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News Release

NIH Names George Koob Director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

LA JOLLA, CA – October 31, 2013 – National Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD, announced today the selection of Scripps Research Institute Professor George F. Koob, PhD, as director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). 

“This is a great challenge for George as well as a truly significant honor,” said Michael A. Marletta, president and CEO of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI). “NIH has recognized what we have known all along—that George is a leader in addiction research with a vision for what needs to be done. We at Scripps support his decision and look forward to continuing to work together with George in his new role and in support of TSRI’s Committee on the Neurobiology of Addictive Disorders (CNAD) as we move ahead.”

“I am proud of what the Committee on the Neurobiology of Addictive Disorders at The Scripps Research Institute has accomplished,” said Koob, “and I believe the interdisciplinary excellence and collegiality at The Scripps Research Institute has provided me with a wonderful conceptual framework for moving the NIAAA into new exciting endeavors."

Koob, who is currently chair of CNAD, director of the Alcohol Research Center and co-chair of the Pearson Center for Alcoholism and Addiction Research at TSRI, is expected to assume his duties at the NIH in January 2014.

As NIAAA director, Koob will oversee the institute’s $458 million budget, which primarily funds alcohol-related research in a wide range of scientific areas including genetics, neuroscience, epidemiology, prevention, and treatment. The institute also coordinates and collaborates with other research institutes and federal programs on alcohol-related issues and national, state, and local institutions, organizations, agencies, and programs engaged in alcohol-related work. 

“With his distinguished reputation and vision, I am confident that George will encourage innovative ideas in the basic neurobiology of addiction, and will be dedicated to bridging the gap between our understanding of alcohol abuse, alcoholism, and addiction and developing new, targeted treatments,” said Collins.

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

About The Scripps Research Institute

The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) is one of the world's largest independent, not-for-profit organizations focusing on research in the biomedical sciences. TSRI is internationally recognized for its contributions to science and health, including its role in laying the foundation for new treatments for cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, hemophilia, and other diseases. An institution that evolved from the Scripps Metabolic Clinic founded by philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps in 1924, the institute now employs about 2,700 people on its campuses in La Jolla, CA, and Jupiter, FL, where its renowned scientists—including two Nobel laureates—work toward their next discoveries. The institute's graduate program, which awards PhD degrees in biology and chemistry, ranks among the top ten of its kind in the nation. For more information, see

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