2012 Division 28 award winners

We are proud to honor this year’s winners who exemplify dedication and excellence in the fields of psychopharmacology and science

We strongly encourage all members to attend the awardees’ addresses during this year’s APA convention in Orlando, Fla.

Outstanding Dissertation Award Recipient: Ben Lewis, PhD

Ben Lewis, PhDDivision 28 is pleased to announce this year’s distinguished group of award winners. As usual, this year’s nominations resulted in a very close race in all categories due to the stellar group of candidates. As such, all nominees should be congratulated. Division 28 traditionally presents three separate awards to honor individuals who have displayed excellence and achievement at different stages of their academic and scientific careers.

The first award, the Outstanding Dissertation Award, is based on a completed dissertation in psychopharmacology or substance abuse. This award honors the best doctoral dissertation in psychopharmacology and substance abuse of the past year. The winner of this award receives a $250 cash prize, an engraved plaque and travel support to attend and present an address at the annual APA convention. This year’s winner was Ben Lewis. Dr. Lewis’s dissertation was titled, "Polyamine Modulation in Alcoholism: Examination Using a Novel Screening Procedure Designed to Predict Anti-Relapse and Neuroprotective Efficacy." The focus of his dissertation was on NMDA inhibitory modulators and whether they protect neurons from alcohol-related toxicity and attenuate alcohol consummatory behaviors. Dr. Lewis screened two compounds as potential pharmacotherapeutics using several well-established tools and also developed a new screening procedure referred to as “drinking in the dark.” Dr. Lewis’s address at this year’s convention will be titled, “'Polyamine Modulation in Alcoholism Screening for Anti-relapse and Neuroprotective Efficacy.”

Young Psychopharmacologist Award Recipient: Adam Leventhal, PhD

Adam Leventhal, PhDThe second award, the Young Psychopharmacologist Award, encourages excellence in research at the interface between the disciplines of pharmacology and psychology, by honoring a young scientist who is conducting meritorious work in psychopharmacology. The winner of this award receives a cash prize of $500, an engraved plaque and travel support to attend and present an address at the annual convention. This year’s recipient is Adam Leventhal, PhD. Dr. Leventhal’s research focuses on the elucidating the mechanisms underlying the comobidity between mood and substance abuse disorders using an interdisciplinary approach. He has an excellent publication record with 55 peer-reviewed publications, 26 of which are first author publications. He is currently PI of two NIDA grants. Dr. Leventhal’s address at this year’sconvention will be titled "Anhedonia and Nicotine Dependence: The Role of Positive Reinforcement Mechanisms."

MED Associates Brady-Schuster Award Recipient: Warren Bickel, PhD

Warren Bickel, PhDFinally, the MED Associates Brady-Schuster Award is designed to honor a senior scientist who has conducted outstanding research underscoring the fundamental importance of behavioral science to psychopharmacology or substance abuse. The winner of the award receives a cash award of $500, and engraved plaque and travel support to attend and present an address at the annual convention. This year, Division 28 proudly honors Warren Bickel, PhD. Dr. Bickel’s scientific contributions have greatly influenced new methods and concepts in the experimental analysis of drugs and behavior. His more recent research interest in behavioral economics has sparked international interest in the application of these concepts to the study of addiction and other areas of health-related decision-making. Dr. Bickel’s research contributions in this area were the main catalyst behind the introduction of the concepts and methods of behavioral economics to the areas of behavioral pharmacology, psychopharmacology and the study of behavior and health more generally. Furthermore, the influence of Dr. Bickel’s work in this area is wide ranging, extending from the basic animal laboratory, to human laboratory, neuroimaging and neuroeconomic studies, as well as clinical trials and other patient-oriented research. Dr. Bickel’s address at this year’s convention will be titled "Self Control Failure and Its Repair."