Nora Volkow, M.D.

Nora Volkow, M.D.
Nora Volkow, M.D.

Scientific Council Member

Director, National Institute of Drug Abuse

National Institutes of Health

Meet the Scientist Webinar

Addiction as a Brain Disease: What Does it Mean?

Dr. Volkow pioneered the use of brain imaging to investigate the effects of drugs in the human brain and has demonstrated that drug addiction is a brain disease. She has documented a decrease in function of the dopamine system in addicted subjects and disruption in function of frontal brain regions involved in motivation and drive. Other areas of Dr. Volkow’s research include the neurochemical mechanisms responsible for variability in response to drugs among individuals; the rewarding and therapeutic effects of drugs; and changes in the dopamine system that occur with aging. She has shown that loss of dopamine brain function with age even in healthy subjects with no neurological dysfunction is associated with motor slowing and changes in cognitive task ability. She is currently focusing on strategies to minimize these losses.

Dr. Volkow was named one of Time magazine’s “Top 100 People Who Shape our World”, included as “One of the 20 People to Watch” by Newsweek magazine and named “Innovator of the Year” by U.S. News & World Report.

Learn More About the Foundation

We Are

The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation is a global nonprofit organization focused on improving the understanding, prevention and treatment of psychiatric and mental illnesses.

Read more


Beginning in 1987, the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation was providing seed money to neuroscientists to invest in “out of the box” research that the government and other sources were unwilling to fund. Today, Brain & Behavior Research Foundation is still the leading, private philanthropy in the world in this space.

Read more


Meet the people who make up the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. Our staff of experts, passionate Board of Directors, and Scientific Council which includes Nobel prize winners and chairs of psychiatric departments around the world.

Read More

Annual Report
& Financials

We take our responsibility to our donors seriously and believe that our financial operations must be transparent. We're proud to say that 100% of your contribution for research is invested directly in research grants.

Read more


Frequently Asked Questions about the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation.

Read more


The latest news on brain and behavior research and issues that matter most to you.

Read more