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National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

In Memoriam: Dr. George Robert Siggins


The NIAAA shares the sad news that George Robert “G-Bob” Siggins, Ph.D., passed away on September 22, 2023. He was both a distinguished neuroscientist and a talented musician. Dr. Siggins retired in 2013 as professor emeritus at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in La Jolla, CA., which he joined in 1983. His research focus included the molecular and electrophysiological effects of neuropeptides, drugs of addiction, and neuropathology of the brain’s nerve cells, with a particular focus on alcohol’s effects. A key seminal contribution of Dr. Siggins was the demonstration that alcohol had specific cellular actions that could be linked to specific key neurocircuits to produce its effects on reward, withdrawal, and craving. He had worked from 1975 to 1984 as Associate Director of the A.V. Davis Center for Behavioral Neurobiology at the Salk Institute in La Jolla. Prior to that he served in the Laboratory of Neuropharmacology with the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) at Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, DC. He earned his Ph.D. at Boston University in 1967, after graduating from Harvard University in 1960. It was as a student in the Boston area that Dr. Siggins also began his music career. He co-founded the Charles River Valley Boys who were an American bluegrass group who toured and recorded in the 1960s and were best known for their 1966 album, Beatle Country. He also performed with leading figures such as folk legend Joan Baez, according to a profile in the Los Angeles Times. NIAAA Director Dr. George F. Koob said Dr. Siggins was an outstanding alcohol researcher, an accomplished musician, a remarkable man, a kind and supportive mentor, and a good friend. He will be missed.

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