Volume 15, Number 2 (August, 2000)
Four New Members Join National Advisory Council
NIDA's National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse meets three times each year to evaluate applications for NIDA research grants, review recent research findings, and provide guidance for NIDA programs and policy. Members of the Advisory Council are selected from academic research centers and public and private institutions committed to increasing the scientific understanding of drug abuse and to developing and disseminating science-based programs for drug abuse prevention and treatment. Four new members began 3-year terms at the Advisory Council's 74th meeting, which was held in February 2000. The new Council members are:
- Dr. Stephen Hayes, chair of the department of psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno. Dr. Hayes is a clinical and experimental psychologist who has served as principal investigator on NIDA and other National Institutes of Health (NIH) research projects and is founding editor of The Scientist Practitioner and the APS Observer, published by the American Psychological Society.
- Dr. Kathleen Merikangas, professor of epidemiology and public health at Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut. Dr. Merikangas has served on several NIH scientific review panels, has been principal investigator on numerous NIDA research grants, and has received a Research Scientist Development Award from the National Institute of Mental Health as well as a NIDA Research Scientist Award.
- Dr. David Rosenbloom, director of Join Together, a national organization that provides information, advocacy, and leadership development to communities working to prevent drug abuse. Join Together is one of NIDA's partners in the recently announced public initiative against club drugs (see NIDA NOTES, Vol. 14, No. 6).
- Dr. James Smith, professor and chair of the department of physiology and pharmacology and director of the NIDA-supported Center for Neurobiological Investigations of Drug Abuse at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Dr. Smith is associate editor of the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics and serves on the editorial boards of research journals in pharmacology, behavior, and addiction.
NIDA's congressional testimony is one part of its efforts to increase awareness of the dangers of club drugs. More than 300,000 "Hot Stamp" cards like the one at right have been placed in restaurants, bars, coffeeshops, and bookstores.
NIDA Research Informs Lawmakers on GHB Risks
NIDA research provided important scientific background for the development of a law to control GHB (gammahydroxybutyrate), a club drug that is used at dance clubs and has reportedly been used to facilitate sexual assault. In March 1999 testimony before the House Committee on Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Dr. Stephen Zukin, associate director of NIDA's Division of Treatment Research and Development, described the drugs' actions on the brain and reported recent data from NIDA's Community Epidemiology Work Group that reported increasing use of the drugs. The bill increases criminal penalties for illicit manufacture, possession, and distribution of GHB. It also makes the drug's precursor chemicals susceptible to increased regulation. President Clinton signed the bill into law (P.L. 106-172) on February 18, 2000.
NIDA Scientists Participate in Nicotine Research Conference
The Sixth Annual Conference of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT), held in February in Arlington, Virginia, provided a forum for several NIDA-supported scientists to describe the Institute's broad range of investigation into the effects of nicotine. NIDA Director Dr. Alan I. Leshner delivered the keynote address. University of Minnesota researcher Dr. Dorothy Hatsukami, SRNT president and principal investigator of one of the seven NIDA-supported Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Centers, discussed the expanding role of science in prevention and treatment of nicotine addiction. Dr. Jaylan Turkkan, chief of NIDA's Behavioral Research Branch, and Dr. Stephen Heishman of NIDA's Intramural Research Program chaired half-day symposia at the conference, which featured more than 20 presentations describing NIDA-funded research. Dr. Turkkan and Dr. Mark Swieter of NIDA's Office of Extramural Affairs participated in a grant-writing workshop on nicotine and tobacco research opportunities for junior investigators.
NIDA NOTES - Volume 15, Number 2
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