Senior Investigator, NIAAA , Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Nora Volkow, M.D.

Focus Area

Clinical Research; Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

Biographical Summary

Dr. Volkow became Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) at the National Institutes of Health in May 2003. In addition to her role in NIDA, she is the chief of LNI in NIAAA. Her work has been instrumental in demonstrating that drug addiction is a disease of the human brain. As a research psychiatrist and scientist, Dr. Volkow pioneered the use of brain imaging to investigate the toxic effects and addictive properties of abusable drugs. Her studies have documented changes in the dopamine system affecting, among others, the functions of frontal brain regions involved with motivation, drive, and pleasure in addiction. She has also made important contributions to the neurobiology of obesity, ADHD, and aging. Dr. Volkow has published more than 580 peer-reviewed articles and written more than 90 book chapters and non-peer reviewed manuscripts, and has also edited three books on neuroimaging for mental and addictive disorders.