José Szapocznik, Ph.D., professor and chair of epidemiology and public health, was recognized with a tribute award by the National Hispanic Science Network (NHSN) for founding the organization and leading it for a decade as its chairman.
Dr. Szapocznik, who stepped down as chairman two months ago, received the award on September 30 at the NHSN's annual conference in New Orleans.
Under Dr. Szapocznik's leadership, the NHSN grew into a cutting-edge international science network, honoring its mission of improving the health of Hispanics by increasing the scope and quality of interdisciplinary translational research on drug abuse. Significant funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has helped the organization nurture Hispanic scientists in pursuit of drug abuse research.
"What is extraordinary about our organization is the commitment to preparing Hispanic trainees and young investigators for 21st century science by addressing every challenge in Hispanic drug abuse from a highly interdisciplinary perspective - from molecule to brain circuitry to culture and neighborhood," said Dr. Szapocznik, who is also director of the Clinical Translational Science Institute and the Center for Family Studies, the nation's premier training and research facility for family-based treatment and prevention research with Hispanic families.
"The NIH and in particular NIDA has been a formidable partner," Dr. Szapocznik added. "We could not have done it without their intellectual and financial support."
Dr. Szapocznik, the recipient of more than $100 million in NIH research grants and the author of more than 200 scholarly publications, pioneered the national effort to prevent and treat adolescent drug abuse and other behavior problems in minority youth using family-oriented, scientifically based approaches.
On October 4, Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., expanded Dr. Szapocznik's research purview by appointing him executive dean for research and research education.