Ralph Hingson, ScD '74
Woodrow Wilson Award
Director, Division of Epidemiology and Prevention Research, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Since 2004, Ralph Hingson has directed the Division of Epidemiology and Prevention Research at the National Institute on Alcohol and Alcohol Abuse, the world’s leading funder of research on alcohol use, health and prevention. He has published nearly 200 articles and book chapters on topics including the effects of raising the legal drinking age, laws making it illegal for persons under 21 to drive after drinking, and lowering the legal blood alcohol limit to 0.08%. All 50 states enacted these laws. He has published on magnitude, trends and prevention of underage and college drinking. Since the early 1980s, underage binge drinking has been cut in half. College binge drinking has declined since 2005.
Currently, he serves on the coordinating committee, implementing the World Health Organization’s Strategic Plan to reduce harmful alcohol misuse globally. He was president of the International Council on Alcohol Drugs and Traffic Safety (ICADTS) from 2005-2009. He served on MADD's National Board of Directors from 1995-2000, becoming Vice President for Public Policy. He joined the Boston University faculty in 1973, became full professor and the Social and Behavioral Sciences Department chair from 1986-2001, and was the Boston University School of Public Health’s Associate Dean for Research from 2001-2004.
His numerous honors include the American Society of Addiction Medicine Distinguished Scientist Award; ICADTS Widmark and Borkenstein Awards; MADD’s Annual Ralph W. Hingson Research in Practice Award; the NIH Director's 2017 Award for Contributions to the Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs and Health; and Who’s Who Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award.