Remarks by William L. Dewey, Ph.D., Vice President Research & Graduate Studies, Medical College of Virginia
It is indeed a pleasure and an honor for me to present Dr. Martin Adler, the Nathan B. Eddy award winner for 1997. Marty was nominated for this award for many reasons: his many scientific contributions, his leadership role in our discipline, his excellence as a teacher and role model, his endless and tireless work for the field and for his phenomenal continuance of the work of Dr. Eddy to oversee the activity of CPDD.
Dr. Adler is a world leader in the area of understanding the effects of opioids and opiates on thermoregulation. The effects of opiates on thermoregulation, like the effects of these drugs on some other systems, are species-specific, dose-dependent and often affected by many other biological variables. Dr. Adler has elucidated how and why each of these variables affect opiate pharmacology.
Just as the opiates can cause an increase in body temperature under certain conditions and a decrease in other conditions, they also cause seizures at some and have antiseizure activity under other conditions. Dr. Adler has done a great deal to expand our knowledge in this area as well. In addition, he has been instrumental in our understanding of the complex effects of opiates on the eye.
It is obvious that Dr. Adler has chosen some of the more complex systems to study effects of the opiates. He has done more than anyone else to elucidate the mechanisms by which these interesting drugs alter these biological systems. He has identified the endogenous ligands and the specific opiate receptor types involved in each of these interesting pharmacological phenomena. His studies included both acute and chronic administration of the opioids. Information generated by his laboratory following chronic administration has been important in our attempt to understand the mechanisms of the development of tolerance and physical dependence to opiates.
In recent years he has expanded the breadth of his interests to include interesting investigations into the effects of the opiates on the immune system. He had the wisdom to choose excellent collaborators who had sound knowledge of this system. Dr. Adler contributes much to this group as one of the world’s leaders in the pharmacology of opiates.
Even though I believe the contributions of the work described above are enormous, they do not tell the whole story of the contributions of this man to science. He is a stimulating lecturer who makes difficult concepts understandable to his audience. Dr. Adler has educated an impressive number of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who have gone on to be contributing independent investigators in their own right. He has contributed to the field of pharmacology and, more significantly, to drug abuse research in other ways. He has been an excellent field editor of the most prestigious journal in the field of pharmacology as well as a tireless reviewer of papers for many other journals. Dr. Adler has served the more broad field of pharmacology by contributing expertly to his department and to his professional society.
But it is in the specific field of substance abuse that Marty’s service contributions are beyond comparison. He has contributed extensively to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. He has served on the study sections and review groups for an extended period of time. He has chaired NIDA study sections at least twice in his career. He has served on the editorial board of the NIDA monograph series and on the search committee for the Director of the Institute. His contributions as executive secretary of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence can not be overstated. When he took on the responsibility it was a time of major transition in the organization. He has kept this organization together as officers come and go and as the committee of twenty-some people has become a membership organization of hundreds. The glue that kept it all together has been Marty Adler. The fact that he is one the world’s leading researchers in this area has allowed him to be an executive officer who contributes far beyond what normally is expected. This is certainly is reminiscent of the important contributions of Dr. Eddy to this field.
Dr. Marty Adler has contributed to biomedical research in every conceivable way. In each, he has contributed with distinction and has been an example for all of the rest of us. It is a pleasure to have worked with Marty Adler in so many ways and it is a privilege to be in the same field with such an outstanding scientist. It is now my pleasure to ask Marty to come forward and accept this award and present the 1997 Nathan B. Eddy Award Lecturer.