ACU neuroscientist Valentina Lorenzetti has been awarded the prestigious 2022 Al & Val Rosenstrauss Fellowship to the total value of $850,000 ($600,000 in fellowship salary and $250,000 in research project costs) over a period of five years.
Targeted at early-career researchers who show potential to be stars of the future and are building credentials for a long career in research, the fellowship has a salary component of $120,000 per year and an additional research support package of $50,000 per year for a five-year term.
“I am honoured and humbled to receive this prestigious award,” Associate Professor Lorenzetti said.
“Our team believes that everyone vulnerable to or impacted by addiction and mental health problems deserves the opportunity for better life outcomes.
“The fellowship will enable me and my team to continue working to investigate the origins, correlations and harm reduction of substance use, addiction, and mental health problems.”
Associate Professor Lorenzetti, who leads the Neuroscience of Addiction and Mental Health Program and is the deputy director of ACU’s Healthy Brain and Mind Research Centre, is making an international mark in the field of neuroscience.
Her work has led the top US federal health agency to announce a new standard dose of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main chemical responsible for the psychotropic and addictive properties of cannabis.
The standard dose will be used by researchers to enable more accurate and useful research into the effects of cannabis use.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has advised researchers of the new requirement to measure and report results using a standard THC unit of five milligrams in all human subjects’ research.
ACU Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) Professor James McLaren congratulated Associate Professor Lorenzetti on securing the prestigious award.
“Associate Professor Lorenzetti’s research on the prevention of addiction and associated mental health issues has important social impact on youth, educators, parents, and public health,” Professor McLaren said.
“The award is testimony to the international recognition of the impact of her research for the wider community.”
The fellowship is named in honour of the late Al Rosenstrauss OAM and his wife, Val, for their contribution to the work of The Rebecca L Cooper Medical Research Foundation.