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Neal Benowitz    

Academic Physician & Professor Emeritus of Medicine at USCF; Expert on the Pharmacology of Nicotine and Tobacco Addiction

Neal L. Benowitz is an academic physician and professor emeritus of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), with expertise on the pharmacology of nicotine and tobacco addiction.

Benowitz studied physics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute from 1962 to 1965. He received his M.D. from the University of Rochester in 1969, and joined the faculty of UCSF in 1973 as a clinical instructor. He was appointed assistant professor the following year, and became an associate professor in 1981. Since 1987, he has been a professor of medicine, psychiatry and biopharmaceutical sciences at UCSF. Since 1983, he has also been the chief of UCSF's Clinical Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics division.

Benowitz is known for studying the pharmacology of nicotine, and he has been called "one of the country's preeminent experts on nicotine." In 1988, he served as a senior scientific editor of the Surgeon General's report on nicotine addiction. In 2009, he co-wrote a report from the Institute of Medicine on the cardiovascular effects of passive smoking. Benowitz has served on a number of national and international committees addressing issues in tobacco-related diseases and smoking cessation, including several sponsored by the Institute of Medicine. He has authored over 500 publications, including a state-of-the-art review on nicotine addiction in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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