Addiction Researcher to Receive Faculty Recognition Award

Victor Hesselbrock is the 2014 winner of the UConn Health Board of Directors Faculty Recognition Award. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)
Victor Hesselbrock is the 2014 winner of the UConn Health Board of Directors Faculty Recognition Award. (Janine Gelineau/UConn Health Photo) (Click image for high-res jpeg)

The leader of one of the longest continually funded alcohol research programs in the U.S. will be honored Monday with the 2014 UConn Health Board of Directors Faculty Recognition Award.

Victor Hesselbrock is scientific director and principal investigator of the UConn Alcohol Research Center, which has been funded since its inception in 1978 by the National Institutes of Health Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and has attracted nearly $100 million from various funding sources.

Hesselbrock holds the Health Net Inc. Endowed Chair in Addiction Studies, is professor and vice chair of the UConn Health Department of Psychiatry, and has been serving as interim senior associate dean of research since last summer.

A UConn faculty member since 1978, Hesselbrock is involved in studies of alcoholism and other forms of addiction, including cocaine and opiate dependence. He is an investigator on the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA), an NIAAA-funded project for which UConn is one of six participating sites. He is an associate editor for the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research and an assistant editor for the journal Addiction, is a member of the NIAAA and the NIH Council of Councils, and is a past president of – and holds a Lifetime Achievement Award from – the Research Society on Alcoholism. In 2013, he received the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s (ASAM) James Tharp award for contributions to the field.

The Faculty Recognition Award, presented annually at Commencement since 2003, recognizes academic, administrative, and clinical excellence. The Board recognizes Hesselbrock’s “longstanding and continued service to the both institution and the scientific community.”

Sanford Cloud Jr., chair of the UConn Health Board of Directors, calls Hesselbrock “one of the most successful and prolific researchers at UConn Health.”

“I think that whenever a faculty member is recognized by his or her own school or university, it is a great honor,” Hesselbrock says.

Hesselbrock graduated from Texas Christian University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and earned a master’s in social work from the University of Texas. His Ph.D., in research in social work, is from Washington University (St Louis).

He is the author or co-author of nearly 250 journal articles and 17 book chapters, and co-author of the book Alcohol and Tobacco: Methodological and Sociological Aspects of Use, Abuse and Addiction. He has more than 160 scholarly presentations to his credit.

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