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Director's Report to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse
February, 2001


Grantee Honors

Dr. Nora D. Volkow, Associate Laboratory Director for Life Sciences at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, has been elected as a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. A board-certified psychiatrist and a world-leader in research on addiction, Dr. Volkow uses positron emission tomography (PET) to understand how addictive drugs affect the brain. She is credited with being one of the first researchers to show the timecourse and distribution of cocaine within the brain, as well as to report that cocaine is toxic to the human brain. She uses PET in pioneering studies of biochemical changes in the brain associated with addiction, and her studies are focused on finding an effective pharmacological treatment for addiction. Dr. Volkow was one of 70 members elected to the institute this* year and is the first member from Brookhaven Lab to be elected in the institute's 30-year history. Members are elected by the current membership on the basis of professional achievement and of demonstrated interest, concern and involvement with problems and critical issues that affect public health.

Dr. Ram Murty of Murty Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Lexington, Kentucky, received the prestigious TIBBETTS award, an initiative of the US Small Business Administration, on October 3, 2000. Dr. Murty is the Principal Investigator of a SBIR Phase II contract and has developed an innovative methodology utilizing supercritical fluid extraction techniques to produce denicotinized tobacco and manufactured standardized placebo and nicotine cigarettes of varying strengths and natural flavors which are used for research in drug abuse and addiction, cancer and related disciplines.

Dr. Peter W. Schiller was awarded the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientific (AAPS) Research Achievement Award in Medicinal and Natural Products Chemistry. Dr. Schiller is director of the Laboratory of Chemical Biology and Peptide Research at the Clinical Research Institute of Montreal and a professor of pharmacology at the University of Montreal. He received his Ph.D. in chemistry and molecular pharmacology from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland. Dr. Schiller is an internationally recognized leader in the field of the medicinal chemistry and molecular pharmacology of peptide hormones and neurotransmitters. He developed novel concepts that provided new insights into peptide-receptor interactions and fundamental aspects of peptide-based drug development.

Dr. Frank Ivy Carroll was elected fellow of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS). Dr. Ivy Carroll is Vice President of the Chemistry and Life Sciences Unit and Director of Organic and Medicinal Chemistry at the Research Triangle Institute. Dr. Carroll has varied research interests. Since 1990 the major thrust of his research has been in the synthesis and study of the 3-phenyltropane class of compounds. The compounds developed have had a tremendous impact as tools to assist in establishing the biochemical mechanism of cocaine's pharmacological properties.

Dr. George De Leon, Director of the Center for Therapeutic Community Research at NDRI, was awarded the Governor's Award for Lifetime Service in the field of alcohol and drug abuse in November 2000.


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