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UCSF Nicotine Expert Receives National Award

By UCSF Today | March 17, 2006

Neal Benowitz, MD, a professor at University of California, San Francisco, has been recognized by the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (ASCPT).

Benowitz received the 2006 Oscar B. Hunter Memorial Award in Therapeutics, which honors individual scientists for their outstanding contributions in drug research, patient care and teaching at the ASCPT annual meeting on March 11 in Baltimore. Benowitz gave a lecture titled "Clinical Pharmacology in Service of Public Health: Nicotine Addiction and Its Treatment."

A professor of medicine, psychiatry and biopharmaceutical sciences and pharmacy, Benowitz has devoted the majority of his career to research nicotine and tobacco. He is chief of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, vice chair of the Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences and co-leader of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at UCSF. He is also the leader of the Tobacco Control Program of the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Benowitz studies the human pharmacology of nicotine, including nicotine addiction. Nicotine addiction sustains tobacco use, which is the major preventable cause of premature death and disability in the world. Benowitz's thesis has been that understanding the pharmacology of nicotine would provide insights into effective means of treating and preventing tobacco-related disease. In recent years, he has studied the effects of secondhand smoke exposure on humans.

(Note that in November 2007 the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center was renamed the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.)

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