News Release

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

NIDA Researchers Honored with Presidential Early Career Award

Two researchers from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, have been awarded the White House Office of National Science and Technology Council’s Presidential Award for Early Career Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). NIDA grantees Dr. Bruce J. Hinds, III and Dr. Gonzalo E. Torres will receive their awards today during a ceremony at the Commerce Building in Washington, DC.

Bruce J. Hinds, III, Ph.D., associate professor of chemical and materials engineering at the University of Kentucky, is being recognized for his work to improve the delivery of drugs that treat nicotine dependence through a novel skin patch. Gonzalo E. Torres, Ph.D., assistant professor of neurobiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, is being cited for his research on cellular and molecular regulation in the brain and its relationship to psychiatric disorders and drug addiction.

The Presidential Award for Early Career Scientists and Engineers was established in 1996 and is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on outstanding scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers. Awardees are selected on the basis of two criteria: pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology; and a commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education or community outreach. Winning scientists are awarded a research grant for up to five years to further their studies in support of critical government missions. This year, eleven federal departments and agencies nominated 100 young scientists and engineers who showed exceptional promise for leadership in science and technology. Drs. Hinds and Torres are 2 of 12 NIH grantees to receive the prestigious PECASE award.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse is a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIDA supports most of the world’s research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction. The Institute carries out a large variety of programs to inform policy and improve practice. Fact sheets on the health effects of drugs of abuse and information on NIDA research and other activities can be found on the NIDA home page at To order publications in English or Spanish, call NIDA’s new DrugPubs research dissemination center at 1-877-NIDA-NIH or 240-645-0228 (TDD) or fax or email requests to 240-645-0227 or Online ordering is available at NIDA’s new media guide can be found at

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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