Dr. Carlton K. Erickson, associate dean for research and graduate studies at The University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy, has received the John P. McGovern Award for Excellence in Medical Education.
The award was presented at the November annual meeting of the Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse (AMERSA). The honor is the highest award presented by the national organization that was founded in 1976 to help improve education in the care of individuals with substance abuse problems.
Erickson has studied the effects of alcohol on the brain for more than 40 years. After a successful career as a "bench researcher", he recognized a gap in knowledge between research laboratory findings and the information used to design treatment to individuals who suffer from addiction. Since directing his efforts to help close that gap, Erickson has spoken to approximately 80,000 professionals and people in recovery.
"The real reward is seeing how peoples' attitudes have changed regarding alcoholism - now scientifically called alcohol dependence," he said. "We finally see it for what it is - a disease."
At the conference, Erickson was also a keynote speaker discussing "Addiction Science for Non-Scientists" at the John P. McGovern Award Plenary Session.
He is author of "The Science of Addition: From Neurobiology to Treatment" which won a University of Texas Hamilton Book Award in 2008. In addition, he is associate editor and highlights editor of the scientific journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research and serves as science editor for Findings, a newsletter of the Betty Ford Center. He has published more than 260 scientific and professional articles as well as numerous other books.
He is a past recipient of the Nelson J. Bradley Award for Lifetime Achievement (2007), the Fred French Award for Educational Achievement (2004), the Pat Fields SECAD Award (2003), and the Betty Ford Center Visionary Award (2000).
Erickson's current research interests involve reviewing addiction science education outcomes with an emphasis on evaluation of audience knowledge, belief change, and behavioral impact after scientific presentations given to treatment professionals and the general public.