The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) has named Lorenzo Leggio, M.D., Ph.D. as the 2020 recipient of the Jacob P. Waletzky Award. The award, supported by the Waletzky Award Prize Fund and the Waletzky Family, is given to a young scientist whose independent research has led to significant conceptual and empirical contributions to the understanding of drug addiction. Dr. Leggio is a Senior Investigator (Clinical) in the Intramural Research Programs (IRPs) of both NIDA and NIAAA, Chief of the recently established Translational Addiction Medicine Branch at the NIDA IRP and Chief of the joint NIDA/NIAAA Clinical Psychoneuroendocrinology and Neuropsychopharmacology section.
Dr. Leggio is an internationally renowned physician-scientist who is recognized for his innovative research on novel neuropharmacological targets and pharmacotherapies for alcohol and substance use disorders. Before joining the NIH in 2012, Dr. Leggio was PI and faculty at Brown University, where his work was funded by NIAAA, NIDA and various foundations. Throughout his career, he has published approximately 180 peer-reviewed papers. Dr. Leggio and his group have pioneered translational and clinical research on addiction medicine with a focus on medication development, microbiome-gut-liver-brain axis, psychoneuroendocrinology, neuropsychopharmacology and alcohol-associated liver disease. Dr. Leggio and his group have conducted human clinical and translational inpatient and outpatient studies to identify novel medications for the treatment of addiction and have further expanded this work in collaboration with other laboratories by using in vitro approaches as well as rodent and non-human primate models. Among other awards, Dr. Leggio received the 2008 European Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism (ESBRA) Nordmann Award, the 2015 NIAAA Clinical Service Award, the 2016 NIAAA Mentoring Award, the 2016 Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA) Early Career Investigator Award and the 2018 NIAAA Scientific Achievement Award. In 2018, Dr. Leggio also received the Eva King-Killam Research Award from the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) on the basis of outstanding translational research contributions to neuropsychopharmacology.
Dr. Leggio will give the 2020 Jacob P. Waletzky Memorial Award Lecture at the 2020 NIDA-NIAAA Mini-Convention, Frontiers in Addiction Research on January 7, 2021, see: https://apps1.seiservices.com/nida-niaaa/frontiers2020/ECIS.aspx
For additional information on the SfN Waletzky Award, see: