The Research Institute on Addictions (RIA) was established in 1970 as a research component of the New York State Department of Mental Hygiene. After three decades of serving as a research component of New York State agencies concerned with alcohol and substance abuse, RIA was legislatively transferred to the University at Buffalo in 1999. Today, RIA's cadre of senior research scientists are engaged individually and collaboratively on a multitude of addictions-related studies. The majority of the Institute's ongoing research studies relate to one or more of the following seven broad research domains: causes and consequences of alcohol, marijuana and other drug use; biological and neuroscience; gambling behavior; gender-related studies; dissemination and professional training; treatment; and youth, families and relationships. In this paper, an overview of the structure of the Institute is provided, along with a description of the organizational and scientific culture at RIA. Further information about the Institute, its scientists and its activities can be found at http://www.ria.buffalo.edu.