Expert on drug addiction to speak Oct. 5 at RTI International

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC — Disruptions in the brain circuits related to reward, motivation, memory, and self-control hold the keys to preventing and treating drug addiction, according to a leading medical expert scheduled to speak in October at RTI International.

Nora D. Volkow, M.D., is the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, at the National Institutes of Health. She will deliver a lecture titled “How Do Drugs Enslave Our Brains?” The event will be held from 3 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, in Dreyfus auditorium in the Haynes building at RTI International headquarters, 3040 E. Cornwallis Road, Research Triangle Park. A reception will follow the lecture from 4 to 5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Please register to attend in person or view the streaming video.

Volkow is best known for demonstrating that drug addiction is a disease of the human brain rather than a personal failing. Her research on the dopamine system has also led to a better understanding of the neurobiology of obesity, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, and aging.

In the lecture, Volkow will discuss the complexity of addiction, which causes chemical and functional changes within the brain. The genetic, developmental, and social factors that can make an individual predisposed to addiction point to the need for multi-pronged interventions.

“In addition to Dr. Volkow’s outstanding duties as director of NIDA, she is also a leading researcher in drug addiction, particularly the application of brain PET imaging studies,” said Ivy Carroll, Ph.D., RTI Distinguished Fellow and co-organizer of the event. “RTI is deeply engaged in research related to understanding, treatment, prevention, and intervention of drug abuse, which has a tremendous impact on the health and well-being of communities worldwide. We look forward to Dr. Volkow’s visit and are eager to learn more about the research of Dr. Volkow and NIDA.” 

Volkow has been director of NIDA since 2003 and previously worked with the Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory. Her work has led to numerous accolades. In 2013, she was a finalist for a Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal. She has also been honored by the Children and Adults with Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder Hall of Fame, the Institute of Medicine in the National Academy of Sciences, and the French Institute of Health and Medical Research.

Volkow has been profiled on 60 Minutes and recognized for her achievements by leading publications, including Time, Newsweek, Washingtonian, and U.S. News and World Report.

Nora Volkow


  • Dr. Nora Volkow, a physician and director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, will speak as part of the RTI Fellow Program's Distinguished Lecture Series
  • Volkow demonstrated that drug addiction is a disease of the human brain, and will discuss how drugs affect the systems of reward, motivation, memory, and self-control
  • The lecture is free and open to the public

Register Today

Pills, injectable drugs and alcohol
Learn more about how drugs enslave our brains by registering for this free lecture by Dr. Nora Volkow.