The Vulnerable Brain: Pathways to and from Addiction

Published: April 5, 2021

What is addiction, and how does it affect and even change the brain? Why are some brains more vulnerable to substance abuse and addiction? What is the role of stress? How does marijuana use impact the developing brain? What’s the story with CBD? What are some pathways out of addiction? How might cannabinoids be used to treat opioid dependence? Yasmin Hurd is a professor of psychiatry, neuroscience and pharmacological sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; director of the Addiction Institute at the Mount Sinai Behavioral Health System; Ward-Coleman Chair of Translational Neuroscience at Mount Sinai; and a member of the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives. She has conducted pioneering research on the neurobiology of opioid abuse, the neurodevelopmental (and cross-generational) effects of cannabis, and potential treatments for opioid addiction. A member of the National Academy of Medicine, Dr. Hurd and her research have been featured on NPR, ABC, and CNN, and in the New York Times, Time, and Discover. The Dana Foundation is a private philanthropic organization dedicated to advancing understanding about the brain in health and disease through research grants and public outreach. The Secret Science Club is a science lecture, arts, and performance series, based at The Bell House in Brooklyn, curated by Dorian Devins and Margaret Mittelbach.