Anna Zilverstand Joins Medical Discovery Team on Addiction at University of Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS/ST.PAUL, MN- May 30, 2019 – The University of Minnesota Medical School has announced Anna Zilverstand, Ph.D., will join the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, as well as the Medical Discovery Team (MDT) on Addiction.

“We are delighted to have Dr. Zilverstand on the team,” said Tim Ebner, MD, Head of the Department of Neuroscience, and Interim Head of the Medical Discovery Team (MDT) on Addiction at the University of Minnesota Medical School. “Anna has a multidisciplinary background in psychiatry, neuroscience and neuroimaging. Her award-winning translational research will form a bridge between the different departments involved in MDT addiction and bring our neuroscience discoveries to the bedside of the patient. Anna’s research investigates how we can develop treatments that are tailored to target specific aspects of addiction in each individual.”

The overarching vision of the Medical Discovery Team on Addiction is to link basic research to new therapeutic approaches to treating addiction. 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, Zilverstand’s research has the goal of developing personalized, brain-based and technology supported treatments for human drug addiction.

“I am thrilled to become a member of the MDT on Addiction and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. We need innovative and multidisciplinary teams, such as the MDT on Addiction, to tackle the complex questions that we face during the current addiction epidemic,” said Zilverstand when asked about joining the faculty. “Joining a diverse team of young scientists with expertise in pharmacology, neuroscience, engineering and mental health, is a unique opportunity for me to address these urgent questions and start developing new treatment approaches for addiction. I am honored to be part of this initiative started by the University of Minnesota, and supported by the governor and legislature.”

“Our goal is to discover what drug addiction is and how we can tackle it. We put together a unique team of brilliant young scientists who will work together to achieve this goal. This is an extremely important initiative, and we are thankful for the generous support from state lawmakers, who have made this possible,” said Jakub Tolar, Dean of the Medical School and Vice President for Academic Clinical Affairs, adding “Dr. Zilverstand is dedicated to translating novel neuroscientific discoveries into individualized and evidence-based treatments that prevent and treat addiction”.

Zilverstand joined the faculty at the beginning of 2019.  Prior to joining the MDT on Addiction, she was a postdoctoral fellow at Mount Sinai, New York, receiving a highly prestigious fellowship grant from the Netherlands Ministry of Education given to only four young Dutch scientists in Neuroscience that year. In addition, she was awarded internal grant funding from Mount Sinai for her work on employing neuroimaging to develop targeted treatments for individuals with cocaine addiction. This research has been published in top scientific journals including Neuron, Human Brain Mapping, and NeuroImage. Dr. Zilverstand was also given a training award for her doctoral research on novel neurofeedback trainings for improving mental health, which she conducted at Maastricht University, the Netherlands. She received her M.Sc. in Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience and B.Sc. in Psychology at Maastricht University, graduating with honors as top of her class.

“Dr.  Zilverstand brings a tremendous skill set for examining how the human brain is altered in addiction to our department and institution. Her work in identifying different biotypes of addiction has the potential to provide a critical path forward to developing new personalized treatments for those suffering from addiction,” said Sophia Vinogradov, Ph.D., Head of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

The Medical Discovery Team on Addiction is recruiting up to eleven basic scientists and physician-scientists from diverse disciplines, including pharmacology, neuroscience, neurology, psychiatry, and radiology.

About the University of Minnesota Medical School
The University of Minnesota Medical School is at the forefront of learning and discovery, transforming medical care and educating the next generation of physicians. Our graduates and faculty produce high-impact biomedical research and advance the practice of medicine. Visit med.umn.edu to learn how the University of Minnesota is innovating all aspects of medicine.

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