Gray Matters at Columbia 2015 Spring Benefit Luncheon

May 4, 2015

NEW YORK, NY– World-renowned researcher and National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Nora Volkow, MD, joined political blogger, author and journalist Ana Marie Cox on Wednesday, April 29 at the Gray Matters at Columbia Spring Benefit Luncheon at The Plaza Hotel. The nearly 400 guests surpassed last year’s fundraising effort, raising $610,000.

Each year, Gray Matters at Columbia highlights a theme in mental illness; this year’s luncheon focused on addiction. Dr. Volkow pioneered the use of brain imaging to investigate the toxic effects and addictive properties of drugs of abuse and spoke about the importance of recognizing addiction as a disease of the brain.Ms. Cox, who was this year’s special guest speaker, spoke movingly about the struggles of addiction and inspired the audience with her touching remarks. Past honorees at the Spring Benefit Luncheon include Glenn Close, Andrew Solomon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Congressman Patrick Kennedy, Paula Zahn, Anne Ford and JanePauley.

Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, chairman of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center, noted, “Research continues to be critical in advancing the development of life-saving treatments for psychiatric disorders. Support from families and committed citizens is more important than ever given the economic pressures and reductions in funding that researchers face.”

Funds raised by the luncheon support research fellowships to help young scientists pursuing brain research to help solve the mystery of serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression and autism. The chosen fellows benefit from the multidisciplinary expertise of a peerless team of clinicians and scientists that includes two Nobel laureates.

The 2014-15 Gray Matters Fellows are Guillermo Horga, MD (Schizophrenia), Kathleen Taylor, PhD (Schizophrenia), Sander Markx, MD (Autism, Schizophrenia), Diana Martinez, MD (Addiction), Marisa Spann, PhD, MPH (Prenatal Epidemiology, Infant Brain and Cognition, Early Childhood Mental Health).

To make a gift or for more information please call Regina Roper at 212-304-7227.


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