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National Institute on Drug Abuse

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

September, 1996


Staff Highlights


Staff Changes


Timothy P. Condon, Ph.D. was appointed to the positions of Associate Director for Science Policy, NIDA, and Director of NIDA's Office of Science Policy and Communications (OSPC). In these roles, Dr. Condon oversees the Institute's science planning, policy, congressional and communications activities and coordinates NIDA's research training and science education programs.

Barry Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D., a neuropharmacologist from the University of Colorado's Health Sciences Center joined NIDA in early September as the new Scientific Director and head of the Institute's Intramural Research Program at the Addiction Research Center.

Harry W. Haverkos, M.D. has moved to the Intramural Research Program at the Addiction Research Center to become more fully involved in hands-on AIDS-related research activities.

Steven W. Gust, Ph.D. has been appointed Acting Director, Office on AIDS (OoA).

Bennett Fletcher, Ph.D., has been selected to serve as the Acting Chief of the Services Research Branch, DCSR.

David McCann, Ph.D., was selected as Chief of the Pharmacology and Toxicology Branch, MDD in March 1996.

Mr. Tom Vischi of the Services Research Branch, DCSR, is on extended detail to the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation to continue work on managed care issues.

J.C. Comolli, R.N., M.B.A., joined the OoA in June, and Lynda Erinoff, Ph.D. joined the office in September.

Naimah Weinberg, M.D.,
joined NIDA's Epidemiology Research Branch, Division of Epidemiology and Prevention Research, in May, 1996. Most recently, Dr. Weinberg was staff psychiatrist at Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, and assistant professor in the division of child psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. She is a board-certified child psychiatrist, with clinical training from the University of Michigan, and post-doctoral work in epidemiology and public mental health at Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health.

Hari H. Singh, Ph.D.,
joined the Basic Neurobiology & Biological Systems Research Branch, Division of Basic Research, on December 11, 1995. Currently, he is serving as the program officer on NIDA's Drug Supply and Analytical Services Support Program. Dr. Singh obtained his Ph.D. in chemistry and has worked at several research institutes/universities.

Dr. Singh's expertise is in medicinal chemistry, analytical chemistry, and biomedical sciences. Prior to coming to NIDA, he worked for the Food & Drug Administration and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Jonathan D. Pollock, Ph.D.,
joined NIDA in July as a program officer in the Basic Neurobiology and Biological Systems Research Branch. Dr. Pollock was an assistant scientist at Purdue University. He did his doctoral work in the laboratory of Eric R. Kandel at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons where he received his Ph.D. in October of 1985. He did post-doctoral work at Caltech in the laboratory of Mark Tanouye and at the University of Utah in the laboratory of Mario Capecchi. His expertise is in the areas of the molecular basis of synaptic plasticity, transgenic animals, and mouse genetics. He has published papers that have appeared in Nature Genetics, the Journal of Biological Chemistry, and the Journal of Neuroscience as well as commentaries that have appeared in The World and I, the magazine of the Washington Times, and in The New York Times.

Jane Acri, Ph.D.
has been selected to join the Pharmacology and Toxicology Branch of the Medications Development Division as a Health Scientist Administrator. Dr. Acri is currently working in the Neuroimaging/Drug Action Section of the Division of Intramural Research. She will be concentrating her efforts within the MDD preclinical Cocaine and Opioid Treatment Discovery Programs.

Avraham Forman,
Deputy Chief of the Public Information Branch, OSPC, retired on August 30, 1996 after 30 years with the Commissioned Corps and 17 years at NIDA.

Frank Tims, Ph.D.,
formerly the Chief of DCSR's Services Research Branch, retired from Federal Service effective August 30, 1996.

Jamie Chriqui,
OSPC, left NIDA in late July 1996 for a position in the private sector.


Awards



NIH Director's Award Recipients


Khursheed Asghar, Ph.D., DEPR
In recognition of his leadership, dedication, and outstanding effort in managing the review of multiple, high priority new initiatives and a record-breaking number of grant applications.

Helen Cesari, M.S., CRB, DEPR
In recognition of her outstanding leadership, resourcefulness, and extraordinary contribution to the development of NIDA's extramural HIV prevention program.

Suzanne M. Cole, MASB, OPRM
In recognition of her substantial contributions in improving and enhancing the administrative processes for the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Timothy P. Condon, Ph.D., OSPC
In recognition of his outstanding leadership in expanding the infrastructure for drug abuse research training and in establishing new relationships between NIDA and the scientific community-at-large.

Jurij Mojsiak, Ph.D., MDD
In recognition of his role in the review and implementation of the NIDA funded Medications Development Research Units at DVAMCs focused on the development of pharmacologic treatments for cocaine dependence.

Chanvadey Nhim, MASB, OPRM
In recognition of her exemplary performance and many contributions in support of the administrative activities of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.


Commissioned Corps Outstanding Service Medal


Rebecca S. Ashery, D.S.W., PRB, DEPR
In recognition of her exceptional contributions to the field of drug abuse in the areas of community and prevention research, AIDS education, technology transfer, and women's issues.

Betty Tai, Ph.D., MDD
In recognition of her continuous leadership in the establishment of a Clinical Cocaine Treatment Program.


Other Honors/Awards


NIDA Director Dr. Alan I. Leshner has been elected as an Honorary Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.

Dr. Naimah Weinberg, ERB, DEPR,
was nominated to the editorial board of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She has been reappointed to the Substance Abuse Committee of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Dr. Toni Shippenberg, DIR,
received the Joseph Cochin Young Investigator Award for outstanding research in the field of drug abuse at the annual meeting of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence, San Juan, PR, June 22, 1996.

Dr. Alexis Thompson, DIR,
received a travel award from the International Narcotics Research Conference to attend their annual meeting in Long Beach, CA, July 21-26, 1996.

Over the last several months, Dr. George Uhl, DIR, served on search committees for two NIH institutes (NIDA and NCHGR) and was appointed to the program committee, Society for Neuroscience, and the Scientific Advisory Board, American Parkinson's Disease Association (in recognition of his work on monoamine transporters possibly important for neurodegeneration).

Dr. Lula Beatty,
Director of NIDA's Special Populations Office, has been appointed to the NIH Extramural Associates Advisory Board to serve a three-year term.

Dr. Mac Horton
has been appointed the 1997 Program Committee Chairperson for the Division of the Psychology of Addictive Behaviors of the American Psychological Association.


Grantee Honors


In June 1996, Charles O'Brien, M.D., Ph.D. of the Philadelphia VA M.D. Program was awarded the Burlingame Award by the Institute of Living - Hartford, CT for achievements in research and education in the area of mental health.

Dr. Nicholas Bodor,
Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, Center for Drug Discovery, University of Florida, a NIDA grantee, was awarded THE 1996 LEO FRIEND AWARD. This award, sponsored by the I & EC Division of the American Chemical Society (ACS), is given annually in memory of Leo Friend, the father of CHEMTECH. Every year, one article published in CHEMTECH is chosen as the "most significant in advancing the chemical-related sciences and/or technology to enhance public good". Dr. Bodor is the 21st recipient of the Leo Friend award. The manuscript written by Bodor that was selected for the award is "Design of Biologically Safer Chemicals". Dr. Bodor is one of the pioneers in the development of innovative methodologies for targeted drug delivery.


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