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Director's Report to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse - February, 2004



Meetings/Conferences

On October 29-30, 2003 and January 6-7, 2004, NIDA convened the final two meetings of the Health Services Research Blue Ribbon Task Force in Washington D.C. The primary objective of the Task Force was to conduct a comprehensive review of NIDA's existing health services research portfolio and to provide recommendations for future research at NIDA. The Task Force was composed of treatment and prevention researchers, representatives from the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The co-chairs were Drs. A. Thomas McLellan and Constance Weisner, both members of the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse.

As part of a NIDA-funded contract with the NRC and IOM to examine the ethical issues raised by studies of the genetics of drug abuse, a conference was held at the National Academy of Sciences on November 13-14, 2003. Participants discussed issues related to Institutional Review Boards (IRBs), legal consequences if genes for drug abuse are discovered, and matters of privacy and discrimination. An over-riding message of this meeting was the need to educate all stakeholders (public, press, advocacy groups, justices, providers, etc.) about the interpretation of genetics' results. The greatest ethical challenges are likely to come from misinterpretation of genetic findings, especially for complex diseases like drug addiction.

On October 7-8, 2003, NIDA convened the final meeting of the Clinical Trials Network Work Group in Washington D.C. The purpose of this Work Group was to evaluate the current status of the Clinical Trials Network program and to advise NIDA on future strategies to accelerate the transfer of research to practice through the Clinical Trials Network. The Work Group Chair, Dr. David Rosenbloom and Work Group members prepared a report based on their findings and recommendations.

NIDA held its first SATH-CAP (Sexual Acquisition and Transmission of HIV Cooperative Agreement Program) Steering Committee meeting on December 9th and 10th, 2003 in Washington DC. PIs and Co-PIs from each of four research sites (UCLA, Yale, University of Illinois at Chicago, and RTI), and one coordinating center (RAND) participated in the meeting, chaired by David Vlahov, Ph.D., of the New York Academy of Medicine and NIDA's Scientific Officer (Jacques Normand, Ph.D., of CAMCODA) and Program Official (Elizabeth Lambert, M.Sc., of CAMCODA).

NIDA co-sponsored two workshops with NIMH on HIV/HCV coinfection entitled HIV/Hepatitis C Coinfection: Impact on Nervous System Disease Burden and HIV/Hepatitis C Coinfection: Behavioral and Clinical Research in Mental Health and Drug Abuse in October 2003. Combined proceedings will be published in AIDS. Thomas Kresina, Ph.D. served as the NIDA coordinator and a speaker in both workshops.

NIDA's Division of Epidemiology, Services, and Prevention Research (DESPR) sponsored a symposium on Translating Evidence-Based Smoking Cessation Strategies into Community Practice at the 2003 National Conference on Tobacco or Health, Boston, MA, November 11, 2003. The seminar, organized by Dr. Beverly Pringle, featured the following NIDA grantees who presented findings from their research: Dr. Belinda Borrelli, Brown Medical School; Dr. Judith Ockene, University of Massachusetts Medical Center; and Dr. Steven Y. Sussman, University of Southern California.

The National Academies Workshop on the Genetics of Drug Addiction was held in Washington, D.C., November 13-14, 2003.

A NIDA Genetics Consortium Meeting was held on December 4, 2003 in Rockville, M.D.

The CTN National Steering Committee Meetings were held in Westminster, Colorado, September 9-12, 2003.

  • Dr. Nora Volkow provided the keynote address; she spoke on NIDA's research priorities under her leadership and stressed the importance the CTN plays in the translation of research to practice.
  • The CTP Caucus met on September 10, 2003. Dr. Volkow was invited to participate at this meeting. The Caucus gave a resounding welcome to Dr. Volkow and discussed their interests and concerns.
  • The CTN Executive Committee met on September 10, 2003 (before the Steering Committee Meeting) and September 11, 2003 (immediately following the Steering Committee) in Colorado. The EC focused its discussion on the development of a CTN roadmap.

Mr. Richard A. Millstein, J.D., then-Deputy Director, NIDA, provided welcome remarks at the 3rd Annual Scientific Meeting of the NIDA National Hispanic Science Network, Miami Beach, Florida, October 2, 2003.

Mr. Millstein presented the keynote address at the First International Roundtable on Addictions Research and Policy of the 46th International Council on Alcohol and Addictions, Toronto, Canada, October 20, 2003.

Mr. Millstein presented to student scholars on career opportunities at NIDA, provided conference welcome remarks, chaired a panel on neuroimaging, and presented on funding opportunities at NIDA at the 10th Conference on Behavior, Clinical Neuroscience, Substance Abuse and Culture, Los Angeles, California, October 22-23, 2003.

Mr. Millstein chaired the Minority Health Scholars Network meeting, a combined meeting of NIDA's four ethnic minority workgroups, Bethesda, Maryland, November 5-6, 2003.

Dr. Timothy P. Condon, newly appointed NIDA Director, and Director, OSPC, presented "Changing the Conversation: National Institute on Drug Abuse" at the National TASC Conference on Drugs and Crime in Raleigh, North Carolina on October 19, 2003.

Dr. Timothy P. Condon presented "NIDA's Research Dissemination Efforts" at the NIDA Clinical Trials Network Workgroup in Washington, D.C. on October 7, 2003.

Dr. Timothy P. Condon presented "Science Advances in the Emerging Drug Problem: Blending Research to Practice" at the NAADAC 2003 Annual Conference - Advancing the Addiction Professional: Facing Today's Challenges in Washington, D.C. on September 15, 2003.

Dr. Timothy P. Condon presented "Other NIDA Blending Practice and Research Initiatives" at the National Institute on Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network: What the Research Means to Single State Agencies in Westminster, Colorado on September 7, 2003.

Dr. Cindy Miner, Deputy Director, OSPC, presented an "Overview of NIDA Communication Strategies" at the NIDA Primary Care Physician Outreach Workgroup Meeting on December 1, 2003, in Bethesda, Maryland.

Dr. Cindy Miner, Deputy Director, OSPC, presented an overview of OSPC outreach activities at the NIDA Combined Ethnic Minority Workgroup meeting in Bethesda, Maryland on November 5, 2003.

Dr. Cindy Miner, Deputy Director, OSPC, participated in the NIMH sponsored Research Breakfast for Early Career Investigators at the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry meeting in Miami, Florida on October 16, 2003.

Dr. Cindy Miner, Deputy Director, OSPC, lead the NIDA/NIMH Grant Writing Workshop at the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry meeting in Miami, Florida on October 15, 2003.

Drs. Yu Lin and Nancy Pilotte, DNBR, co-chaired a symposium, "Endocannabinoids in the Brain: From Micro to Macro" at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA on November 7, 2003.

Dr. Christine Colvis, DNBR, chaired a symposium, "Mechanisms of Receptor and Transporter Trafficking" at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA on November 7, 2003.

Dr. Robert Riddle, DNBR, chaired a symposium, "Embryogenesis of Reward-Based Behavior" at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA on November 7, 2003.

Drs. Susan Volman and Pushpa Thadani, DNBR, co-chaired a symposium, "Young Investigators: Research and Funding Opportunities at NIDA" at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA on November 7, 2003.

Dr. David Shurtleff, Acting Director, DNBR, chaired a symposium, "Signal Transduction Mechanism in Drug Abuse and Addiction" at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA on November 7, 2003.

Dr. Paul Schnur, Acting Deputy Director, DNBR, chaired a symposium, "Neurobiological Mechanisms of Drug & Natural Reward" at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA on November 7, 2003.

Dr. Susan Volman, DNBR, chaired a symposium, "Cognition and Behavior: Functional Changes in Synaptic Transmission and Drug Abuse" at the Society for Neuroscience AnnualMeeting in New Orleans, LA on November 10, 2003.

Dr. Jonathan Pollock, DNBR, chaired a symposium, "Synaptic Transmission and Excitability: Genetically Encoded Biosensors for Defining Neuronal Circuits and Synaptic Change" atthe Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA on November 11, 2003.

Robert Riddle, Ph.D., DNBR and Eric Nestler, M.D. Ph.D. organized an Invited Symposium entitled RNAi: A New Tool in Neuropsychopharmacology at the annual meeting of the American College of Neuropharmacology held in San Juan, Puerto Rico on December 8, 2003.

Rao Rapaka, Ph.D., DNBR, Joni Rutter, Ph.D., DNBR and George Uhl, M.D., Ph.D., IRP organized a meeting entitled Drug Metabolism: Roles of Pharmacogenomics, Transporters, and Drug-Drug Interactions that was held in Rockville, MD, December 8-10, 2003.

Minda R. Lynch, Ph.D., DNBR, co-chaired a workshop entitled "Accumbal Glutamate in the Relapse to Cocaine" at the Winter Brain Research Conference in Copper Mountain, Colorado during the month of January 2004. Invited speakers included; Chris Pierce from Boston University School of Medicine; Marina Wolf from Chicago Medical School; David Self from the University of Texas Southwest Medical Center; and Krista McFarland from the Medical University of South Carolina.

Dionne Jones, Ph.D., CAMCODA, coordinated and served as a discussant in a panel presentation on "Collaborations Across Continents between the United States and Southern Africa: Drug Abuse, HIV, and Other Adverse Consequences" at the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA, November 15-19, 2003.

Thomas Kresina, Ph.D., CAMCODA, co-organized a workshop with Brown University entitled "The Use of Directly Observed Therapy and Other Community Based Efforts to Get HAART to Those Who Are Not Getting It" at the 10th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, February 9, 2003. The proceedings of the workshop, comprising 10 articles on HAART, methadone, DOT, and co-morbidities will be published in an upcoming supplement to Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Thomas Kresina, Ph.D., served as a panelist on the US Medicine Institute for Health Studies roundtable entitled "Comprehensive Screening for HCV: The Federal Role As Catalyst" on November 6, 2003.

Thomas Kresina, Ph.D., served on the planning committee and as a moderator of the Forum for Collaborative HIV Research meeting entitled "Racial and Ethnic Minority Issues in HIV Treatment and Prevention", October 29-30, 2003.

Peter Hartsock. Dr.PH., participated in the 10th Anniversary Conference of the Chemical and Biological Arms Control Institute (CBACI) in Washington, DC, on November 16, 2003. CBACI is currently conducting studies on the international trade of narcotics and the spread of HIV/AIDS and other medical problems.

Wilson Compton, M.D., M.P.E. presented a paper on policy-related research at the National Insitute on Drug Abuse at the annual meeting of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Substance Abuse Policy Research Program in Utah, December 2003.

Dr. Compton chaired a session of the annual meeting of the Campbell Collaboration Briefing Conference on Place Based Randomized Trials at The Rockefeller Foundation, New York, N.Y., December, 2003.

On November 19, 2003, Dr. Elizabeth Robertson, DESPR, made a presentation to The Exchange: A Public/Private Sector Focus on Substance Abuse at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. The title of the presentation was, Preventing Drug Abuse Among Children and Adolescents: The Five Year Update and Review.

On October 14, 2003 Dr. Elizabeth Robertson represented NIDA at a planning follow-up meeting to the New York Academy of Science Adolescent Mind meeting held in New York City on September 18-20, 2003. Plans were made for follow-up activities to augment continued dialog on the significance of research on adolescent brain, cognitive and social development.

Dr. Susan Martin, DESPR, organized a panel on Potential Iatrogenic Effects of Interventions and made a presentation titled "Potential Iatrogenic Effects of Drug Education and Preventive Intervention Programs" at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology in Denver, Colorado on November 20, 2003.

On October 1-2, 2003, Dr. Lynda Erinoff, ERB, DESPR, represented NIDA's Women and Gender Research Group at the University of Kentucky, Center on Research on Violence Against Women conference, "Toward a National Research Agenda on Violence Against Women."

On November 7, 2003, Dr. Lynda Erinoff co-chaired a session on the "Neurobiological Basis of Impulsivity" at the NIDA mini convention at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting.

Dr. Jack Stein, Chief, SRB, DESPR, facilitated a focus group on research dissemination efforts for the criminal justice system at the National TASC Meeting, Raleigh, NC, October 19-20, 2003.

Dr. Jack Stein participated in a meeting of the Health Services Research Information Advisory Committee for the Library of Medicine, November 3, 2003.

Dr. Jerry Flanzer, DESPR, was a panelist at the Research Funding and Career Development Workshop: New Funding and Initiatives at the National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse, Miami Beach, FL, October 2-4, 2003.

Dr. Beverly Pringle, DESPR, presented discussant remarks at a symposium on Substance Abuse Prevention, Treatment, and Service Delivery for Adolescent Girls, at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, August 7, 2003.

Dr. Beverly Pringle, DESPR, chaired a symposium on Translating Evidence-Based Smoking Cessation Strategies into Community Practice, at the 2003 National Conference on Tobacco or Health, Boston, MA, November 11, 2003.

Dr. Frank Vocci, Director, DTR&D, attended the National Hispanic Sciences Network in Miami on October 3, 2003.

Drs. Frank Vocci and David Pating of ASAM co-organized an evening symposium on the Treatment of Cocaine Dependence at the American Society for Addiction Medicine's State of the Art in Addiction Medicine Conference on October 30 in Washington, D.C. Drs. George Uhl, Regina Carelli, David Roberts, and Yavin Shaham presented on their research in cocaine addiction. Dr. Vocci discussed the research and chaired a question-answer session at the end of the presentations.

Drs. Henry Francis, Thomas Kresina, Ann Anderson, Ahmed Elkashef, and Frank Vocci organized a consultants meeting on the combined treatment of opiate dependence and HIV disease on October 31, 2003, in Rockville. Drs. Gerald Friedland of Yale and Walter Ling of UCLA co-chaired the meeting. Dr. Francis spoke about the integration of medical systems to treat both disorders and Dr. Vocci presented on the development of buprenorphine for management of opiate dependence.

Dr. Frank Vocci presented an overview of medications development activities at a consultants meeting on VMAT2 Blockade and Methamphetamine: Implications for Medications Development on December 5, 2003, in Bethesda, MD.

Dr. Frank Vocci presented a talk on Multiple Neuronal Systems Thought to be Involved in Nicotine Dependence at the National Conference on Tobacco or Health in Boston on December 12, 2003.

Drs. Steven Grant and Laurence Stanford, DTR&D, presented "Drug Addiction - a Brain Disease at the U.S. Department of Education Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools 2033 National Conference in Bethesda on October 27, 2003.

Dr. Laurence Stanford participated in the NIH MRI Study of Normal Human Brain Development Annual Workshop on October 29 and 30, 2003. NIDA has recently joined the NICHD, NIMH, and NINDS in supporting the MRI Study of Normal Human Brain Development, a multi-site project designed to develop a database of the structural development of the human brain from birth through late adolescence.

Dr. Steven Grant, DTR&D, presented a talk entitled "Imaging Negative Reinforcement" in the symposium on Negative Reinforcement in Addiction at the American Society for Addiction Medicine State of the Art Conference in Washington, D.C. on October 30, 2003.

Dr. Joseph Frascella, DTR&D, participated in and chaired a session at a CTAC/ONDCP meeting of the Scientific Review Steering Committee in New Orleans, LA, November 8, 2003.

Dr. Joseph Frascella and NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow participated in a forum on Neuroethics at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in New Orleans, LA, November 11, 2003.

Dr. Joseph Frascella participated in a meeting at the Arizona Science Center to help develop a series of science exhibits on brain development and drug abuse, Phoenix, AZ, October 30-31, 2003.

Dr. Joseph Frascella participated in National Hispanic Research Network Annual Conference in Miami Beach, FL, October 2-4, 2003.

Dr. Joseph Frascella conducted a half-day seminar in grant writing at the Florida International University, Miami, FL, October 3, 2003.

Dr. Joseph Frascella participated in Latino Behavioral Health Institute's Ninth Annual Conference entitled Promoting Effective Behavioral Health Care for Latinos in Los Angeles, CA, September 21-24, 2003.

Dr. Melissa W. Racioppo, DTR&D, presented several workshops at the October meeting of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) in Long Beach, CA. The workshops included a full-day orientation to Federal grant writing, and two targeted talks about NIDA's behavioral treatment priorities.

Dr. Ivan Montoya, DTR&D, participated in the organizing committee and chaired a grant-writing workshop at the Third Meeting of the National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse held in Miami on October 2 to 4, 2003.

Dr. Ivan Montoya chaired a session at the Latino Mental Health Meeting held in Princeton, NJ on November 7 and 8th, 2003.

Dr. William Corrigall, DNBR, presented the Victor Cohn Lecture at George Washington University Department of Pharmacology on October 8, 2003. His presentation was entitled "Neurochemical Mechanisms in Nicotine Reinforcement".

Dr. Corrigall presented a seminar on "Neuroscience and Addiction: Advancing to New Treatments for Tobacco" at the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Conference, October 19-22, 2003.

Dr. Corrigall presented a seminar at University of Minnesota on October 22, 2003 entitled "Neuroscience of Nicotine Addiction: What Do We Know and Where Do We Go?"

Dr. Corrigall presented in a symposium at the Annual Investigator Meeting of the California Tobacco Related Disease Research Program December 3-5, 2003; his topic was The Nicotine and Tobacco Addiction Program at NIDA.

Drs. George Uhl, Kathryn Cunningham, Minda Lynch, and Jonathan Pollock organized "Serotonin and Dopamine: Interactive Contributions to Psychostimulant Reinforcement and Aversion" in Rockville, MD on September 28, 2003.

Drs. Jonathan Pollock, DNBR, NIDA, Chris Austin (NHGRI), and Richard Woychik (Jackson Laboratory) organized the Banbury Meeting on Genome Wide Targeted Mutagenesis at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, NY on September 30-October 1, 2003.

Dr. Jonathan Pollock, DNBR, organized the symposium "Molecular Genetics of Drug Addiction and Alcohol Dependence," for the American Society for Human Genetics, Los Angeles, CA., on November 7, 2003.

Dr. Cora Lee Wetherington, NIDA's Women & Gender Research Coordinator, chaired the symposium, "Smoking Cessation: The Right Treatment for the Right Gender," at the National Conference on Tobacco or Health, Boston, MA, December 10-12, 2003.

Dr. Lula Beatty, Chief, Special Populations Office (SPO), gave a keynote presentation titled "Importance of Community Participatory Partnerships Curriculum, Research and Practice" at the 10th Annual HBCU Faculty Symposium on October 23, 2003 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Dr. Lula Beatty gave a keynote presentation titled "Working Together to Improve Drug Abuse Treatment for Girls and Women" at the Weaving and Vision conference sponsored by the Marin Services for Women on September 25, 2003 in Marin County, California.

Dr. Lula Beatty participated in a meeting to discuss the development of a Native American protocol within the CTN on November 24, 2003 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Ana Anders, SPO, presented at the Border Epidemiolgy Work Group in San Diego, CA in September 2003.

Ana Anders co-chaired a grant writing training workshop at the Latino Behavioral Health Institute in Los Angeles, CA, September 2003.

Ana Anders participated in the planning and implementation of the National Hispanic Science Network annual conference iin Miami, FL, October 2003.

Ana Anders participated in the planning of a workshop of Spanish scientists visiting the U.S. October 2003.

Ana Anders co-chaired a meeting of the National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse and the Asian American and Pacific Islander Workgroup at the Minority workgroup Meeting in Bethesda, MD, November 2003.

Pamela Goodlow, SPO, assisted in the coordination of "NIDA's mini-convention Poster Session for Young Investigators: Funding and Research Opportunities at NIDA" during the Annual Society for Neuroscience meeting, November 2003, in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Flair Lindsey, SPO, presented information on the Summer Research with NIDA program to undergraduate students at Spelman College during their annual Summer Internship Fair on November 16, 2003 in Atlanta, Georgia.


Index

Research Findings

Program Activities

Extramural Policy and Review Activities

Congressional Affairs

International Activities

Meetings and Conferences

Media and Education Activities

Planned Meetings

Publications

Staff Highlights

Grantee Honors



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