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 is 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: http://www.niaaa.nih.gov.
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