A licensed psychologist and a diplomate in clinical psychology from the American Board of Professional Psychology, Maisto is well respected as both an academic scholar and practicing clinician. After earning both a master's degree and Ph.D. in experimental psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1975, Maisto spent 10 years at Vanderbilt University doing post-graduate work in clinical psychology and as assistant professor and director of the university's Graduate Studies on Alcohol Dependence.
In 1985, Maisto was appointed associate professor in Brown University Medical School's Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior. While at Brown, he worked as a clinical psychologist in the alcohol dependence treatment program at the VA Medical Center and director of alcohol and drug treatment services at Butler Hospital, both in Providence; and assistant chief, psychology and clinical psychologist in the alcohol and dependence treatment program at the VA Medical Center in Brockton, Mass.
Maisto came to SU in 1994 to accept an appointment as professor of psychology and has served as interim department chair and director of clinical training. He also holds appointments at the Research Institute on Addictions in Buffalo, at the VA Center for Integrated Health Care for the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs VA Healthcare Network Upstate New York, and at SUNY Upstate Medical University. He is an affiliated faculty member at the Center for Continuing Care and Recovery Monitoring in the Addictions at the University of Pennsylvania.
Maisto has been an active member of more than 50 national advisory boards involved with substance abuse treatment and prevention and mental illness. He is currently a member of the Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center for the Department of Veterans Affairs. He has been a past-member of, or expert advisor to, panels convened by such agencies as the Veteran's Administration, the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine.
Maisto has also served on the editorial boards of a number of major professional journals, including "Clinical Psychology Review," the "Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse," and the "Journal of Studies on Alcohol." He is editor of "Psychology of Addictive Behaviors," a journal of the American Psychological Association.