August 1, 2011
NIDA Director, Dr. Nora D. Volkow


It is with extreme sadness that I share with you the news of Dr. Joseph V. Brady's death. He was a most distinguished scientist whose leadership and accomplishments influenced numerous fields. As Director of the Space Research Laboratory at the University of Maryland and later working with NASA he made seminal contributions to the nation's Space Program. After retiring from the Army, he established an innovative and highly successful research program in behavioral pharmacology and physiology, behavioral medicine, and drug abuse treatment at Johns Hopkins University. The pioneering work that he began at this stage became the foundation upon which much of modern drug abuse research has been developed. Dr. Brady has contributed to the NIDA mission for over half a century, ever since receiving his first NIDA grant to establish a Psychoparmacology lab at the University of Maryland in the 1950's.

Dr. Joseph V. Brady

But he embodied so much more than a stellar career: Foreshadowing a remarkable knack for nurturing young people, his first graduate student in that lab, Bob Schuster, would later become NIDA Director. Indeed, if there is one defining feature in Joe's life trajectory it is his prodigious fertility as a loving and inspirational mentor, evidence of which lives today in four generations of researchers who were lucky enough to be trained by him or by one of his mentees.

Joe was larger than life; we will sorely miss his vision, his intelligence and his warmth. Our condolences go out to his family and to his forever growing circle of grateful students.

For additional information and memories of Joe, please see the Institute for Behavioral Resources (IBR) website: IBR is a non-profit organization founded by Joe to enhance the understanding of behavior and apply behavioral principles to the solution of human problems.


Nora D. Volkow, M.D.