The Columns

Duke Professor to Talk About Alcohol’s Interaction with the Brain

— by on February 18th, 2008

Scott Swartzwelder, Ph.D., a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University Medical Center, will speak at Washington and Lee University on Tuesday, Feb. 26, at 7:30 p.m. in the Stackhouse Theater, Elrod Commons. The title of his talk is “Dude, Where’s My Car?: Alcohol, Memory, and the Brain.” The talk is free and open to the public.

Swartzwelder, a senior research career scientist for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, is a clinical neuropsychologist who studies the ways alcohol and other drugs interact with the brain, and particularly with brain mechanisms of learning and memory during adolescence and early adulthood.

He has published more than 100 scientific papers. He also has written four books, including “Buzzed: The Straight Facts About the Most Used and Abused Drugs from Alcohol to Ecstasy” (1998, the third edition published in 2008); “Just Say Know: Talking with Kids about Drugs and Alcohol” (2002); and “The Kids are Alright” (forthcoming in 2008).

Swartzwelder has created and taught several innovative college courses on brain mechanisms of memory and drug effects, and has consulted extensively with a number of national institutes and departments including the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), as well as with numerous public education and policy organizations.

In addition to his research, teaching and clinical consultation, he lectures and consults to promote effective education about the developing brain, alcohol and other drugs. This will be his fifth visit to W&L.

He received his B.S. from Towson State University, his M.A. from Loyola College and his Ph.D. from American University in Washington, D.C.