January 13, 2010
Two researchers from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, have been awarded the White House Office of National Science and Technology Council's Presidential Award for Early Career Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). NIDA grantees Dr. Bruce J. Hinds, III and Dr. Gonzalo E. Torres will receive their awards today during a ceremony at the Commerce Building in Washington, DC.
Bruce J. Hinds, III, Ph.D., associate professor of chemical and materials engineering at the University of Kentucky, is being recognized for his work to improve the delivery of drugs that treat nicotine dependence through a novel skin patch. Gonzalo E. Torres, Ph.D., assistant professor of neurobiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, is being cited for his research on cellular and molecular regulation of monoamine transporters in the brain and its relationship to psychiatric disorders and drug addiction.
The Presidential Award for Early Career Scientists and Engineers was established in 1996 and is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on outstanding scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers. Awardees are selected on the basis of two criteria: pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology; and a commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education or community outreach. Winning scientists are awarded a research grant for up to five years to further their studies in support of critical government missions. This year, nine federal departments and agencies nominated 100 young scientists and engineers who showed exceptional promise for leadership in science and technology. Drs. Hinds and Torres are 2 of 12 NIH grantees to receive the prestigious PECASE award.