Tuesday, August 26, 2014
The great-granddaughter of Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky, Nora Volkow directs the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Pioneering the use of brain imaging to investigate the effects and addictive properties of drugs, she has made significant contributions to our understanding of addiction as a disease of the brain. For her achievements she was named one of Time Magazine’s “Top 100 People Who Shape Our World” and, in 2000, was named “Innovator of the Year” by U.S. News & World Report.
Dr. Volkow was born in Mexico, attended the Modern American School, and earned her medical degree from the National University of Mexico in Mexico City, where she received the Robins award for best medical student of her generation. Her psychiatric residency was at New York University, where she earned the Laughlin Fellowship Award as one of the 10 Outstanding Psychiatric Residents in the USA. Dr. Volkow spent most of her professional career at the Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) in Upton, New York, where she held several leadership positions including Director of Nuclear Medicine, Chairman of the Medical Department, and Associate Director for Life Sciences. In addition, Dr. Volkow was a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Associate Dean of the Medical School at the State University of New York (SUNY)-Stony Brook.