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NIDA. (2002, October 1). Dr. Roger M. Brown: Drug Abuse Neuroscience Pioneer. Retrieved from

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October 01, 2002
Roger BrownDr. Roger M. Brown

Dr. Roger M. Brown, associate director for neuroscience in NIDA's Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Research and longtime member of the NIDA NOTES editorial board, passed away in June after a brief illness. Dr. Brown's career as a scientist and research program administrator included more than 22 years of service at NIDA in various senior positions that helped shape NIDA's basic science research agenda.

"Roger's leadership contributed greatly to establishing and advancing the role of neuroscience research in addressing the problems of drug abuse and addiction," said Dr. Glen R. Hanson, NIDA's acting director. "NIDA and the field of drug abuse research have lost a friend and a champion."

After earning a Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Chicago in 1972, Dr. Brown worked for 2 years with Dr. Arvid Carlsson, a 2000 Nobel Prize laureate, studying the relationship between behavior and changes in brain neurochemistry. Dr. Brown next joined the neuropsychology laboratory at the National Institute of Mental Health, where his research focused on mechanisms of brain changes involving a class of neurotransmitters that includes dopamine, which is involved in the regulation of mood and pleasure.

When Dr. Brown joined NIDA as a pharmacologist and program officer in 1979, he recognized the now widely accepted importance of the dopamine system in drug abuse and addiction. As chief of the Neuroscience Branch from 1983 to 2000, he fostered development of the large, successful research portfolio that provided the foundation for NIDA's prestigious neuroscience program. In 2001, the College on Problems of Drug Dependence recognized Dr. Brown with the J. Michael Morrison Award for excellence in scientific administration.