Faculty Focus

Ever Wonder?

Tufts University’s video series Ever Wonder, features our faculty members answering life’s tricky questions using the knowledge they have obtained through their research.

Doug Brugge, professor of public health and community medicine, answers the question – How does pollution affect us? He says air pollution is estimated to cause 100,000-200,000 death a year in the US. It affects not only our respiratory heath, but also our cardiovascular system, causing heart attacks and strokes. Only through collective action and a large-scale response will we achieve the necessary improvements in air quality.

Assistant professor of public health and community medicine Margie Skeer is posed the question – Why do we get addicted to drugs? She talks about the progression that occurs with drug use and our biological response to rewards and pleasure with the release of dopamine. Over time, the brain begins to release less dopamine, and the body starts to need the drug to not feel sick. Addiction is a disease of the brain, and thus should be treated as an illness, not a behavioral problem.

In the Spotlight