Published: April 5, 2021 By

Victor M. Bright of the Paul M. Rady Department of Mechanical Engineering and Kent Hutchison of the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience have been selected to receive the 2020 Distinguished Research Lectureship.


The Lectureship is among the most esteemed honors bestowed by the faculty upon a faculty member at the University of Colorado Boulder. Each year, the Research & Innovation Office (RIO) requests nominations from faculty for the Distinguished Research Lectureship, and a faculty review panel recommends one faculty member as a recipient. Two faculty members were selected for 2020.

Professor Victor Bright

Victor M. Bright is a professor of mechanical engineering and an assistant vice chancellor for research at CU Boulder. His research activities include nanoscale mechanical systems, sensors and actuators, and electronics integration.

Bright served as the associate dean for research in the College of Engineering & Applied Science from 2005-2007 and as chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering from 2009-2013.

Prior to joining CU Boulder, he was a professor of electrical and computer engineering for the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. During 2004, he was a Visiting Professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH-Zurich), Switzerland.

Bright was the co-chair of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) 2005 International Conference, and the Technical Chair of the Transducers 2015 International Conference. From 2005-2018, he was an editor for the Micromechanics section of the journal Sensors and Actuators A: Physical. Bright is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and a Fellow of IEEE.

Bright is the recipient of the 2010-2011 CU Boulder Faculty Assembly Award for Excellence in Service and the recipient of the 2007-2008 CU Boulder Faculty Assembly Award for Excellence in Research, Scholarly and Creative Work.

He received his Bachelor of Science Electrical Engineering from the University of Colorado Denver in 1986, and his MS and PhD degrees from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1989 and 1992, respectively.

Bright has more than 300 publications in the field of sensors and microsystems, and has advised more than 50 PhD and MS graduate students during his career.

Bright’s lecture, which will focus on microscale sensors and machines, will be held in the fall.

Professor Kent Hutchison

Kent Hutchison, adjunct professor of psychology and neuroscience at CU Boulder, was recently appointed to a faculty position at the Anschutz Medical Campus where he is a professor of psychiatry in the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

Hutchison has been an NIH-funded scientist for 20 years and has published numerous papers in the area of substance use. In recent years, he served on the National Academy of Sciences committee that reviewed the effects of cannabis on health and published a summary report in 2017. 

Hutchison is the principal investigator or co-investigator on four NIH-funded studies that examine the effects of cannabis products–such as flower, edibles and concentrates–purchased in the state of Colorado. Specifically, the studies are designed to compare the effects of cannabidiol (CBD)-only, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) combined with CBD, or THC-only on cognitive outcomes, anxiety, opiate use, and pain, in patient populations using a mobile pharmacology lab. 

The mobile lab allows for the assessment of blood levels of THC and CBD and a test of whether blood levels of these cannabinoids predict the effects of cannabis on key outcomes including reductions in pain and opiate use.

Hutchison is working to establish a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Center of Excellence, spanning the Anschutz and Boulder campuses, to facilitate research on the health effects of cannabis across the lifespan.

If you go

Professor Hutchison’s Distinguished Research Lecture: Understanding the Risks and Benefits of Cannabis Across the Lifespan

  • Thursday, April 22, 2021
  • Virtual via Zoom: 4–5 p.m.

Register Now

Hutchison’s Lecture: Understanding the Risks and Benefits of Cannabis Across the Lifespan

On Thursday, April 22, Professor Hutchison will deliver the 116th Distinguished Research Lecture, Understanding the Risks and Benefits of Cannabis Across the Lifespan.

His presentation will focus on two areas of research, driven by the following questions:

  • How does the presence or absence of the primary constituent cannabinoids (e.g., THC and CBD) influence the health effects of cannabis products? 
  • How do the health effects of cannabis products differ across the lifespan? 

The overarching objective of this research is to provide patients, their family members and public health officials with data that can be used to reduce the potential for harm and maximize the potential benefits of cannabis and hemp products.