The 2018-19 Samuel Rudin Distinguished Visiting Professorship Lecture

Nora Volkow, MD
Nora Volkow, MD

“How Can Science Help Solve the Opioid Crisis?”


Nora Volkow, MD


National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

National Institutes of Health


Tuesday, June 4, 2019

4:30 p.m.

Alumni Auditorium

William Black Building

650 W. 168th Street, First Floor

Reception to follow


Dr. Nora D. Volkow is the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) at the National Institutes of Health. NIDA supports most of the world’s research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction. Dr. Volkow’s work has been instrumental in demonstrating that drug addiction is a disease of the human brain. As a research psychiatrist and scientist, she pioneered the use of brain imaging to investigate the toxic effects and addictive properties of abusable drugs. Her studies have documented changes in the dopamine system affecting, among others, the functions of frontal brain regions involved with motivation, drive, and pleasure in addiction. She also has made important contributions to the neurobiology of obesity, ADHD, and aging.

Dr. Volkow was born in Mexico, earned a BA at the Modern American School and her MD from the National University of Mexico in Mexico City, where she received the Robins award for best medical student of her generation. During her psychiatric residency at New York University, she earned the Laughlin Fellowship Award as one of the 10 Outstanding Psychiatric Residents in the USA.

Dr. Volkow spent most of her professional career at the Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York, where she held several leadership positions including director of nuclear medicine, chair of the medical department, and associate director for life sciences. In addition, Dr. Volkow was a professor in the psychiatry department and associate dean of the Medical School at the State University of New York-Stony Brook.

Dr. Volkow has published more than 600 peer-reviewed articles, written more than 90 book chapters and non-peer reviewed manuscripts, and edited three books on neuroimaging for mental and addictive disorders.

Throughout her career, Dr. Volkow has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards including the International Prize from the French Institute of Health and Medical Research for her pioneering work in brain imaging and addiction science, the Bowle’s Award, and the Carnegie Prize in Mind and Brain Science. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and has received seven honorary degrees. She has been named one of Time Magazine’s “Top 100 People Who Shape Our World” and was included as one of the 20 people to watch by Newsweek magazine in its “Who’s Next in 2007” feature. She was named in Fortune Magazine’s “34 Leaders Who Are Changing Healthcare” in 2017. She was also included in Washingtonian Magazine’s 2007, 2015, and 2017 lists of the “100 Most Powerful Women” and named “Innovator of the Year” by U.S. News & World Report in 2000.


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