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National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

Dr. Sandra Brown to Deliver Virtual 2020 Jack Mendelson Honorary Lecture

News Release

NIAAA grantee will discuss alcohol’s effects on adolescent development

image of dr. sandra brown
Dr. Sandra Brown

What: The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health, announces that Sandra A. Brown, Ph.D., will deliver a virtual presentation of the 2020 Jack Mendelson Honorary Lecture. The title of her presentation is “Discerning Risks and Effects of Alcohol in the Midst of Adolescent Development.” Immediately following her presentation, Dr. Brown will participate in a Q&A session.

Who: Sandra A. Brown, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized scientist whose research has substantially increased our understanding of how alcohol and other substances impact adolescent development and how the impact of alcohol and other substances contribute to outcomes that persist into adulthood. Her pioneering research has yielded important information on the neurocognitive consequences and developmental trajectories associated with adolescent substance use and their implications for prevention and treatment.

Dr. Brown currently serves as Vice Chancellor for Research and Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of California San Diego, where she has played major roles in establishing and spearheading two major nationwide research consortia that are investigating the neurobiological and behavioral changes that occur during adolescence and into emerging adulthood. Since 2012, Dr. Brown has co-directed the NIAAA-supported National Consortium on Alcohol and Neurodevelopment in Adolescence (NCANDA), a longitudinal study investigating the effects of alcohol use on brain and behavioral development in over 800 adolescents ages 12-21. Since its launch in 2015, she has served as Co-Principal Investigator of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study which is the largest long-term study of brain development and child health in the United States. Supported by NIDA, NIAAA, NCI, and other NIH Institutes/Offices and federal partners, the ABCD study is tracking the biological and behavioral development of about 12,000, 9-10 year-olds into early adulthood to increase our understanding of the many factors that can enhance or disrupt a young person’s life trajectory.

When: Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at 1:30 p.m.

Where: NIH Videocast –

Background: NIAAA established the lecture series as a tribute to Dr. Jack Mendelson, who made remarkable contributions to the field of clinical alcohol research. Each year, the series features a lecture by an outstanding alcohol investigator whose clinical research makes a substantial contribution toward increasing our understanding of the effects of alcohol on health and well-being, and improving the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of alcohol-related problems.

For additional information about the lecture series see:….

The Mendelson Honorary Lecture videocast will include closed captioning. Individuals with disabilities who need additional reasonable accommodations to view this event should contact Joanna Mayo, 301-443-3860, or visit For TTY callers, please call the above number through the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339.

About the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA):
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health, is the primary U.S. agency for conducting and supporting research on the causes, consequences, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of alcohol use disorder. NIAAA also disseminates research findings to general, professional, and academic audiences. Additional alcohol research information and publications are available at

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH):
NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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