McLean Doctor Honored for Drug Abuse Research

June 18, 2001 -- Belmont, MA -- McLean Hospital researcher S. Barak Caine, PhD, has been awarded the Joseph Cochin Young Investigator Award by the College on Problems of Drug Dependence. The award was presented to Caine on Sunday, June 16 at the college's annual scientific meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Caine, director of the Neuroscience Program in the Behavioral Science Laboratory in McLean's Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Center (ADARC), was nominated for the award, given annually to an outstanding young scientist for achievements in drug abuse research.

"Dr. Caine is an outstanding young scientist who has made important contributions to the neurobiology of substance abuse," said Nancy Mello, PhD, co-director of ADARC and one of Caine's nominators. "Dr. Caine is a creative and thoughtful scholar and a meticulous scientist who is likely to make increasingly important contributions to neuroscience and our understanding of the neurobiological bases of substance abuse."

Caine's investigations examine brain dopamine systems underlying cocaine abuse and psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia. His research ultimately could render improved treatments for these complex conditions.

"This is a wonderful honor. The college supports the highest level of scientific research and Joseph Cochin was a leader of that organization who made many significant contributions. This award emphasizes the importance of research on drug dependence and encourages me to intensify my efforts even more," said Caine. "This is an exciting time because, more than ever before, advances in neuroscience promise new breakthroughs in our understanding of brain mechanisms underlying drug dependence. Our ultimate goal is to use this knowledge to develop new treatments for individuals afflicted with substance abuse disorders and their families."

Caine has a growing list of achievements, having been recognized both nationally and internationally for his research. Last fall, he was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers by the National Science and Technology Council. He also was awarded a five-year, $2.4 million grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse. Last June, he was awarded McLean Hospital's highest research honor, the Alfred Pope Award for Young Investigators.

Caine received his bachelor's degree in biological basis of behavior at the University of Pennsylvania and his PhD in neurosciences at the University of California-San Diego.