Nora D. Volkow, M.D. is the Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Before assuming this position on May 1, 2004, Dr. Volkow was Associate Director for Life Sciences at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Director of Nuclear Medicine at BNL and Director of the NIDA-Department of Energy Regional Neuroimaging Center at BNL. She was also Professor at the Department of Psychiatry, State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook and Associate Dean for the Medical School at SUNY-Stony Brook.
Dr. Volkow received her M.D. in 1981 from the National University of Mexico, in Mexico City, Mexico, and performed her residency in psychiatry at New York University.
Her main area of interest is the investigation of the mechanisms underlying the reinforcing, addictive and toxic properties of drugs of abuse in the human brain. Dr. Volkow was the first to use imaging to investigate the neurochemical changes in the human brain that occur during drug addiction. Her studies have documented a decrease in function of the dopamine system in addicted subjects that is associated with a disruption in function of frontal brain regions involved in motivation and drive.
Dr. Volkow was named Innovator of the Year in 2000 by U.S. News and World Report.
Source - http://www.ncsl.org/programs/health/forum/chairs/NoraVolkowbio.htm