Last updated on: 7/25/2016 | Author:

Nora D. Volkow, MD Biography

Director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) at the National Institutes of Health
Not Clearly Pro or Con to the question "Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?"

“Despite some contentious discussions regarding the addictiveness of marijuana, the evidence clearly indicates that long-term marijuana use can lead to addiction. Indeed, approximately 9% of those who experiment with marijuana will become addicted… There is also recognition of a bona fide cannabis withdrawal syndrome (with symptoms that include irritability, sleeping difficulties, dysphoria, craving, and anxiety), which makes cessation difficult and contributes to relapse.”

“Adverse Effects of Marijuana Use,” New England Journal of Medicine, June 5, 2014

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) at the National Institutes of Health, May 2003-present
  • Member, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences
  • Former Director of Nuclear Medicine, Chairman of the Medical Department, and Associate Director for Life Sciences, US Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL)
  • Former Associate Dean, Medical School, State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook
  • Former Professor, Department of Psychiatry, State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook
  • Former Assistant Professor, University of Texas Medical School
  • Recipient, International Prize, French Institute of Health and Medical Research
  • Recipient, Laughlin Fellowship Award, New York University, 1984
  • MD, National University of Mexico, 1981
  • BA, Modern American School, 1974
  • Born in Mexico
  • Great granddaughter of Russian revolutionary leader Leon Trotsky
  • Has published more than 600 peer-reviewed articles and more than 95 book chapters
  • Was a featured speaker at TEDMED 2014
  • Was a Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal (Sammies) finalist in 2013
  • Was inducted into the Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) Hall of Fame in 2013
  • Was the subject of a profile piece by CBS’s 60 Minutes in 2012
  • 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 in its “Who’s Next in 2007” feature
  • Included in Washingtonian Magazine‘s 2009 list of the “100 Most Powerful Women”
  • Named “Innovator of the Year” by US News & World Report in 2000