Skip to main content

News & Events

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

Marlene Oscar Berman to deliver 8th Annual Jack Mendelson Honorary Lecture at the National Institutes of Health

News Release

What: The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health, announces that Marlene Oscar Berman, Ph.D. will deliver the 8th Annual Jack Mendelson Honorary Lecture. The title of her presentation is “Brain Mechanisms Underlying the Perceptual, Emotional, and Cognitive Impairments Associated with Chronic Alcohol Use Disorder.” 
Who: Dr. Berman is Professor of Neurology, Psychiatry, and Anatomy & Neurobiology, and Director of the Laboratory of Neuropsychology at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) as well as a career research scientist in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Healthcare System in Boston. Through her more than 40 years of work as a researcher and educator, Dr. Berman has advanced our understanding of the brain mechanisms underlying the perceptual, emotional, and cognitive impairments associated with chronic alcohol use disorder (AUD).
Dr. Berman uses neurobehavioral tests and neuroimaging measures to examine the emotional and cognitive consequences of human brain damage. Her research addresses abnormalities in brain centers controlling emotional perception and regulation, and the impact of brain damage on the course of AUD development. 
One of her many seminal contributions to alcohol-related brain disease research was to characterize the syndrome of severe amnesia for events occurring after the onset of extensive brain damage produced by alcoholism, known as Korsakoff’s syndrome. Additional important research examined perceptual and cognitive dysfunction in men of various ages with AUD. She demonstrated that the combination of long-term AUD and aging could affect specific neuropsychological functions, such as emotional perception and has since studied similar effects in women.  
Currently, Dr. Berman uses neurobehavioral tests and neuroimaging measures of brain structure and function to assess how emotional dysregulation may underlie addiction problems like AUD. 
Dr. Berman received her doctorate in psychology from the University of Connecticut. She has a Master’s degree in psychology from Bryn Mawr College as well as an undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. She was a postdoctoral fellow in Neuroscience at Harvard University, and has taught at Clark University, Tufts University School of Medicine, Suffolk University, and the University of Melbourne in Australia. Her permanent teaching and research home since 1970 has been Boston University School of Medicine.
When: Wednesday, May 25, 1:30 p.m. EDT
Where: Lipsett Auditorium, NIH Building 10, Bethesda, Md.
Background: NIAAA established the Jack Mendelson Honorary Lecture Series as a tribute to Dr. Jack Mendelson, who made remarkable scientific contributions to the field of clinical alcohol research. The purpose of this honorary lecture series is to highlight clinical/human research by an outstanding investigator who has made significant and long-term contributions to our understanding of alcoholism susceptibility, alcohol’s effects on the brain and other organs, and the prevention and treatment of alcohol use disorders. NIAAA is pleased to present this series of scientific lectures to acknowledge the advances researchers are making in a wide range of alcohol-related areas of clinical research, and to honor the memory of an individual whose exciting and pioneering research with human alcoholics remains relevant today. 
The Mendelson Honorary Lecture is free and open to the public.
Sign language interpreters will be provided. For other reasonable accommodations or further information call 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

Contact info:
NIAAA Press Office

Looking for U.S. government information and services?