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In 2011, the Distinguished Scientist Award was established by the Behavioral and Integrative Neuroscience Program. This student-led award was developed as part the T32 Predoctoral Training Grant on Addiction Science. Each year, trainees in Behavioral and Integrative Neuroscience select and invite a distinguished researcher in the substance abuse field to visit Carolina, make a seminar presentation, and interact individually with trainees.

Former awardees include Dr. Barry Setlow of the University of Florida College of Medicine (2012), Dr. Kent Berridge of the University of Michigan (2013), and Dr. Gary Aston-Jones of the Medical University of South Carolina (2014).

This year’s recipient was Dr. Patricia Janak, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences in the Department of Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She completed her B.A. at Rutgers University in 1986 and her M.A. (1990) and her Ph.D. (1993) at the University of California Berkeley. She served as a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute on Drug Abuse and in physiology and pharmacology at Wake Forest School of Medicine. D Her research examines the behavioral and neural mechanims of associative learning, the simple learning of relations between environmental stimuli and the outcomes they predict, and the outcomes they produce. She presented, “Parsing the Role of Dopamine Neurons in Learning and Performance”, on November 17, 2015 and received the 2015 Distinguished Scientist Award.

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