Memorial Awards Obituaries


You can honor any RSA member with a donation to the Memorial Award Fund.  Funds, which have been generously donated, by members and non-members alike, are used to support these awards.  Awardees are selected, each year, from students and post-docs that present within symposia at the meeting.  Each awardee is acknowledged during their symposia presentation and will receive a travel stipend.

If we failed to include a member who has passed away within the past ten years please let us know.

Dr. R. Thomas Gentry passed away on September 9, 2019. A career scientist and devoted husband, father, and grandfather, Tom had two great loves in his life: family, and the pursuit of knowledge. As an undergraduate he discovered his passion for science and human behavior, and his purpose in promoting a more peaceful world. Tom earned his PhD at the University of Massachusetts with a focus on endocrinology and behavior. He served as program director at the National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Tom specialized in alcoholism models, alcohol pharmacokinetics and metabolism, and showing his lab rats to children. An RSA member since 1987, he will be missed.

Dr. James R. Trudell passed away on July 29, 2019. Dr. Trudell was Professor of Chemistry in the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine, a faculty member of Bio-X and Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute at Stanford, a former member of the Beckman’s Center Program for Molecular and Genetic Medicine, and a member of RSA since 1998. As the true chemist that he was, Jim was a catalyst for how we thought about complex macromolecules and for interdisciplinary solutions and innovation. He was an influential mentor to many young scientists, to whom he generously devoted his time. Jim will be remembered as man of tremendous knowledge and curiosity, a passionate researcher, a selfless collaborator, a sailing buddy, a kind and trusted friend.

Dr. Stephen T. Chermack, 54, of Ann Arbor, MI passed away peacefully in the early hours of May 2, 2019. Steve was a graduate of SUNY Buffalo and received his master’s and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Kent State University. In 2012, Steve became Chief of the Mental Health Service at the Ann Arbor VA a role he held until taking medical leave. In 2016, he was promoted to Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan Medical School. Steve became a member of RSA in 1996, attending the annual meeting regularly and he took great pride in introducing his trainees to the organization. Steve was also a musician, playing in several local bands over his 25 years in Ann Arbor.

Dr. Scott Coffey, passed away April 9, 2019, due to ALS. Dr. Coffey began at University of Mississippi Medical Center as an associate professor in 2004, taking over as Division Director for Psychology in 2007, and achieving the rank of professor in 2010. He served as the Vice Chair for Research within Psychiatry from 2013-2018, becoming Professor Emeritus in 2018. Dr. Coffey's research interests included the treatment of PTSD, substance use disorders, and the concurrent treatment of those conditions. In addition to his excellence in research, Dr. Coffey was a passionate educator and mentor. Scott was a member since 2003.

Dr. Ting-Kai “T-K” Li passed away on November 18, 2018, just five days following his 84th birthday.  T-K had a distinguished academic and public service career, spanning almost five decades. As a physician and a scientist, T-K turned with a passion to alcohol research, focusing on the possible underpinnings of the disease, including its genetic bases.  In 1989, Dr. Li, and others, led the development of the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA). A founding member of RSA, he served as president of both RSA and ISBRA, ACER Editor and then as NIAAA Director. He was truly a monumental figure in alcohol research, and his legacy is in the many lives he touched, personally and professionally. T-K and his mischievous smile will be missed by many.

Dr. Richard (“Dick”) Deitrich passed away peacefully on September 5, 2018. Dr. Deitrich was Professor Emeritus at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, his professional home for over 50 years during which time he was deeply involved in alcohol research and with the alcohol research community. He was the recipient of the RSA Distinguished Researcher Award in 1984 and the founder and director of the Colorado Alcohol Research Center, one of the first such Centers to be funded by the NIAAA. Dr. Deitrich’s research focused on alcohol metabolizing enzymes and their potential contribution to alcohol addiction, and also on the behavioral genetics of alcohol. Perhaps his most important professional contribution was the training and inspiration he provided for dozens of PhD students, post-doctoral Fellows, and visiting scientists. Dr. Deitrich, a "pioneer" member of RSA and the Society's 3rd president,  was a trusted colleague, a gifted scientist, an outstanding fisherman and photographer, a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, and a true friend to many.

Dr. Thomas Ray Jerrells passed away May 22, 2018. He retired as Professor of Immunology from the University of Nebraska Medical Center-Omaha in November 2011. He was one of three co-founders of the Alcohol and Immunology Research Interest Group (AIRIG), as well as Editor-in-Chief of Alcohol: An International Biomedical Journal from 1999 through 2004. Tom was widely recognized for his research on the effects of alcohol consumption on host immunity. He accumulated countless peer-reviewed journal publications in his name and mentored many of the next generation’s great scientific minds. Many of his trainees are now leading investigators in their respective fields. Tom was a long-time member of the RSA and ISBRA.

Dr. Richard Morrisett, Professor of Pharmacology in the College of Pharmacy at The University of Texas at Austin, passed away in early April 2018. Dr. Morrisett was a brilliant neuroscientist and a renowned alcohol researcher. A long-term member of RSA, Dr. Morrisett directed a NIAAA funded T32 training grant and a core facility for the Integrative Neuroscience Initiative on Alcoholism (INIA). 

Dr. Lawrence Lumeng passed away June 21, 2017. He was appointed Assistant Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry at IUSM in 1971, advanced to Associate Professor in 1974, and then promoted to Full Professor in 1979.  Concurrently, he served as a Research Associate and later as a Clinical Investigator at the VAMC.  He was appointed the Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at IUSM from 1984 to 2007 and also at the VAMC from 1984 to 2003. He successfully built one of the foremost academic Gastroenterology divisions in the country that ranked continually in the top 15 since 1993. When he stepped down as Division Chief in 2007, the Division ranked #9 nationally as a top digestive disease unit in the country. A 30+ years member of RSA, he will be missed.

Dr. Matthew Reilly passed away unexpectedly in May, 2017. Matt served as a program officer in the Division of Neuroscience and Behavior at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, NIH since 2009. He brought great enthusiasm and dedication to his management of a diverse research grant portfolio devoted to gene and protein networks involved in alcohol dependence. Through his active leadership in the NIH Library of Network-Based Cellular Signatures (LINCS) Program he developed a keen interest is applying bioinformatics approaches to the discovery of druggable targets for alcohol use disorders and was very active in this capacity in NIAAA’s medication development efforts. Matt was well known and long appreciated in the alcohol research community. Matt was a long-term member of RSA.

Dr. John K. Belknap passed away in March, 2017. John was Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience at OHSU and a Senior Research Career Scientist at the VA Portland Health Care System. He earned his BA, MA and PhD (1971) in Psychology from the University of Colorado in Boulder. He was one of the first graduates of both the new Biopsychology program and the new Institute for Behavioral Genetics. His mouse behavioral laboratory work focused on studies of genetic contributions to the effects of drugs of abuse. John was a long-term member of RSA.

Dr. Theodore (Ted) Jacob passed away on August 22, 2016. He founded and directed the Family Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh (1969 to 1986), then was Chair and Professor of Family Studies at the University of Arizona (1986 to 1992), and thereafter joined the VA (1992-2016) to become a Research Career Scientist and Director of the VA’s Family Research Center. His contributions to both individuals and institutions were many, and he will be missed. Ted was a long-term member of RSA.

Dr. Loren (Larry) Parsons of the Committee on the Neurobiology of Addictive Disorders (CNAD) at The Scripps Research Institute passed away on June 21, 2016. Professor Parsons was a brilliant neuroscientist, a dynamic leader in CNAD and a wonderful, well loved human being. He was
Director of both the TSRI NIAAA Alcohol Research Center and TSRI NIAAA T32 post-doctoral training grant. Dr. Parsons was recruited to TSRI in 1992 where he developed a spectacular research program and has made seminal contributions that will remain his legacy. Larry was a long-term member of RSA.

Dr. Don W. Walker passed away on May 29, 2015. His last position was as Professor of Neuroscience in the Department of Neuroscience, University of Florida College of Medicine. His research area was the neurobiological consequences of alcohol abuse, and he and Gerhard Freund (who died in early 2014) established the first animal model for alcohol abuse experimentation, with appropriate controls for nutritional variables, etc. This was a major contribution to the field. Don was a long-term member of RSA.

Dr. Mark D. Wood passed away on April 26, 2015. Since 1998, he had been a faculty member in the Department of Psychology at the University of Rhode Island. Dr. Wood's research primarily focused on three interrelated areas: (1) the etiology of alcohol use and misuse; (2) preventive
interventions to reduce alcohol misuse; and (3) alcohol-related aggression and violence. Mark was a long time RSA member and organizer of the RSA 5K Run/Walks.

Dr. Adrienne S. Gordon, a retired member of RSA, died on February 19, 2015. Dr. Gordon had conducted pioneering alcohol research as a faculty member in the Department of Neurology and the Gallo Center at the University of California, San Francisco.

Dr. James D. Beard passed away on October 7, 2014. He began his lengthy career at the Memphis Mental Health Institute in the 1960’s. Jim earned his Ph.D from the University of Tennessee, College of Medicine in Physiology while studying the clinical effects of alcohol. He continued his research and teaching schedule at the University of Tennessee Medical School until his retirement. Dr. Beard was a long term RSA member and received the RSA Seixas Award in 1989.

Dr. Harry June, an active RSA Member, passed away on June 7, 2014. He conducted alcohol research as a faculty member at IUPUI before he moved on to the University of Maryland and Howard University.

Dr. Ronald Alkana, an active RSA Member since 1980, has passed away. Ronald Alkana, 68, associate dean for graduate affairs and interdisciplinary programs at the USC School of Pharmacy, died on February 23, 2014 while jogging near his home in Seal Beach.

Dr. V. Gene Erwin passed away November 30, 2013. He will be missed by the alcohol research community. Dr. Erwin was an Emeritus Professor at the University of Colorado. Gene was a member of RSA since 1980.

Dr. Nancy K. Mello passed away on Monday, November 25, 2013. Dr. Mello had been an RSA member since 1989 and will be missed by the alcohol research community. Dr. Mello was director of McLean’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Center and also taught at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Xiao-Ming Ou passed away on August 25, 2013. Dr. Ou was an associate professor of Psychiatry at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. She will be missed by the alcohol research community.

Dr. Shannon Matta, passed away on Saturday, February 23, 2013, after an heroic battle with cancer. She joined the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) in 1998. She was nationally and internationally known for her work in understanding the neurobiology of nicotine and alcohol abuse. Shannon was a long-time member of RSA.

Dr. Albert Pawlowski, passed away on January 27, 2013. Al was the RSA Seixas Awardee in  2002 and was a long-time RSA Member. He worked for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Director of the Small Grants Section of the National Institutes of Mental Health, Vice President of the Alcohol Beverage and Medical Research Foundation in Baltimore (1989-2001), and was instrumental in issuing a first class stamp for Alcoholism from the United States Postal Service in 1981.

Dr. Daniel W. Hommer of Rockville, MD, passed away suddenly on January 2, 2013. Dan received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and his M.D. from Albert Einstein College of Medicine. A dedicated scientist and physician, Dan was Chief of the Section of Brain Electrophysiology and Imaging at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, NIH. He was a wonderful mentor and world-renowned for his discoveries on structural and functional differences in brains of alcoholic and non-alcoholic individuals. Dan was an RSA member since 1995.

Dr. Timothy A. Cudd passed away on August 26, 2012. Dr. Cudd was a long time member of RSA and the FASD Study Group, and Professor in the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine Department of Veterinary Physiology & Pharmacology, Charter Fellow of the Michael E.
Debakey Institute for Comparative Cardiovascular Sciences and Biomedical Devices. Dr. Cudd was a superb scientist, an excellent teacher, and a great surgeon, as well as a friend and mentor that influenced many researchers in the field of fetal physiology.

Dr. Dora “Dody” Goldstein passed away on October 2, 2011. A professor emerita of molecular pharmacology at the Stanford University School of Medicine, Dr. Goldstein was widely recognized for her research on the effects of alcohol on the body. Dody was one of the world’s leading experts on alcoholism and a pioneer of women in medicine. In 1979, Dody was elected RSA President and remained active in the society until her retirement.

Dr. David B. Newlin passed away on September 22, 2011. He was a Senior Research Psychologist in the Transdisciplinary Science and Translational Prevention Program at RTI International’s Office in Baltimore. David was an RSA member since 1987.

Dr. Raphael Rubin passed away on September 18, 2011. He was a Professor of Pathology, Anatomy and Cell Biology at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia and served on the Alcohol and Neurotoxicology study section and was Review Editor/Field Editor for ACER. Raphael was
an RSA member for over 10 years.

Dr. Robert D. Myers passed away July 16, 2011. He was a long-time member of RSA, founding editor of Alcohol, and author of more than 500 scholarly papers, many in the alcohol research field. Always the optimist!

Dr. Bartley Hoebel passed away on June 11, 2011 at his Princeton Township home surrounded by family after a two-year battle with lung cancer. He was an internationally renowned professor of psychology at Princeton University, and his work led to discoveries in eating disorders and obesity, addiction, alcohol consumption and depression. Bart was a member since 2003.

Dr. G. Alan Marlatt passed away peacefully March 14, 2011. He was an exceptionally generous, kind, dedicated mentor, friend, and colleague to legions of alcohol and drug researchers both nationally and internationally. Alan was an RSA member since 1987.

Dr. Alison Snow Jones passed away on January 17, 2011. Dr. Jones was an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Management and Policy at the Drexel University School of Public Health. A valued economist, she directed important research concerning alcohol use and health, and directed joint programs between the Schools of Business and Public Health at Drexel. Alison was a member since 2007.

Dr. Hiromasa Ishii passed away on May 31, 2010. He was a central figure of alcohol research in Japan for many years and a great host who encouraged so many Japanese and other alcohol researchers, particularly in relation to liver pathology and liver disease. Hiro was an RSA member since 1980.

Dr. Muriel Vogel-Sprott passed away September 27, 2009 after a long battle with cancer. She was a researcher in the Department of Psychology, at the University of Waterloo, Canada. Muriel was an RSA member since 1989.

Dr. Fred Risinger passed away on September 19, 2009. An RSA member since 1992, Dr. Risinger was a Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the College of Pharmacy, Idaho State University.

Dr. Julie Staley-Gottschalk lost her courageous battle with cancer on Saturday July 25, 2009. During her twelve-year career at Yale, she touched many lives and contributed greatly to the advancement of science and knowledge in psychiatry. Dr. Staley-Gottschalk had been an RSA member since 2002.