Gill Symposium honors two experts on the neurobiology of alcohol and drug dependence

  • Sept. 25, 2015


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Neuroscientists from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will be honored at Indiana University Bloomington during the annual symposium of the Linda and Jack Gill Center for Biomolecular Science.

The 2015 Gill Symposium, on Wednesday, Sept. 30, in the Indiana Memorial Union, will highlight the research of the two speakers and others whose work explores the neurological underpinnings of addiction.

George Koob

An internationally recognized expert on alcohol and stress and director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, George Koob will receive the 2015 Gill Distinguished Scientist Award.

Koob will deliver a lecture titled "Neuroplasticity in the Brain Stress Systems in Addiction."

"Dr. Koob is widely considered to be the world authority on the neurobiology of drug addiction," said Andrea Hohmann, the Linda and Jack Gill Chair of Neuroscience and professor in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. "His work has elucidated the neurobiology of drugs of abuse and led to a new understanding of dysregulation in brain reward circuits and adaptations in these circuits that underlie the transition to dependence.

"A visionary scientist, Dr. Koob's groundbreaking work has transformed the fields within neuroscience vertically rather than horizontally."

Garret Stuber

Receiving the 2015 Gill Transformative Investigator Award is Garret Stuber, assistant professor of psychiatry and of cell biology and physiology, and a member of the Neuroscience Center and Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Stuber will deliver a lecture titled "Dissecting the Neural Circuits That Mediate Motivated Behavior."

"Garret Stuber’s work has been truly transformative in identifying and manipulating precise neural circuits underlying motivated behaviors ranging from reward to aversion," Hohmann said. "The power of his research program comes from his multidisciplinary approach -- an approach that employs cutting-edge techniques, including optogenetics, circuit mapping, in vivo and in vitro neurophysiological recordings, in vivo imaging and behavior."

Ken Mackie, director of the Gill Center and the Gill Chair and professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, added: "The hope is that a better understanding of the circuits involved in specific maladaptive behaviors will facilitate the development of more efficacious therapies."

In addition to the two award recipients, three other distinguished speakers from across the country will deliver lectures on addiction-related topics at the symposium. The event will close with a panel discussion between the five speakers addressing their personal perspectives on a career in science.

A complete schedule of the day's events is available online.

The Linda and Jack Gill Center for Biomolecular Science, part of the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences, was established by a generous gift from Linda and Jack Gill to advance the understanding of complex biological processes and to train the next generation of scientists in biomolecular measurements, especially in the field of neuroscience. Members and collaborators include faculty from IU's departments of biology, chemistry, molecular and cellular biochemistry, physics, and psychological and brain sciences, and the Program in Neuroscience, all in the College of Arts and Sciences; and the IU School of Medicine.

For more information about the Gill Symposium or the Gill Center, contact Misty Theodore at 812-856-1930 or

Related Links

George Koob

George Koob | Photo by National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Print-Quality Photo

Garret Stuber

Garret Stuber | Photo by University of North Carolina

Print-Quality Photo

Media Contacts

Liz Rosdeitcher

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