Markus Heilig

Keynote Lecture How we got alcohol addiction wrong: One lever at a time

Markus Heilig received his MD and PhD from Lund University, Sweden, 1986 and 1989, and was a post-doc at The Scripps Research Institute, LaJolla, CA 1990 – 1992. Upon returning to Sweden and completing clinical training in psychiatry, he served at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden, in various clinical and academic leadership capacities until 2004. Between 2004 – 2015, he was the chief of intramural clinical and translational research at the US National Inst on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. In 2015, he was recruited back to Sweden as the founding director of the Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience at Linköping Univ, in a joint initiative of the Swedish Research Council, the University and the Region.

Heilig’s research is centered on regulation of negative effect, as it applies to affective, anxiety and addictive disorders. Current efforts in the Heilig lab are focused on identifying novel mechanisms for pharmacotherapy of addiction, and developing these from preclinical target discovery and validation to early human proof-of-concept trials. Recently, his laboratory has expanded the scope of its research to the neurobiology of choosing between alcohol and natural rewards, and how social factors influence these behaviors.