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Messages From the Director

The Passing of Former NIDA Director Bob Schuster

NIDA Director Nora Volkow

February 2011

It is with deep sorrow that I inform you about the untimely death of Dr. Charles (Bob) Schuster, a much admired and respected member of our scientific community and past NIDA Director.

Bob's prodigious career includes seminal contributions that will continue to illuminate the path of future generations of behavioral pharmacologists and neuroscientists. His achievements would be too many to list. But he was a true visionary, well ahead of his time, who saw the potential of addiction immunotherapies, for example, almost three decades before other researchers would finally commit resources in what is now a rapidly maturing and promising treatment strategy. He left us not only a plethora of discoveries and achievements from which to draw inspiration, but also the memory of a gentle and generous man who was able to make a difference in the lives of millions through the work that he so much loved.

Portrait of Dr. Charles Schuster

Bob received his Ph.D. in Psychology in 1962, after being mentored by Professor Joseph V. Brady at the University of Maryland. After holding numerous and prestigious faculty positions, he founded the University of Chicago's Drug Abuse Research Center. From 1986 to 1992, he served as the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a position from which he oversaw the development of grant and contract programs to fund research into the etiology, prevention and treatment of drug abuse, and its medical and social consequences. In 2000, he became Director of the Addiction Research Institute at Wayne State University, a position he held until his premature death. He is a past President of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence and a Nathan B. Eddy Award recipient. Bob has been a prolific writer, having authored or co-authored over 200 scientific journal articles, as well as numerous book chapters and several books.

Please join me in expressing our deepest sympathy to Bob's vast circle of loved ones, our appreciation and gratitude for the wisdom and knowledge he has bequeathed us, and the certainty that he will be sorely missed.


Nora D. Volkow, M.D.

This page was last updated February 2011

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