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Fifth Annual Penn State Addiction Symposium

December 10, 2019 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

A group of researchers is seen standing around a set of academic posters. Smaller groups are in discussion with one another.

Penn State Addiction Center for Translation‘s fifth annual Penn State Addiction Symposium is designed to familiarize attendees with the many groups studying and treating addiction across Penn State and to consider this work within the context of the state and the nation.

At the free event, open to anyone, participants will learn about the breadth of preclinical and clinical addiction research going on at Penn State and build opportunities for collaboration though brief five- to 10-minute data-blitz-style faculty presentations; a poster session for students, postdocs, staff and faculty; and a keynote address from nationally recognized experts in substance use.

The program strives to bring together all interested in the topics of substance use and addiction. The symposium content is generally research-based and data-driven. Though presentations are expected to be accessible to a wide audience, there will be some complex concepts presented from genetic and molecular work to human subjects work.


The tentative schedule for the day is:

  • 8:15 a.m.: Check-in begins
  • 9 a.m.: Welcome
  • 9:15 a.m.: Featured Penn State addiction researcher Yuval Silberman, PhD, will present “Stress Neurocircuitry and Addiction Across the Lifespan”
  • 10 a.m.: Faculty presentations
  • Noon: Keynote address, “Applying Science to Clinical Care – What it Really Means to Treat Addiction as a Chronic Illness,” by Drs. Yngvild Olsen and Joshua Sharfstein (learn more about the keynote address here)
  • 1 p.m.: Poster session
  • 2:30 p.m.: Faculty presentations
  • 4 p.m.: General discussion and closing remarks

Lunch will be provided for those who register by Dec. 3, 2019; late registrations are welcome, but food cannot be guaranteed after that date.

Abstract Submissions

Abstract submissions are now closed.


A block of rooms at a local hotel is available for out-of-town attendees. Funding is available to offset the cost. For details, contact Sarah Ballard at by Nov. 17, 2019.

Transportation and Parking

Those who are not Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine employees should park in the campus’ Centerview Garage or in the overflow parking at University Conference Center. From the garage, attendees may take the campus shuttle to the North Entrance, and then take the elevators down one floor to the ground level. To reach the Junker Auditorium, exit the elevators, turn left and it will be on the right.

Those traveling from Penn State University Park may take a shuttle that will leave UP at 7 a.m. and arrive in Hershey just after 9 a.m. The shuttle will leave from Hershey at 4:15 p.m. and arrive back at UP around 6:30 p.m. See shuttle information here.

Those interested in carpooling will be asked to indicate such on the registration form. The program will help to set up carpooling from the Commonwealth Campuses as warranted.

See the full campus map here.

Faculty Addiction Dinner

A faculty dinner will be held before the symposium and is open to faculty or by invitation only. During the registration process, faculty and invited guests will be given the option to sign up for dinner. With any difficulties registering for this part of the event, contact Sarah Ballard at

The tentative schedule for dinner is:

  • 5:30 p.m.: Social hour with cash bar
  • 6:30 p.m.: Buffet dinner
  • 7:30 p.m.: Address by Rachel Levine, MD, Secretary of Health for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
  • 7:45 p.m.: Dinner keynote address – “Doing More of What Works and Less of What Doesn’t – The Policy Callenge for the Opioid Epidemic” by symposium keynote speakers Drs. Sharfstein and Olsen
  • 8:45 p.m.: Discussion and dessert

To Register

Those interested in attending either the full symposium or the keynote address/lunch should register online here by Dec. 3, 2019.

Late registrations are welcomed; however, lunch and a name badge cannot be guaranteed after that date. Also, the first 100 registrants who attend the symposium in person will receive a free book by the keynote speakers.


Penn State College of Medicine


Junker Auditorium – Penn State College of Medicine
700 HMC Crescent Road
Hershey, PA 17033 United States
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