Search Magazine May 22, 2017

Addiction is a chronic disease

Rather than treating addiction as a personal failure, a blame- and shame-worthy affliction, Vivek Kumar, Ph.D., shows how genetics prove addiction to be, rather, a chronic brain disease. As such, he advocates for a total shift in our cultural view and social treatment of addiction.

Kumar is an assistant professor at The Jackson Laboratory and studies the genetics of addiction using mouse models. His work uses unbiased genetic approaches to discover new genes and pathways that regulate addiction. Kumar is also interested in communicating science to the lay public and has been an advocate for better long term treatment of addiction, much like other chronic illnesses.