NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

Brown To Give Virtual Mendelson Lecture on Alcohol, Adolescents

Dr. Brown
Dr. Sandra A. Brown

Dr. Sandra A. Brown will deliver a virtual presentation of the 2020 Jack Mendelson Honorary Lecture on Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 1:30 p.m. Her talk is titled “Discerning Risks and Effects of Alcohol in the Midst of Adolescent Development.” Details about how to view the virtual lecture are available at

Brown is an internationally recognized scientist whose research has substantially increased our understanding of how alcohol and other substances affect adolescent development and  how the impact of alcohol and other substances contribute to outcomes that persist into adulthood. Her pioneering research has yielded important information on the neurocognitive consequences and developmental trajectories associated with adolescent substance use and their implications for prevention and treatment.   

Brown currently serves as vice chancellor for research and distinguished professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, where she has played major roles in establishing and spearheading two major nationwide research consortia that are investigating the neurobiological and behavioral changes that occur during adolescence and into emerging adulthood.

Since 2012, Brown has co-directed the NIAAA-supported National Consortium on Alcohol and Neurodevelopment in Adolescence, a longitudinal study investigating the effects of alcohol use on brain and behavioral development in more than 800 adolescents ages 12-21.

Since its launch in 2015, she has served as co-principal investigator of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study, which is the largest long-term study of brain development and child health in the United States. Supported by NIDA, NIAAA, NCI and other NIH institutes/offices and federal partners, the ABCD Study is tracking the biological and behavioral development of about 12,000 9 to 10-year-olds into early adulthood to increase our understanding of the many factors that can enhance or disrupt a young person’s life trajectory.

NIAAA established the lecture series as a tribute to Dr. Jack Mendelson, who made remarkable contributions to the field of clinical alcohol research. Honorees have made substantial contributions toward increasing our understanding of the effects of alcohol on health and well-being and improving the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of alcohol-related problems.

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