University of Minnesota Hires Julia Lemos to Medical Discovery Team on Addiction

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (April 28, 2017)– The University of Minnesota Medical School today announced that Julia Lemos, Ph.D. has accepted a faculty position in the Department of Neuroscience and is now the first member of the Medical Discovery Team (MDT) on Addiction.

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Lemos join this team,” said Dr. Tim Ebner, Head of the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota Medical School. “Julia has unique expertise in studying the brain regions that affect motivation to take drugs and the interaction between stressors and drugs. Her research will be integral to advancing our knowledge to help people recovering from addiction achieve longer periods of abstinence.”

Dr. Lemos is currently an intramural post-doctoral research fellow at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism (NIAAA) and a former Post-Doctoral Research Associate (PRAT) fellow award recipient funded through the National Institute of General Medicine. She holds a K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award given to top young scientists in their field. Her research has been published in several scholarly publications such as Nature, Neuron and the Journal of Neuroscience. Dr. Lemos has a Ph.D. in Neurobiology & Behavior from the University of Washington and graduated with distinction from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Biological Basis of Behavior.

“The University of Minnesota has an enthusiastic, dynamic and highly collegial neuroscience community -- that was quite evident.  The goal of this multi-laboratory MDT on Addiction is to combine both technical expertise and intellectual perspectives in order to discover novel treatments and harm reduction strategies for substance use disorders and other related neuropsychiatric and neurological diseases.  With such an exciting mission and significant committed resources, I felt strongly compelled to join the team and come in on the ground level,” said Dr. Lemos.

The overarching vision of the Medical Discovery Team on Addiction is to link basic research to new therapeutic approaches to treating substance abuse. The MDT is a multi-departmental endeavor across the University of Minnesota Medical School to advance research and treatment in the field of drug addiction. As part of this team, Dr. Lemos will conduct research to gain a better understanding of how to address stress mechanisms that can lead to relapse.

“The Medical Discovery Teams provide the University of Minnesota Medical School the ability to compete for highly sought after investigators, like Dr. Lemos,” said Brooks Jackson, Dean of the Medical School and Vice President for the Health Sciences. “Thanks to the support the Governor and state lawmakers, the State of Minnesota has appropriated significant funds over the next ten years for the Medical School to create a world-class, neuroscience-based program for the study and treatment of addiction.”

The Medical Discovery Team on Addiction is recruiting up to ten basic scientists and physician-scientists from diverse disciplines, including Neuroscience, Neurology, Pharmacology, Psychiatry, and Radiology. Dr. Lemos will join the University of Minnesota in January 2018.

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