resides in New Orleans with his spouse, Dr. Allison Stock, and three daughters.

Find Dr. Bordnick with @bordnick on Instagram and Twitter.



Areas of Expertise

  • Clinical Social Work
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Research
  • Substance Use and Substance Use Treatment


  • PhD from the University of Georgia School of Social Work
  • MSW Clinical Social Work from the University of Michigan
  • MPH from the University of South Florida
  • BS in Psychology from Madonna University in Livonia Michigan

Highlights, Honors & Awards

Selected Publications


For more publications, see Dr. Bordnick's page on ResearchGate.

Selected News & Media

Community Involvement

  • Ursuline Academy Board of Trustees 
  • Vice-Chair Liberty’s Kitchen Board of Directors
  • Roots of Music Board of Directors