Nora D. Volkow, M.D., is the Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, which supports most of the world’s research on the health aspects of drug use and addiction. Dr. Volkow’s scientific research was instrumental in demonstrating that drug addiction is a disease of the human brain and, as NIDA Director, her work has promoted research that improves the prevention and treatment of substance use disorders. As a research psychiatrist, Dr. Volkow pioneered the use of brain imaging to investigate the effects of addictive drugs. Her studies documented disruption of the dopamine system in addiction with its consequential functional impairment of frontal brain regions involved with motivation, executive function and self-regulation. She has also made important contributions to the neurobiology of obesity and ADHD, and has published more than 830 peer-reviewed articles, written more than 100 book chapters and non-peer-reviewed manuscripts, co-edited a Neuroscience Encyclopedia and edited four books on neuroimaging for mental and addictive disorders. Read more.
Director's Remarks and Interviews
The brain disease model of addiction is strongly supported by scientific evidence, and stigma against people who use drugs can sabotage effective treatment, according to a perspective, Stigma and the Toll of Addiction, authored by NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow and published in The New England Journal of Medicine.