George F. Koob, Ph.D., director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM). Membership in the NAM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to those fields.
 
Dr. George F. Koob
“I am deeply honored by this recognition,” said Dr. Koob, who has served as NIAAA director since January of 2014. “The National Academy of Medicine addresses key issues in health and medicine that improve the lives of people around the world.”
 
The NAM, formerly the Institute of Medicine, was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected to the NAM by their peers for their contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care, and public health. With the newly elected members, NAM’s total active membership is 2,127 and the number of international members is 172.
 
Dr. Koob is recognized as one of the founders of the field of addiction medicine and is one of the world’s authorities on alcohol and stress, and the neurobiology of alcohol and drug addiction. His work has advanced our understanding of the physiological effects of alcohol and other substance use and why some people transition from use to misuse to addiction, while others do not. As the NIAAA Director, he provides leadership in the national effort to reduce the public health burden associated with alcohol misuse and he oversees a broad portfolio that spans the continuum of alcohol research.
 
A prolific researcher, Dr. Koob has authored over 700 peer-reviewed scientific papers and is a co-author of The Neurobiology of Addiction, which is regarded as major reference book in the field of addiction research. He was recently honored by the government of France with the insignia of Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honor) for developing scientific collaborations between France and the United States. His many other accolades include the Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA) Seixas Award for extraordinary service in advancing alcohol research; the RSA Distinguished Investigator Award; the RSA Marlatt Mentorship Award; the Daniel Efron Award for excellence in basic research and the Axelrod Mentorship Award, both from the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology and an international prize in the field of neuronal plasticity awarded by La Fondation Ipsen.