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Lara A. Ray, Ph.D.

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SW: What would you like to see happen in the addictino-research field?

LAR: I would love to see more patients receiving evidence-based treatments. It is so sad to me that families spend so much time and resources in treatment settings that are not backed up by science. We can do better to disseminate scientific findings so that consumers can access better healthcare options and can benefit from all the advances afforded by government-funded research.

SW: What advice do you have for people now entering addiction research?

LAR: I would say that you should not be afraid to ask the big questions and that we should keep each other accountable to do research that has a high potential to improve clinical care for this devastating disorder. Lots of things are interesting to scientists but not all of these things can help patients and we need to do more of the latter.

SW: What does your recent award--the 2014 RSA Young Investigator Award--mean to you on a personal level?

LAR: I will choose to focus on the “young” part of the award and say that this is a beginning. I feel that my career in very much in its beginning stages and I am committed to making significant contributions to the field. Personally, it means a lot to me to receive this award from my peers who I deeply respect. But as patients serve to remind me every week, they do not care how many titles or awards I have, they want to get better from alcoholism and that is ultimately my job as a clinician and as a scientist.

SW: Any last words for the ATTC audience?

LAR: I want to share my enthusiasm for the ongoing research that is supported by NIAAA/NIDA and say that I am honored to be part of an energetic and committed group of scientists who is making strides to improve healthcare for addiction.











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