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National Expert to Address Impact of Recreational Drugs and Alcohol on the Brain and Behavior

Dr. Scott Swartzwelder, professor of psychiatry and psychology and neuroscience at Duke University Medical Center, will speak at Washington and Lee University on Thursday, Jan. 28, at 7 p.m. in the Stackhouse Theater of Elrod Commons.

Swartzwelder’s talk, which free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Office of Health Promotion, Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic and LIFE at W&L.

In addition to teaching courses at Duke, Swartzwelder is a licensed clinical psychologist who is co-director of the brain research laboratory, DukeLEARN, which is committed to helping people understand the brain-how it works, how to use it for maximum achievement, and how to keep it healthy.

Swartzwelder’s areas of expertise include the effects of drugs on the brain and on cognitive function. He has published more than 100 research papers in scientific and professional journals related to drug effects on the brain and behavior, and has served on multiple scientific review panels for the National Institute of Drug Abuse, National Institute of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Swartzwelder’s recent studies have focused on the specific effects of alcohol on the developing brain. In particular, he has assessed the unique effects of alcohol on the brain during prenatal and adolescent periods of development. He has taught courses in physiological psychology, psychopharmacology, behavioral pharmacology, learning and memory and others.

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 sixth visit to W&L.

Swartzwelder earned his B.S. from Towson State; his M.A. in general/experimental psychology from Loyola College; and his Ph.D. in biopsychology from American University.