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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), Dr. Gary Aston-Jones of the Medical University of South Carolina (2014), and Dr. Patricia Janak of John Hopkins University (2015).

This year’s recipient was Dr. Courtney Miller, Associate Professor of the Scripps Research Institute, a not-for-profit, independent organization that focuses on research in the biomedical sciences. The Scripps Research Institute is internationally recognized for its contributions to science and health, including its role in laying the foundation for new treatments for cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, hemophilia, and other diseases. Dr. Miller completed her B.S. in Biopsychology at the University of California Santa Barbara in 1999 and her Ph.D. in Neurobiology and Behavior at the University of California Irvine in 2005. Her research focuses on the contributions of epigenetic mechanisms to drug addiction and age-related memory decline. She presented, “Selective Targeting of Drug-Associated Memories to Reduce Relapse”, on January 19, 2016 and received the 2016 Distinguished Scientist Award.

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