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National Institute on Drug Abuse

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

February, 1999


Program Activities


Program Announcements/RFAs


On September 4, 1998, NIDA, in conjunction with numerous other NIH components, issued a Program Announcement entitled New Directions in Pain Research: I (PA-98-102). The purpose of this program announcement is to inform the scientific community of broad, shared interests in pain research encompassing the various components of the NIH, and to stimulate and foster a wide range of basic, translational amd patient-oriented clinical studies on pain.

On September 16, 1998, NIDA, in conjunction with the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), issued a Program Announcement entitled Pathological Gambling: Basic, Clinical and Services Research (PA-98-106). This program announcement encourages research that builds on extant research findings concerning pathological gambling and research that expands the breadth and depth of scientific knowledge through increased involvement of various disciplines including epidemiology, genetics, neuroscience, developmental psychopathology, and behavioral, cognitive, and social science.

On September 24, 1998, NIDA issued a Program Announcement entitled Drug Abuse Treatment and Services Dissertation Research (PA-98-109). Through this program announcement, NIDA announces the availability of small grants (R03) to support doctoral dissertation research in drug abuse treatment and health services research. Grant support is designed to aid the research of new investigators and to encourage doctoral candidates from a variety of academic disciplines and programs to conduct research in these areas of interest to NIDA.

Epidemiologic Research in Drug Abuse (PA-99-002) was issued by NIDA on October 2, 1998. This Program Announcement replaces PA-94-007, "Survey Research on Drug Use and Associated Behaviors" which was published in the NIH Guide, Volume 22, Number 39 on October 29, 1993.

On November 19, 1998, NIDA, in conjunction with NIMH and NIAAA issued the Program Announcement entitled National Research Service Awards for Individual Predoctoral Fellowships (PA-99-17). This is a revision of Program Announcement PAR-93-040 that was published in the NIH Guide, Volume 22, Number 12 on March 26, 1993.

NIDA, in conjunction with numerous other NIH components released Biobehvioral Pain Research (PA-99-021) on November 27, 1998. The purpose of this biobehavioral pain research program announcement is to inform the scientific community of the interest of the various institutes at the NIH and to stimulate and foster a wide range of basic and clinical studies on pain as they relate to the missions of these institutes.

On December 23, 1998, the Program Announcement Neuroscience Research on Drug Addiction (PA-99-033) was released by NIDA and replaces the PA of the same title published in 1993.

On September 15, 1998, NIDA issued an RFA entitled Genetics of Drug Addiction Vulnerability (DA-99-003). This RFA solicits investigator-initiated applications for research projects that identify genetic variation that increase vulnerability to addiction, or dependence on stimulants, (E.g., cocaine and amphetamine), narcotics, (e.g., opiates), nicotine, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, cannabis, hallucinogens and/or multiple drugs of abuse. Letter of Intent Receipt date for this RFA was December 28, 1998, and the Application Receipt date was January 27, 1999.

On September 16, 1998, NIDA issued the RFA entitled Centers for the Development of Medications to Treat Drug Addiction (DA-99-005). The purpose of this RFA is to encourage applications for Center Grants to conduct research designed to systematically evaluate the tolerability/safety (Phase I) and efficacy (Phase II or III) of medications in the treatment of addiction to drugs including: cocaine, methamphetamine, opiates, nicotine and marijuana. Letter of Intent receipt date for this RFA was November 4, 1998. Appliction receipt date was December 4, 1998. Strict guidelines were indicated in the RFA emphasizing the importance of conducting rigorous double-blind medications trials. It is hoped that this effort will result in a focused clinical trials effort needed to evaluate medications for drug addiction disorders.

On December 22, 1998, NIDA issued an RFA entitled Bringing Drug Abuse Treatment from Research to Practice (DA-99-007). This RFA will support research to improve our knowledge of how to move research-based drug abuse treatment interventions into clinical practice. Practice research is conceptulaized as having three significant aspects: effective transfer of knowledge, changing organizational behavior, and financing new treatments. Letter of Intent receipt date for this RFA is March 29, 1999. Application receipt date is April 29, 1999.

On December 22, 1998, NIDA issed an RFA entitled Research on Drug Courts (DA-99-008). The purpose of this RFA is to stimulate research in the evolving area of drug courts. Applications are sought for research to determine the effectiveness of drug court models, to better understand the important components of this systematic integration of criminal justice and drug treatment access, participation and outcomes. Letter of Intent receipt date for this RFA is March 29, 1999. Application receipt date is April 29, 1999.

On December 23, 1998, NIDA issued an RFA entitled Behavioral Therapy Development and Behavioral Science (DA-99-009). The purpose of this RFA is to solicit applications for research aimed at the development of behavioral therapies (Stage I research) for drug addiction based upon basic behavioral and cognitive science. This RFA encourages innovative research on the development of new and refinement of existing behavioral interventions for the treatment of drug addiction. The translation of ideas from basic behavioral and cognitive science into novel behavioral interventions for drug addicts is the ultimate goal of this program. Research projects will be considered that integrate basic behavioral and/or cognitive science with behavioral therapy development research, with the aim of developing new or refining existing behavioral therapies for individuals in drug abuse treatment. Letter of Intent receipt date for this RFA is March 29, 1999. Application receipt date is April 29, 1999. Related to this RFA is a special issue of Behavior Therapy (Volume 29, Number 4, Fall 1998) edited by Frank Andrasik and guest edited by Lisa Simon Onken, TRB, NIDA, and Richard R. Bootzin, University of Arizona. This volume is comprised of articles based on the second in a series of NIDA sponsored workshops entitled "Behavioral Therapy Development and Psychological Science". The purpose of this workshop and the resulting document was to reinforce the bond between behavioral therapy development research and other, less applied, areas of psychology and, hopefully, to help inspire more Stage I behavioral therapy development research.

On January 8, 1999, NIDA issued an RFA entitled National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network (DA-99-004). Through this RFA, NIDA invites cooperative agreement applications from established clinical investigators to participate in the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network (CTN). Awardees will conduct and participate in coordinated, multi-site clinical trials of behavioral, pharmacological, and combined behavioral/pharmacological therapies for drug abuse and addiction, and condiuct research on practices, i.e., studies of factors that impact upon successful adoption of new treatments. CTN research is carried out in community-based treatment settings, in collaboration with other awardees and with NIDA. Each awardee will function as a CTN Research Node, consisting of a Regional Research and Training Center (RRTC) that is linked in partnership with community-based treatment programs (CTPs). The CTN will consist of multiple Nodes and each Node will work in concert with other Nodes and NIDA to conduct multi-site and cross-regional (nationwide) clinical trials research. The Letter of Intent receipt date for this RFA is March 13, 1999. Application receipt date is April 13, 1999.

On December 11, 1998, the RFA Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Centers (TTURCs) (CA-98-029) was released. Applications are due April 12, 1999. Program contacts are Jaylan Turkkan, Ph.D. at NIDA and Glen Morgan, Ph.D. at NCI. A dedicated website with the RFA and additional information and resources can be found at http://www.nida.nih.gov/tturc.html. NIDA and NCI are jointly sponsoring this nationwide Centers initiative in fiscal year 1999. Collaborations with other agencies and private foundations such as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation are planned. Each TTURC will consist of scientists drawn from diverse disciplines who will work collaboratively to solve problems in tobacco use. Research themes may include, for example, the neurobehavioral underpinnings of nicotine addiction, impact of advertising and marketing, prevention of tobacco use, addiction to tobacco, treatment of tobacco use, the identification of biomarkers of tobacco exposure, and the identification of genes related both to addiction and susceptibility to harm from tobacco.

Under the HBCU Research Scientist Award RFA (DA-98-005), jointly supported by NIDA and the NIH Office of Research on Minority Health, four Historically Black Colleges and Universities were funded. Florida A&M, Howard, Morgan, and North Carolina Central Universities will recruit research scientists to establish drug abuse research programs on their campuses in the following respective areas: pharmacology, epidemiology, prevention and cellular biology. On November 6, 1998, the first meeting of the HBCUs was held in Bethesda, Maryland to discuss development and recruitment plans.

Dr. Coryl Jones, ERB and Dr. Vince Smerglio, CAMCODA, NIDA representatives to the NIH Child Abuse and Neglect Workgroup, participated in the development of an Interagency RFA on Child Neglect issued February 1, 1999 for award April 4, 2000 with co-funding provided by NIDA, NIMH, NINDS, NICHD, NIAAA, ACF and NIJ.


Drug Interaction Studies

A meeting with expert consultants on cardiovascular interactions between cocaine and potential medications was held by MDD on December 1, 1998 in Rockville. The consultants enthusiastically approved the validation of the model and directed MDD to proceed with testing of compounds selected for upcoming clinical studies. The results of the drug interaction studies will be critical in supporting clinical pharmacology studies with cocaine and new chemical entities. They indicated that the methodology was state-of-the-art and comparable to drug safety programs at major pharmaceutical companies. The first compound to be tested along with cocaine will be GBR 12909.

Clinical Pharmacology Unit

NIDA's Medications Development Division has opened a new Clinical Pharmacology Unit at the former Neonatal ICU at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. Dr. Louis Cantilena is the principal investigator. The renovations are complete and on November 29,1998 the first clinical trial was initiated. The study title is: A Multiple Dose, Open Label, Fixed Order, Dose Escalating Study with Four Dosages of GBR 12909 in Normal Volunteers.

National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign Evaluation

In support of a special collaboration with the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), NIDA has awarded a contract to conduct an independent, scientifically based impact evaluation of the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, sponsored by ONDCP. The contract was designed in collaboration with leading experts in statistical sampling, design, and measurement, and in drug abuse prevention and communications research. In September, NIDA awarded the contract to WESTAT, Inc., a nationally recognized survey company, to conduct the 4-year study to measure the effectiveness of the campaign in changing the attitudes and behaviors of youth (age 9-18) and their parents. The evaluation project consists of national cross-sectional household surveys of parents and youth conducted twice a year, which will track more immediate campaign effects; and longitudinal surveys conducted once a year in four local communities, which will track the cumulative effects of the campaign on families.

Drug Abuse Prevention and Communications Research

Also with funding by the ONDCP, NIDA released an RFA, "Drug Abuse Prevention and Communications Research (DA-98-006)" in February 1998. NIDA received 23 applications, which proposed to study the influences of the media on drug use, and the use of the mass media as a prevention intervention. NIDA awarded five grants that have the potential to provide guidance to the national campaign on the most effective messages and approaches to discourage drug use among youth. The grants are geographically diverse, address urban, suburban and rural populations, compare racial and ethnic groups in terms of media message effectiveness, and include the range of age groups targeted in the national campaign.

Interagency Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect

NIDA participates in the Interagency Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect which involves 22 Federal agencies involved in child research. At the 5th Federal Forum on Child Abuse and Neglect held in March 1998, NIDA continued to be second in level of Federal funding of research on child abuse and neglect (Compendium of grants available from National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect). The 6th Federal Forum will meet in March 1999.

NIDA/IRP Summer Research Program for Students

Since 1986, the IRP has had a summer research program for students. During the summer of 1998, a total of 41 students representing 35 high schools, colleges, and medical and graduate schools participated in the program through either the NIH Summer Internship Program or the Minority Research and Training Program. Each student participant was assigned to work with an IRP scientist on a research project. The students' training program is individually developed and includes directed readings, tutorials, attendance at seminars, and actual laboratory experience under the direction of the scientist. The culmination of the summer program is the students' presentation of their research at the NIH Student Poster Session held at the Bethesda campus in early August. Because of outstanding contributions and effort, some students will be co-authors on published papers or abstracts. The NIH Summer Internship Program is coordinated by Dr. Stephen Heishman, and the Minority Research and Training Program is coordinated by Dr. Jean Cadet and Ms. Mary Affeldt.


NIDA's New/Competing Awards Since September 1998


Adams, Catherine --- University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
Nitric Oxide Mediation of Hippocampal Nicotine Effects

Alterman, Arthur I. --- University of Pennsylvania
Validity of Original and New ASI Summary Indices

Crits-Christoph, Paul --- University of Pennsylvania
Further Data Analysis on the NIDA CCTS

Epstein, Elizabeth E. --- Rutgers/State University of New Jersey
Adapting Behavioral Marital Therapy to Treat Drug Abuse

Fava, Maurizio --- Massachusetts General Hospital
Bupropion as an Adjunct to the Nicotine Patch Plus CBT

Glick, Stanley D. --- Albany Medical College
The Archer Conference on Drug Abuse: New Medications

Gorbach, Sherwood L. --- Tufts University School of Medicine
Nutritional Status in HIV-Positive Hispanic Drug Abusers

Guydish, Joseph R. --- Institute for Health Policy Studies
Drug Abuse Treatment on Demand Impacts in San Francisco

Hyler, Steven E. --- Columbia University
Drug Addiction Treatment: New Research Findings On-Line!

Karler, Ralph --- University of Utah-Department of Pharmacology
Behavioral Sensitization: Cocaine and Amphetamine

Kornetsky, Conan --- Boston University School of Medicine
Brain Stimulation Models of Drug Abuse

Mannheimer, Sharon Beth --- Harlem Hospital Center
The Harlem Adherence with Retroviral Therapy Study

Mello, Nancy K. --- McLean Hospital
Biobehavioral Studies of Substance Abuse

Niaura, Raymond --- Miriam Hospital
Motivation and Patch Treatment for HIV-Positive Smokers

Rawson, Richard A. --- Friends Research Institute, Inc.
Psychosocial Treatment Dose: A Prospective Study

Reith, Maarten E. --- University of Illinois at Chicago
The Dopamine Transporter and Cocaine

Rosenberg, Howard C. --- Medical College of Ohio
Pharmacology of Benzodiazepine Tolerance and Dependence

Schneider, Nina G. --- UCLA
Nicotine Dependence: Tailoring and Preference Research

Siegel, Ralph M. --- Rutgers State University
Norepinephrine and Attentional Modulation of Cortex

Stitzer, Maxine L. --- Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
Behavior Therapy for Inner-City IV Heroin Abusers

Svingos, Adena L. --- Cornell University Medical College
Structural Sites for Opiate Modulation of Frontal Cortex

Taxman, Faye S. --- University of Maryland
An Evaluation of the HIDTA Seamless System for Offenders

Weiss, Roger D. --- McLean Hospital
Relapse Prevention Group for Bipolar Substance Abusers

Wells, Elizabeth A. --- University of Washington
Brief Motivational HIV Risk Reduction Among IDUs

Wong, Mamie M. --- Wested
Conference on Drug Use and Outcomes in Mixed Race Youth


Review Activities


Staff Development


Dr. Teresa Levitin, Director, OEPR, Dr. William C. Grace, Deputy Director, OEPR, and Ms. Diana Souder, Training GTA, OEPR, presented a training seminar "NIDA Research Center Grants" to NIDA staff in October to acquaint them with changes in NIDA's Centers program.

Ms. Jackie Porter, Special Assistant to the Director, OEPR and Ms. Pam Stokes, Grants Systems Specialist, OEPR presented a training session to the Division of Basic Research, NIDA on the use of the electronic council book. This training was similar to that presented to the Council in September.

Dr. Mark Swieter, SRA, presented at a training session jointly sponsored by OEPR and the Office of Science Policy and Communications. The session, 'NIDA's K Awards and Training Program', was attended by staff from NIDA and other NIH components.


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