Luke Clark, Ph.d., Receives Top Honor For Gambling Disorder Research

University of British Columbia scientist honored for outstanding work in the field

Sep 28, 2015

LAS VEGAS – The National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) has announced that Luke Clark, Ph.D., of the University of British Columbia (UBC) is the recipient of the 2015 Scientific Achievement Award. Dr. Clark is being recognized today for his contributions to the field of research on gambling disorder at the 16th annual NCRG Conference on Gambling and Addiction at The Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas.

“Dr. Clark has not only made a remarkable impact on the field, but also has quite a promising career ahead of him in leading the Centre for Gambling Research at UBC,” said Christine Reilly, senior director of research at the NCRG. “We are honored to present this award to him and look forward to what he and his colleagues will accomplish in the future.”

Dr. Clark’s research at the University of Cambridge carved a new and important line of study that merges the psychological perspectives of gambling disorder (cognitive psychology, judgment and decision-making) with neuroscience. In conjunction with the London Problem Gambling Clinic, Dr. Clark collected neurocognitive markers of impulsivity and compulsivity in more than 120 problem gamblers. This work quickly became the largest study of treatment-seeking gamblers ever conducted in the U.K.

As the inaugural director of the Centre for Gambling Research and associate professor of psychology at UBC, his current research builds upon his work in London. His most recent line of research aims to move beyond simply understanding the neurobiological factors of gambling disorder to examine the addiction within a public health framework. Specifically, Dr. Clark and his team will consider the interplay between the gambler’s neurobiological risk factors and various game features. This research and more lies at the heart of the program that Dr. Clark is building at UBC’s Centre for Gambling Research, a unique partnership with the government of British Columbia and British Columbia Lottery Corporation.

Previous recipients of the NCRG’s Scientific Achievement Award include leaders in this field, such as Alex Blaszczynski, Ph.D.; Linda B. Cottler, Ph.D., M.P.H., Renee Cunningham-Williams, Ph.D., M.P.E., L.C.S.W.; Robert Custer, M.D.; Jeffrey Derevensky, Ph.D., Jon E. Grant, J.D., M.D., M.P.H.; Rina Gupta, Ph.D.; David C. Hodgins, Ph.D.; Robert Ladouceur, Ph.D.; Nancy Petry, Ph.D.; Marc N. Potenza, M.D., Ph.D.; Howard J. Shaffer, Ph.D., C.A.S.; Wendy S. Slutske, Ph.D.; Randy Stinchfield, Ph.D., L.P.; Catherine Winstanley, Ph.D., Ken C. Winters, Ph.D.; and Suck Won Kim, M.D.

For NCRG Conference updates, including on-site reporting about the sessions and audio posts from leading researchers and industry representatives, visit the NCRG’s blog –Gambling Disorders 360°– and connect with the NCRG onFacebookandTwitter.