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Three New Division Directors Named at NIAAA
Capping a year of transition during which NIAAA reorganized, three recent appointments have filled key remaining senior staff positions. Drs. Markus Heilig, Antonio Noronha and Mark Willenbring have been named to the positions of clinical director for the Division of Intramural Clinical and Biological Research, director of the Division of Neuroscience and Behavior (DNB), and director of the Division of Treatment and Recovery Research (DTRR), respectively.
Heilig will serve as both clinical director and chief of the Laboratory of Clinical and Translational Studies. He comes to NIAAA from the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden, where he had served since 2002 as chief of research and development in the division of psychiatry in the southern clinical neuroscience department. From 1997 to 2001, he directed an addiction medicine department at Karolinska that conducted preclinical and clinical research and research training in addiction medicine.
Prior to NIAAA's reorganization in 2003, Noronha served as chief of the Neuroscience and Behavioral Research Branch (NBRB) in the former Division of Basic Research, a position he had held since 1999. From 1990 to 1999, he served in the NIAAA Office of Scientific Affairs as science review administrator for the neuroscience and behavior review subcommittee of the alcohol biomedical research review committee.
After earning a Ph.D. in neuroscience in 1982 from the Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola University in Chicago, Noronha conducted research on the biochemistry of myelin-associated glycoprotein, and on the role of cell adhesion molecules and other glycoconjugates in demyelinating disorders. His career at NIH began in 1982 at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, where he was a research fellow and then senior staff fellow in the Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology.
Willenbring comes to NIAAA from the University of Minnesota School of Medicine, where he served as professor of psychiatry. For the past 12 years, he also has served as medical director of the addictive disorders section at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Minneapolis. He received his M.D. from the University of Minnesota and did his internship at St. Paul-Ramsey Medical Center in St. Paul. He completed his residency in general psychiatry at the University of California, Davis, and an interdisciplinary social science research fellowship at the University of Wisconsin.
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