Director's Page - Dr. Alan I. Leshner (1994 to 2001)

Dr. Alan I. Leshner Dr. Alan I. Leshner NIDA Director

Dr. Leshner was appointed Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) in February 1994. One of the scientific institutes of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, NIDA supports over 85% of the world's research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction.

Prior to coming to NIDA, Dr. Leshner had been the Deputy Director and Acting Director of the National Institute of Mental Health. He went to NIMH from the National Science Foundation (NSF), where he held a variety of senior positions, focusing on basic research in the biological, behavioral and social sciences, and on science education.

Dr. Leshner went to NSF after 10 years at Bucknell University, where he was Professor of Psychology. While on the faculty at Bucknell, he also held long-term appointments at the Postgraduate Medical School in Budapest, Hungary, at the Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center, and as a Fulbright Scholar at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. Dr. Leshner's research has focused on the biological bases of behavior. He is the author of a major textbook on the relationship between hormones and behavior, and numerous book chapters and papers in professional journals. He also has published extensively in the areas of science and technology policy and education.

Dr. Leshner received his undergraduate degree in psychology from Franklin and Marshall College, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in physiological psychology from Rutgers University. He has been elected a fellow of many professional societies, and has received numerous awards from both professional and lay groups for his national leadership in science, mental illness and mental health, and substance abuse and addiction. In 1996, President Clinton conferred the Presidential Distinguished Executive Rank Award on Dr. Leshner, the highest award in Federal service. In the fall of 1998, Dr. Leshner was elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

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