Summer 2009 • Issue 18

Jack Mendelson Honorary Lecture Series

On April 28, NIAAA honored the extraordinary career of the late Dr. Jack Mendelson, with the first in a series of planned lectures in his memory. Lecturer Dr. Marc A. Schuckit, Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California San Diego Medical School and Director of the Alcohol Research Center, VA San Diego Healthcare System, presented Recent Findings from a 25-year Longitudinal Study of Genetic and Environmental Contributors to Alcoholism.

Dr. Howard Moss, Associate Director for Clinical and Translational Research, NIAAA, welcomed attendees to the Lipsett Amphitheater and opened the presentation with an overview of Dr. Mendelson’s remarkable career in alcohol research.

Dr. Jack Mendelson

Dr. Jack Mendelson

NIAAA established the Jack Mendelson Honorary Lecture Series to highlight significant contributions to clinical research in the alcohol field. Each year, the honorary lecture will feature an outstanding investigator who has made important contributions to our understanding of alcoholism susceptibility, alcohol’s effects on the brain and other organs, and the prevention and treatment of alcohol use disorders. This series will acknowledge achievements in alcohol-related clinical research and honor the memory of an individual whose pioneering research in human alcoholics remains relevant today.

Dr. Schuckit and Dr. Mello

Dr. Schuckit with
Dr. Mendelson's wife,
Dr. Nancy K. Mello

Dr. Schuckit was an early protégé of Dr. Mendelson and has been a key contributor to the alcohol field for nearly four decades. His research encompasses several major areas of interest, including the genetics of alcoholism. His pioneering work in this area has focused on evaluating the importance of genetic influences in alcoholism and searching for the biological factors that correlate or interact with the environment to put people at greater risk for heavy drinking and alcohol problems.

In addition to NIAAA’s Jack Mendelson Honorary Award, Dr. Schuckit has received a number of other awards: the NIAAA Keller Honorary Award, the Middleton Award for the best research within the VA system, the American Psychiatric Association’s Hofheimer Prize (now the American Psychiatric Association Award for Research), the Society for Biological Psychiatry’s Gold Medal Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Research Society on Alcoholism’s Distinguished Scientist and Seixas Awards, the James B. Isaacson Memorial Award, and the Jellinek Award.

A videocast of the lecture may be viewed at

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