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NIDA. (2009, December 15). NIDA Director Honored By French Government With Top Science Award For Addiction Research. Retrieved from

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International Inserm Award to be given in Paris December 17th

December 15, 2009

Dr. Nora D. Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, has been awarded the International Prize from the French Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm) for her pioneering work in brain imaging and addiction science. Dr. Volkow will receive the award at a Dec. 17 ceremony at the College of France learning center in Paris.

Inserm, a government-supported biomedical research organization, is the French equivalent of the National Institutes of Health. Each year, it honors researchers for their contributions to basic and clinical research that enhance public health. Dr. Volkow's selection acknowledges her innovative imaging research showing drug addiction to be a disease of the brain that usurps the reward circuitry and leads to compulsive behaviors.

"I'm deeply honored to receive the Inserm award and gratified that the innovative tools available to addiction scientists are allowing us to literally see the effects of drug abuse and addiction on the brain," said Dr. Volkow. "What we uncover will inform more targeted and thus more effective strategies to help prevent and treat this devastating disease."

A research psychiatrist and scientist, Dr. Volkow is considered one of the world's leading specialists in the mechanisms underlying drug abuse and addiction. As NIDA's director since 2003, she leads an organization supporting most of the world's research on drug abuse and its associated health consequences.

Along with Dr. Volkow, there were six other 2009 Inserm award winners all of France.