In June, the National Association for Children of Addiction (NACoA) presented Robert Zucker, Ph.D., with the 2017 Margaret Cork Award, the organization’s oldest award. Dr. Zucker is a professor with the U-M Department of Psychiatry and former director of the Addiction Center and the substance abuse program within the department. His research specialization is the development of substance abuse across the lifespan.
“This award is the most meaningful because Margaret Cork exemplified recognizing the plight of children of alcoholics as a scientist and then acted to advocate for appropriate services to help them,” said Sis Wenger, President and CEO of NACoA. “This award is not only NACoA recognizing Dr. Zucker’s enormous contributions to the knowledge base that makes possible effective interventions for children impacted by parental drinking, it is also a personal statement of NACoA’s deep gratitude for all that Dr. Zucker has done in the scientific world while NACoA has worked to apply the science in practical ways to support and help children of alcoholics heal from the impact of parental drinking.”
NACoA established the Margaret Cork Award in 1985 to honor pioneers working in biomedical or psychosocial research, programmatic evaluation, innovative programs for hard-to-reach children of alcoholic (COA) populations or minority COAs, or for persons developing and implementing effective early prevention programs. Margaret Cork, a researcher with the Addiction Research Foundation in Toronto in the 1960’s and 1970’s reported her findings on COAs in The Forgotten Children, the first book about COAs to be published in North America.
NACoA is a charity that aims to help children being raised in families where one or both parents suffer from alcoholism or another substance use addiction. Dr. Zucker has focused on the same goal through his research focusing on the course of alcohol and other drug use disorders as well as the genetics and neural circuitry associated with substance use disorders.