Victor G. Laties
University of Rochester
Dr. Victor Laties won the Award for Distinguished Service to Behavior Analysis from the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis in 1995 and 2003—the only person to receive this award twice. He was a major figure in the development of both behavioral pharmacology and behavioral toxicology. His work with the Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior (SEAB) journals was essential to their development and their sustained excellence over decades. In addition, his contributions to developing, maintaining, and updating the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior/Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis website were invaluable.
Laties received his BA from Tufts University and his Ph.D. from the University of Rochester. A postdoctoral year at Brown University with Harold Schlosberg and Carl Pfaffmann introduced him to behavior analysis. A transforming event was helping to run two undergraduate rat labs with Rosemary Pierrel. These were based upon Keller and Schoenfeld's Columbia model. He learned about operant conditioning with his students as together they read Principles of Psychology.
His first job was at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and it was there, in the Departments of Medicine and Pharmacology, that he started doing animal research, learning much from Bernie Weiss, a fellow Rochester graduate who had joined him at Johns Hopkins. They ranged widely, studying pain measurement, heat reinforcement, human observing behavior, and various other types of schedule and stimulus control, usually, but not always, with an eye to usefulness in understanding the actions of behaviorally important drugs. After moving together to Rochester's medical school in 1965, they expanded their interests to behavioral toxicology, and Laties continued to emphasize behavioral pharmacologic questions in his research.
Laties became secretary-treasurer of SEAB and executive editor of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior in 1966; he was also editor for four years in the mid-1970s. He retired in 1993 but managed the web pages for the SEAB journals as well as his own department's website.