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Director's Report to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse
February, 1995


Staff Highlights


Staff Changes

On December 30, 1994, Dr. Charles R. Schuster, NIDA's Director from 1986 to 1992, retired from Federal service to assume a position as Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences at Wayne State University. After leading the Institute for 6 years, Dr. Schuster moved to the Addiction Research Center to resume his research career as a Senior Scientist in the Office of the Director.

On December 30, 1994, Dr. Marvin Snyder, retired from the Federal Government after 27 years of government service and 20 years at NIDA. During Dr. Snyder's tenure at NIDA, he held numerous leadership positions including: Director, Division of Research; Director, Division of Preclinical Research; Acting Deputy Director, NIDA; Director, Office of Science Policy, Education, and Legislation; and most recently, Director, Office of Science Policy and Communications. Dr. Snyder's extraordinary contributions to NIDA ranged from articulating the concept of drug addiction as a brain disease, fostering the development of NIDA's AIDS research program, conceptualizing and developing the Medications Development Program at NIDA, and formulating NIDA's Clinical Neuroscience initiative.

On December 11, 1994, Dr. Loretta Finnegan, NIDA's Special Expert on Women's Health Issues and Director of NIDA's Office on Women's Health, left the Institute to assume the position of Director of the NIH Women's Health Initiative.

Dr. Christine Hartel, Associate Director for Clinical Neuroscience, DCSR, retired from Federal service on December 9, 1994 to assume a position with the American Psychological Association. During her tenure at NIDA, Dr. Hartel served in a number of key roles including Special Assistant to the Director, NIDA, Deputy Director, DBR and Acting Director, DBR.

Dr. Chris Ellyn Johanson, Chief of the Etiology Research Branch at the Addiction Research Center, retired from Federal Service on December 30, 1994 to assume a position at Wayne State University.

On September 30, 1994, Dr. Richard Lindblad retired from his position as Director of NIDA's International Program. During his tenure at NIDA, Dr. Lindblad was instrumental in developing the International Visiting Scientists and Technical Exchange Program (INVEST), a key component of the Institute's program of international activities.

Dr. Michael Backenheimer, Deputy Director of NIDA's Office of Extramural Program Review (OEPR), retired from 33 years of Federal Government service on December 30, 1994. Dr. Backenheimer served in the armed forces before joining the Public Health Service. He was one of the original NIDA staff, moving from NIMH's Psychopharmacology Research Branch to NIDA's Division of Epidemiology and Statistical Analysis in 1974.

On December 30, 1994, Ursula Evans, a Contract Review Specialist with NIDA's Office of Extramural Program Review retired after 28 years of Federal service.

Dr. Lisa Onken has been serving as the Acting Deputy Director, Division of Clinical and Services Research, since October 17, 1994.

Robin I. Kawazoe is serving as the Acting Director, Office of Science Policy and Communications.

Dr. Timothy P. Condon is serving as the Acting Deputy Director, Office of Science Policy and Communications.

Dr. M. Patricia Needle is currently serving as the Acting Director of NIDA's International Program.

On December 25, 1994, Mr. Joel Egertson joined the Medications Development Division as a senior advisor to the Director. In this position, Mr. Egertson will concentrate on developing strategies to facilitate the expanded use of current and future medications in treating drug abuse dependence.

Two new staff members have or will soon join the Office on AIDS (OA). Mr. Noble Jones, formerly in the Office of Extramural Program Review, will become a Health Science Administrator in the OA. Ms. Deborah Crump has joined the Office as a Program Assistant.

Jaylan S. Turkkan, Ph.D. joined the Division of Basic Research in November as Chief of the new Behavioral Sciences Research Branch. Dr. Turkkan most recently was a Grants Associate at NIH where she spent last year learning about science program administration, review, and policy at NIDA and at other agencies. She comes to NIDA from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine where she is an Associate Professor of Behavioral Biology.


Awards

Dr. Dorynne Czechowicz received an award from CSAT for "extraordinary collaboration between NIDA and CSAT and her dedicated service as Technical Advisor to the Treatment Improvement Project". The award was presented on December 6, 1994 at the State Systems Development Conference in Seattle, Washington.

Amy H. Newman, Senior Staff Fellow in the Psychobiology Section, was appointed to tenure track status.

Beth Geter-Douglass, an IRTA in the Psychobiology Section, received an American College of Neuropsychopharmacology/NIMH Minority Travel Award.

David A. Gorelick, M.D., Ph.D., Chief, Treatment Branch and Pharmacotherapy Section has been named to the editorial board of Substance Abuse, the official journal of the Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse and is serving as section editor for Principles of Addiction Medicine, a new textbook published by the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

Richard Nelson, M.D., a Clinical Associate at the ARC won an NIH AIDS loan repayment award (first NIDA staffer to do so).

Dr. Rao S. Rapaka, Associate Director for Research Technology, Division of Basic Research, has been elected as Program Vice-Chair Elect for the Medicinal and Natural Products Chemistry Section of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists


Grantee Honors


Howard Hughes Medical Institute
NIDA grantee Susan G. Amara of Vollum Institute has recently been selected as an associate investigator of Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Currently there are only 225 investigators at 53 US institutes in the existing Hughes network.

Most-Cited Paper in Neuroscience
In the October 31, 1994 issue of Current Contents, the "Nature" publication of NIDA grantee Philip Seeman and his coworkers: "Cloning of the Gene for a Human Dopamine D5 Receptor with Higher Affinity for Dopamine than Dl", Roger K. Sunahara, Hong-Chang Guan, Brian F. O'Dowd, Philip Seeman, Lisanne G. Laurier, Gordon Ng, Susan R. George, Joseph Torchia, Hubert H. M. Van Tol & Hyman B. Niznik, Nature, 350:614-9, 1991, was ranked number one of the most-cited papers in neuroscience, 1988-1992.


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