Nora D. Volkow, M.D., became Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) in May, 2003. Dr. Volkow came to NIDA from Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), where she held concurrent positions including associate director for life sciences, director of nuclear medicine, and director of the NIDA-Department of Energy Regional Neuroimaging Center. 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. Dr. Volkow brings to NIDA a long record of accomplishment in drug addiction research. She is a recognized expert on the brain's dopamine system with her research focusing on the brains of addicted, obese, and aging individuals. Her studies have documented changes in the dopamine system affecting the actions of frontal brain regions involved with motivation, drive, and pleasure and the decline of brain dopamine function with age.
Her work includes more than 350 peer-reviewed publications, three edited books, and more than 50 book chapters and non-peer reviewed manuscripts. The recipient of multiple awards, she was elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine in the National Academy of Sciences and was named "Innovator of the Year" in 2000 by U.S. News and World Report. Dr. Volkow received her B.A. from Modern American School, Mexico City, Mexico, her M.D. from the National University of Mexico, Mexico City, and her postdoctoral training in psychiatry at New York University. In addition to BNL and SUNY-Stony Brook, Dr. Volkow has worked at the University of Texas Medical School and Sainte Anne Psychiatric Hospital in Paris, France.