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Speakers

The World Congress on Alcohol and Addictions aims to provide a scientifically compelling and multidisciplinary Congress Program, building on the high standards of the past.

During the Congress, you will hear the latest insights and developments in the biomedical research on alcoholism and alcohol-related biomedical phenomena, from leading researchers and scientists.

Plenary speakers

George Koob

Director of NIAAA, NIH

Sawitri Assanangkornchai

Director, Center for Alcohol Studies, Thai Health Foundation, Bankok, Thailand

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Sawitri Assanangkornchai is a Professor of Psychiatry working in Department of Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Songkla University. She is also the Director of Centre for Alcohol Studies, a national granting agency under the support of the Thai Health Promotion Foundation, with a mission to promote research and policy development on alcohol control.

Dr. Assanangkornchai’s research interests include epidemiological and clinical studies on alcohol- and substance-related problems, behavioural addiction and mental health problems.

Dr. Assanangkornchai is currently the President of the Asia Pacific Society for Alcohol and Addiction Research (APSAAR). She is a member of the Technical Expert Group on Alcohol and Drug Epidemiology of the WHO.

Elizabeth Elliott

University of Sydney, Australia

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Professor Elizabeth Elliott AM FAHMS FRSN MD MPhil MBBS FRACP FRCPCH FRCPis a Distinguished Professor in Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of Sydney; Consultant Paediatrician at the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network (Westmead) and holds a prestigious and highly competitive Medical Research Futures Fund Next Generation Fellowship, her third such Fellowship.

She is an elected Fellow and Council member of the Council of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Science, Fellow and James Cook Medallist of the Royal Society of NSW, and an Inaugural Fellow of the Academy of Child and Adolescent Health. She has specialist qualifications in paediatrics from the UK and Australia and is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians; the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, UK; and the Royal College of Physicians, London. She has a research Doctorate in Medicine (oral rehydration therapy); and a Masters in Philosophy in Public Health (haemolytic uraemic syndrome) from the University of Sydney.

Katie Witkiewitz

Center on Alcohol, Substance use, and Addictions, University of New Mexico, USA

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Dr. Katie Witkiewitz is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology and the Director of the Center on Alcohol, Substance use, And Addictions at the University of New Mexico.  Her research examines treatment of substance use disorder, with an emphasis on reducing human suffering, harm reduction, precision medicine, and supporting recovery.  Dr. Witkiewitz is also a licensed clinical psychologist and has worked extensively on the development, evaluation, and implementation of mindfulness-based treatments for substance use disorder. She serves on the United States National Advisory Council on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and on the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Her research has been supported by multiple grants from the National Institutes of Health, totaling over $90 million in research funding since 2004. She has authored 6 books and over 300 peer-reviewed publications, and has given over 100 presentations and invited talks.

Mack Mitchell

Vice-President for Medical Affairs, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School

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Dr. Mack C. Mitchell is Vice-President for Medical Affairs and the Nancy and Jeremy Halbreich Professor of Gastroenterology at U.T. Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas.  He previously served as the interim Executive Vice President for the Health System for U.T. Southwestern from 2017-18.  Prior to joining the faculty at UT Southwestern, he served as Director of Gastroenterology at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and Chair of Medicine at Carolinas Medical Center in North Carolina. 

Dr. Mitchell received his M.D. and residency in internal medicine from Johns Hopkins before completing fellowship in gastroenterology and clinical pharmacology at Vanderbilt University.  He was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha and fellowship in the American College of Physicians and the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. 

Dr. Mitchell was on the Advisory Council and was Chair of the Board of Scientific Councilors of the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and is President of ABMRF, the foundation for alcohol research.  He leads the research team at UT Southwestern as principal investigator for AlcHepNet, a multi-center NIH sponsored clinical research study on alcohol-associated hepatitis.  Dr. Mitchell has co-authored numerous research publications on alcohol-related liver injury including the American Gastroenterology Association guidelines on alcohol-associated hepatitis and recommendations for Designing Clinical Trials for Alcohol Use and Alcohol-associated Liver Disease.

Elisabet Jerlhag

Department of Pharmacology, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

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Elisabet Jerlhag is a professor in pharmacology at the University of Gothenburg, and her work has substantially contributed to our understanding of the role of the gut-brain axis in addiction. Specifically, while others demonstrated that gut-brain peptides regulate glucose and energy homeostasis, the work by Prof. Jerlhag showed that ghrelin, GLP-1 and amylin modulate addictive behaviors associated with alcohol-, addictive drugs, sex, and palatable foods in rodents. Findings verified in human genetic studies. She has published 73 peer-reviewed articles, 13 review articles, and 6 book chapters, and her work has been cited over 6000 times, providing her an H-index of 40. In recognition of her outstanding quality of research, professor Jerlhag has received several awards, including the ESBRA Nordmann award. Moreover, she is a member of several scientific advisory committees, acted as an addiction expert regarding the existence of sugar addiction, and consulted as a preclinical expert in clinical trials.

Tae Kyung Lee

Bugok National Hospital, South Gyeongsang,
South Korea

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Dr. Lee Tae Kyung is a South Korean psychiatrist and is the director-general of Bugok National Hospital (BNH), an affiliate of the Ministry of Health & Welfare in South Korea. Dr. Lee attended Hanyang University Medical College, Seoul, South Korea, and obtained a medical doctor’s license in 1991. Dr. Lee completed a psychiatric residency at the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH), Seoul, South Korea, in 1996. Dr. Lee received a Ph.D. in pharmacology from Hanyang University in 2003. Dr. Lee did one year of post-doctoral research at the Division on Addiction, Cambridge Health Alliance, Harvard.

 Lee served as a staff psychiatrist at the Department of Addiction Psychiatry, NCMH, for 17 years from 2001. From 2018 to 2022, Dr. Lee worked as the deputy director general of ChunCheon National Hospital, another national mental hospital. On Jan 2023, he was appointed as the director general of BNH, Gyeongsangnam-do, South Korea.

During 2021-2022, he served as the chairman of the Korean Academy of Addiction Psychiatry. In addition, he participated in the Korean Society for the Study of Obesity as the director of the Behavioral Therapy Committee.

Senior Representative 

World Health Organization Headquarters

Keynote speakers

Sachio Matsushita

Director, National Hospitals Organization Kurihama Medical and Addiction Center, Yokosuka, Japan

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Director of Kurihama Medical and Addiction Center and Visiting Professor, Department of Neuropsychiatry, Keio University School of Medicine.

After graduating from Keio University School of Medicine, he began his career as a psychiatrist at Kurihama Medical and Addiction Center in 1988. After he worked at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism from 1993-1995, he returned to Kurihama Medical and Addiction Center. He received a Ph.D. in psychiatry from the Keio University School of Medicine in 2010. He became deputy director in 2011 and has served as director since 2022.

He majored in psychiatry and as a researcher and a clinical psychiatrist, he has worked in the fields of alcohol use disorder (AUD) and gambling disorder for more than 30 years and has published more than 100 articles. His research interests include clinical and genetic research of AUD, gambling disorder and dementia.

Rasmon Kalayasiri

Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

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