Cowan Named to Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Scientific Council

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Ronald Cowan, MD, PhD, Harrison Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry in the College of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, recently was named to the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation (BBRF) Scientific Council.

Dr. Ronald Cowan

The BBRF Foundation funds advances and breakthroughs in scientific research to reduce the suffering of those with mental illness. As a council member, Dr. Cowan will assist in reviewing grant applications to fund this research.

Dr. Cowan, a respected physician-scientist, was jointly nominated because of his leadership in addiction research by Peter Buckley, MD, chancellor for the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, and Stephan Heckers, MD, chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, both of whom are are longstanding members of the Scientific Council.

“Dr. Cowan has been a leader in the field of addiction research for more than 25 years, specifically in clinical/translational research,” Chancellor Buckley said. “We are proud of Dr. Cowan’s accomplishments in the area of human addiction research, with these being all the more impressive given his major roles as residency training director in the Vanderbilt Department of Psychiatry and now as the Department of Psychiatry chair at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.”

Before joining UTHSC in March 2020, Dr. Cowan was a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

“I greatly admire the mission of the BBRF and feel that it is an honor to contribute to advancing novel psychiatric research,” Dr. Cowan said. “Since motivated behavior impacts all aspects of mental and physical health, I believe that understanding the neurobiology of behavioral choices will have broad impacts on improving quality of life in patients with mental illness, including addiction.”

The BBRF Scientific Council has awarded over $440 million to some of the best and brightest researchers in the world.