Dana Alliance member Nora Volkow, M.D., director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, has been nominated for a Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal for her work on addiction. According to the program’s website, “This medal recognizes a federal employee for a significant contribution to the nation in activities related to science and environment.”
The Washington Post reports:
Volkow’s work has shown that sustained drug use can result in lasting physical changes to the structure of the brain. Other researchers have praised her for helping to establish addiction as a topic worthy of rigorous scientific study, elevating drug use above the realm of emotions and moral judgments and onto the more tranquil plane of data and objectivity.
The winners of the Heyman medal will be announced in October.
Over the years, Volkow has contributed to a number of Dana Foundation publications, including a 2010 Cerebrum piece she wrote about the biggest advances, greatest disappointments, and missed opportunities of brain research in the last decade. Six other directors of brain-related NIH institutes also gave their thoughts in separate commentary.
– Ann L. Whitman