The Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership of Drexel University College of Medicine will award its 2020 Marion Spencer Fay Award to Marina Picciotto, PhD, Charles B.G. Murphy Professor of Psychiatry and Professor in the Child Study Center, of Neuroscience and of Pharmacology at Yale School of Medicine.
The national award annually recognizes a woman physician or scientist who has made an exceptionally significant contribution to health care as a practitioner, medical educator, administrator, or research scientist. It is named for Marion Spencer Fay, PhD, Dean and President of Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania from 1946 to 1963.
Picciotto, who was nominated for the award, is being honored for her groundbreaking research on the role of nicotine in addiction, memory and behavior, and the biology of drug addiction. She studies basic neurobiological processes relevant to both normal behavior and psychiatric illness.
Ramesh Raghupathi, PhD, Chair of the Marion Spencer Fay Award Committee, and Lynn H. Yeakel, MSM, Director of the Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership, wrote that Picciotto has “demonstrated excellence in educational innovation, exceptional leadership skills, and a sustained dedication to mentorship and innovation in training.”
Picciotto will receive the award, which includes a $10,000 honorarium, in Fall 2020 at a reception in Philadelphia. She will present the annual Marion Spencer Fay Award Lecture, during which she will speak about her work and her personal professional journey.
She is Deputy Chair for Basic Science Research in the Yale Department of Psychiatry and Deputy Director of the Kavli Institute for Neuroscience at Yale. She joined the Yale faculty in 1995 after completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the Institut Pasteur in Paris and earning a PhD in molecular neurobiology at The Rockefeller University in New York City.
She has received numerous honors for her work. In 2000 she was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering by President Clinton and in 2007 was recognized with the Jacob P. Waletzky Memorial Award for Innovative Research in Drug Addiction and Alcoholism by the Society for Neuroscience. She was elected to the National Academy of Medicine and the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering in 2012. She is Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Neuroscience and was President of the Society for Research on Nicotine & Tobacco from 2018-19.
In 2007, the first Yale faculty member to receive the Marion Spencer Fay Award was Women's Health Research at Yale Director Carolyn M. Mazure, Ph.D., Norma Weinberg Spungen and Joan Lebson Bildner Professor in Women's Health and Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology.