Former Cross Country/Track and Field Member Dr. Richard De La Garza II Selected as Texas A&M University-Commerce Distinguished Alumni
Former Texas A&M
University-Commerce track and field/cross country member
Dr. Richard De La Garza II (pictured in
the center; President Dr. Dan Jones-left and Athletic Director
Carlton Cooper-right) was awarded membership into the
Distinguished Alumni Chapter of Texas A&M University-Commerce
on Friday night.
The purpose of the chapter is to maintain a medium for serving Texas A&M University-Commerce, to further the interest and well-being of the University, and to foster an appreciation for the rich heritage left to the great University by its students, its faculty and its administration during its more than 100 years of existence. It is from the vast pool of outstanding graduates of the educational institution in Commerce that Distinguished Alumni are selected and honored.
Dr. De La Garza received his bachelor’s degree in biology from Texas A&M University-Commerce (formerly East Texas State University) in 1985. He earned a master’s degree in biology at the University of North Texas in 1989, a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Texas Medical Branch in 1996, a post-doctoral fellowship from Harvard Medical School in 1999, and a post-doctoral fellowship from Yale University School of Medicine in 2000.
He began his research in September 1993 when he ran studies on the neurobiology of addiction using rodent models. He is presently researching medication development and testing for cocaine, methamphetamine, and nicotine addiction. Dr. De La Garza uses virtual reality in his quest to better understand the origins of addiction. His work has earned him more than 18 honors and awards. Recently, he received the 2008 DR. Robert M. Stevenson Faculty-in-Residence Award, he was named a Kavli Fellow by the National Academy of Sciences in 2009, and was appointed to the 2010 National Academy of Sciences organizing committee.
Dr. De La Garza is currently a member of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, International Study Group Investigating Drugs as Reinforcers, Society of Neuroscience, and the College on Problems of Drug Dependence.