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Panel Members: San Francisco, CA, May 2013

Long Day's Journey into Night

By Eugene O'Neill

American Psychiatric Association 166th Annual Meeting Location Panel Members:

Patrick Kennedy

Congressman Patrick Kennedy served 16 years in the U.S. House of Representatives and is predominantly known as the author and lead sponsor of the Mental Health Parity & Addiction Equity Act of 2008. This dramatic piece of legislation provides tens of millions of Americans who were previously denied care with access to mental health treatment.

Now, Congressman Kennedy is the co-founder of One Mind for Research, a newly formed national coalition that is seeking new treatments and cures for neurologic and psychiatric diseases of the brain that afflict one in every three Americans. One Mind for Research is dedicated to dramatic enhancements in funding and collaboration in research across all brain disorders in the next decade. This historic grassroots endeavor unites efforts of scientists, research universities, government agencies, industry, and advocacy organizations across the country. Congressman Kennedy is bringing everyone together to map out a blueprint for the first plan of basic neuroscience that will become the roadmap leading to the off-ramps to cures for of all neurological disorders that affect 1 in 3 Americans.

Congressman Kennedy has authored and co-sponsored dozens of bills to increase the understanding and treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders, including the National Neurotechnology Initiative Act, the Genomics and Personalized Medicine Act, the COMBAT PTSD Act, and the Alzheimer’s Treatment and Caregiver Support Act.

Congressman Kennedy is a winner of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology Distinguished Service Award, the Society for Neuroscience Public Service Award, the Autism Society of America Congressional Leadership Award, the Depression and Bipolar Support Paul Wellstone Mental Health Award, and the Epilepsy Foundation Public Service Award. He is also founder of the Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus and the 21st Century Healthcare Caucus.

Roger D. Weiss, M.D.

Dr. Roger Weiss is Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Chief of the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts. He has over 300 publications, has been Principal Investigator on numerous NIDA and NIAAA grants, and has developed an integrated group therapy for patients with co-occurring bipolar disorder and substance dependence. Dr. Weiss recently led a multi-site national study of the treatment of prescription opioid dependence, as part of the NIDA Clinical Trials Network. Dr. Weiss has received a number of awards, including the 2012 Dan Anderson Research Award from the Hazelden Foundation.

Steven L. Batki, M.D.

Steven L. Batki, M.D. is Professor in the UCSF Department of Psychiatry, chief of the SFVAMC Substance Abuse Programs and Director of the SFVAMC Addiction Research Program. He also directs the UCSF Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship Program. Dr. Batki’s research and clinical interests include pharmacologic treatment for addiction to alcohol, opioids, and stimulants and on medical and psychiatric disorders that co-occur with addiction. He has published on clinical research in addiction and co-occurring disorders. Dr. Batki's current DoD and NIDA research focuses on pharmacotherapy for alcoholism in veterans with PTSD and mild traumatic brain injury and the pharmacotherapy of methamphetamine dependence.

Nora D. Volkow, M.D.

Dr. Nora D. Volkow became Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institutes of Health, in May 2003. NIDA supports most of the world's research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction.

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 of drugs and their addictive properties. 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. She has also made important contributions to the neurobiology of obesity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and the behavioral changes that occur with 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 Premio Robins award for best medical student of her generation. Her psychiatric residency was at New York University, where she earned the Laughlin Fellowship Award as one of the 10 Outstanding Psychiatric Residents in the USA.

Dr. Volkow spent most of her professional career at the Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York, where she held several leadership positions including Director of Nuclear Medicine, Chairman of the Medical Department, and Associate Director for Life Sciences. 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-Stony Brook.

Dr. Volkow has published more than 440 peer-reviewed articles and more than 75 book chapters and nonpeer-reviewed manuscripts, and has also edited three books on the use of neuroimaging in studying mental and addictive disorders.

During her professional career, Dr. Volkow has been the recipient of multiple awards, including her selection for membership in the Institute of Medicine in the National Academy of Sciences and the International Prize from the French Institute of Health and Medical Research for her pioneering work in brain imaging and addiction science. She was recently named one of Time magazine's "Top 100 People Who Shape our World" and was included as one of the 20 people to watch by Newsweek magazine in its "Who's Next in 2007" feature. She was also included in Washingtonian magazine's 2009 list of the "100 Most Powerful Women" and named "Innovator of the Year" by U.S. News & World Report in 2000.

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