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Dr. Volkow’s work has been instrumental in demonstrating that drug addiction is a disease of the human brain. As a research psychiatrist and scientist, Dr. Volkow pioneered the use of brain imaging to investigate the toxic effects and addictive properties of abusable drugs. Her studies have documented changes in the dopamine system affecting, among others, the functions of frontal brain regions involved with motivation, drive, and pleasure in addiction. She has also made important contributions to the neurobiology of obesity, ADHD, and aging.
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 Awardas one of the 10 Outstanding Psychiatric Residents in the USA.
She has been named one of Time magazine’s “Top 100 People Who Shape Our World”, “One of the 20 People to Watch” by Newsweek magazine, Washingtonian magazine’s “100 Most Powerful Women” in both 2015 and 2017, “Innovator of the Year” by U.S. News & World Report, and one of “34 Leaders Who Are Changing Health Care” by Fortune magazine.
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