Las Vegas, Nevada – Dr. Howard Shaffer, an early pioneer in the field of addictions and gambling disorders research, has been named recipient of the 2007 National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) Scientific Achievement Award in the senior investigator category.
The senior investigator award honors scientists whose career work has led to important advancements, discoveries or developments in the field of gambling-related research. Shaffer, associate professor of psychology in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the director of the Division on Addictions, Cambridge Health Alliance, was selected by an independent awards committee in recognition of his groundbreaking research on gambling and for the profound impact it has had on the way that scientists understand and study addiction.
“For nearly 30 years, Howard Shaffer has been a trailblazer, shaping the way the health care field thinks about and treats addictive behaviors and disordered gambling,” said Phil Satre, chairman of the NCRG. “The NCRG is extremely proud to honor Dr. Shaffer, who has consistently brought the highest standards of scientific research to the study of addictions and has steadfastly worked toward the ultimate goal of helping the people affected by gambling disorders.”
The award will be presented at a reception on Nov. 11 at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino. The presentation is taking place during the 8th annual NCRG Conference on Gambling and Addiction, which is sponsored by the NCRG and the Institute for Research on Pathological Gambling and Related Disorders, a program at the Division on Addictions at Cambridge Health Alliance, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School.
Shaffer’s distinguished career in research has yielded a number of “firsts” that have significantly advanced understanding of disordered gambling behavior. His 1997 meta-analysis of the prevalence rates of gambling disorders in the U.S. and Canada have been widely recognized as the first reliable estimates of the rate of the disorder (1 to 1.5 percent).
Other firsts include:
- The first longitudinal study of the health risks of casino employees
- The first national survey of gambling behaviors and policies on U.S. college and university campuses
- The first study of Internet sports gambling using actual monetary transaction data
- The first model for understanding addiction as a syndrome
Beyond his many contributions as a scientist, Shaffer has helped create and strengthen the necessary infrastructure for the growing field of gambling research through his work as editor of the Journal of Gambling Studies and Psychology of Addictive Behaviors and his founding of the Institute for Research on Pathological Gambling and Related Disorders, supported by the NCRG. He has written more than 250 chapters, journal articles, and reviews; and published more than 120 newspaper articles and 10 books or monographs.
Recipients of the NCRG Scientific Achievement Awards are selected by an independent committee of leading researchers in the field of addictions and gambling research. The 2007 Awards Committee is chaired by Joseph T. Coyle, the Eben S. Draper Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Other members of the committee include Linda B. Cottler, Ph.D., professor of epidemiology in psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine; Richard I. Evans, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Psychology, University of Houston; Peter E. Nathan, Ph.D., professor emeritus of community and behavioral health, University of Iowa; David Lewis, M.D., Donald G. Millar Distinguished Professor of Alcohol & Addiction Studies, Brown University; and Christine Thurmond, administrative director, Division on Addictions, Cambridge Health Alliance. The committee selects the awardees from nominations submitted by the public.
To obtain additional information on NCRG’s conference visitwww.ncrg.org. To obtain press credentials for events related to the conference, or to arrange interviews with conference participants, contact Karen Brandon at 202-530-4739 or 202-468-9902 (from Nov. 11-13).
The National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) is the only national organization exclusively devoted to funding research that helps increase understanding of pathological and youth gambling and find effective methods of treatment for the disorder. Founded in 1996 as a 501(c)3 charitable organization, the NCRG is the American Gaming Association’s (AGA) affiliated charity. For more information, visit www.ncrg.org. NCRG funds provide grants to researchers to increase understanding of pathological gambling and find effective methods of treatment for the disorder. The funds are distributed through the Institute for Research on Pathological Gambling and Related Disorders, a program of the Division on Addictions at Cambridge Health Alliance, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. For more information, visitwww.divisiononaddictions.org/institute.