NCRG Conference on Gambling and Addiction

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Scientific Achievement Award Presentation

Dr. Howard Shaffer, an early pioneer in the field of addictions and gambling disorders research, was named as the recipient of the 2007 NCRG Scientific Achievement Award today in the senior investigator category.

The award was presented by Dr. Peter Nathan, the University of Iowa Foundation Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Public Health, who called Shaffer a "towering figure in gambling research."

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.

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 United States and Canada have been widely recognized as the first reliable estimates of the prevalence rate of the disorder (1 to 1.5 percent).

He also led 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, and 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.

To see the tribute video for Dr. Shaffer that was shown at the awards presentation, click here.


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