William A. Owens Award 2010
Andrea Hohmann, professor of psychology and neuroscience, is a worldwide authority on the role of the endocannabinoid system in pain physiology. Her research strives to exploit the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids to suppress pain—while bypassing the psychoactive side effects associated with tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient in marijuana. Her group was the first to demonstrate that cannabinoids act at a neural level to suppress pain, and the first to identify an enzyme, monoacylglycerol lipase, as an unrecognized target for the treatment of pain and stress-related disorders. This work has led to a better understanding of the mechanisms of pain, its control, and to theoretical advances in the field. Hohmann has several published patents from this work and has received more than $4.4 million in extramural grants to support her research. In 2007 Hohmann received the Young Investigator Award presented by the International Cannabinoid Research Society for her outstanding work. She was also elected a full member of the Somatosensory and Chemosensory Systems Study Sec- tion, which reviews grants for the National Institutes of Health. Through her research and professional affiliations, Hohmann has, and continues to have, an important impact on the fields of both pain pharmacology and the chemical control of neural function.
Creative Research Medal 2006