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Foundations and Innovations in the Neuroscience of Addiction

Dear Colleagues:

It is my privilege to welcome you on behalf of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to this landmark conference to remember and honor the accomplishments of one of NIDA's esteemed colleagues, Dr. Roger M. Brown, Associate Director of Neuroscience and Behavioral Research.

Although Dr. Brown passed away on June 13, 2002 his neuroscience achievements live on. This symposium, "Foundations and Innovations in the Neuroscience of Addiction" and the topics to be discussed over the next two days allude to some of the exciting research programs that Roger helped foster in his more than two decades at NIDA. As a pharmacist and a research neuropharmacologist, Roger's scientific interests were diverse and wide-ranging, as reflected in this program agenda. Topics ranging from the neurotoxicity engendered by drugs of abuse, to cognitive and integrative neuroscience, to the study of mechanisms underlying pain, and the concepts of reward, both natural and drug-induced, as well as Roger's commitment to the development of the dopamine hypothesis of addiction, are all important and long-standing areas of interest that NIDA continues to support.

I am especially honored to welcome the prominent scientists, who will be sharing the latest findings in neuroscience of addiction research with us, many of whom have been supported by NIDA and have emerged as leaders in their respective areas. The opportunity to host Nobel Laureate, Dr. Arvid Carlsson, with whom Roger studied, as a keynote presenter, as well as Dr. Patricia S. Goldman-Rakic, among others, attests to the enormous strides that have been made in understanding the mechanisms that underlie addiction, while also showcasing how seemingly unrelated fields of research can come together and yield substantial advances in scientific understanding.

Despite tremendous scientific progress, much work remains to be accomplished. It is only through the innovative thinking and dedication of our researchers and program staff that we will continue to build upon the momentum that has been growing in the neuroscience arena to answer the new questions that continue to arise and to explore the new mysteries about the brain. This symposium also serves as a reminder as to what can be accomplished when we make a commitment to nurture and mentor young scientists--even more innovations can occur that will advance our understanding of the brain and thus reduce the burden of drug abuse and addiction.

In memory of our colleague, Roger Brown, and for all that he and others like him have accomplished and will continue to unveil, I welcome you.


Nora D. Volkow, M.D.

Nora D. Volkow, M.D.

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