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Director's Report to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse - February, 2003

International Activities

NIDA sponsored two international symposia at the annual meeting of the International Society of Addiction Medicine, October 2-5, 2002, in Reykjavik, Iceland. The session on psychopharmacological treatment for stimulant dependence was co-chaired by Drs. Frank Vocci and Ahmed Elkashef, both of DTR&D. Sessions on the NIDA Clinical Trials Network were chaired by NIDA grantee Dr. John Rotrosen, New York University School of Medicine, New York, Dr. Steven W. Gust, International Program, and by Dr. Betty Tai, CCTN. NIDA also supported participation in the meeting by three other grantees: Dr. Walter Ling, University of California, Los Angeles; Dr. Paula Riggs, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver; and Dr. George Woody, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

NIDA supported the participation by three researchers in a conference on the use of the Addiction Severity Index (ASI) in Europe and developing countries. The meeting was held January 20-24, 2003, in Stockholm, Sweden, and was cosponsored by Stockholm University and the Nordic Council for Alcohol and Drug Research, Helsinki, Finland, in collaboration with the European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction, Lisbon, Portugal. The NIDA-supported participants were: Mr. Nadeem-Ur-Rehman, Pakistan; Mr. Muhammad Ayub, Pakistan; and Dr. Luis Solis, Mexico. A 1999-2000 NIDA Hubert H. Humphrey Drug Abuse Research Fellow, Dr. Sergiy V. Dvoryak, Ukraine, presented at the conference with support from the United Nations.

The 2002-2003 NIDA INVEST Fellows have begun their research. Dr. Isabelle Husson, France, is investigating cocaine-induced disturbances of mouse brain development with Dr. Barry E. Kosofsky, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Dr. Yilang Tang, China, and Dr. Joseph F. Cubells, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, are investigating the association between neuronal gene polymorphisms and cocaine-induced paranoia and psychotic symptoms. Dr. Tamo Nakamura, Japan, is researching the effects of diazepam on a visual same/different task in rhesus monkeys with Dr. Anthony Wright, University of Texas at Houston Medical School. In addition to conducting post-doctoral research with a NIDA grantee at a U.S. institution, INVEST Research Fellows also participate in an orientation program at NIDA and receive travel support to attend scientific meetings. Fellows and their mentors jointly develop a collaborative research proposal for implementation in the Fellows' home country.

NIDA welcomed the 2002-2003 Hubert H. Humphrey Drug Abuse Research Fellows with an orientation program September 20, 2002. NIDA staff members who briefed the Fellows about Institute activities included: Associate Director, Dr. Timothy P. Condon; Drs. Steven W. Gust and M. Patricia Needle, International Program; Dr. Frank Vocci, DTR&D; Dr. Paul Schnur, DNBR; Dr. Jag Khalsa, CAMCODA; Dr. Bennett Fletcher, DESPR; and Dr. Ling Chin, CCTN. Four Fellows are supported by NIDA: Dr. Amit Chakrabarti, India; Dr. Winston De La Haye, Jamaica; Dr. Ye Swe Htoon, Myanmar; and Mr. Alisher Latypov, Republic of Tajikistan. NIDA sponsors the competitive, 10-month Fellowships in cooperation with the U.S. Department of State, the Institute of International Education, and The Johns Hopkins University. Through a combination of academic courses and professional experience, Fellows learn about NIDA-supported drug abuse research and the application of research to the development of prevention programs, treatment protocols, and government policy.

Mr. Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director, United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention visited NIDA on September 26, 2002. Accompanying Mr. Costa were Gillian Murray, Head, UNDCP External Relations Office, S. Gail Robertson, Senior Program Analyst, Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement, Department of State, and Chris Sandrolini, Office Director for Policy Planning and Coordination of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, Department of State. Mr. Costa's interests included research on the effects of long-term use of cannabis and ATS. Meeting with Mr. Costa from NIDA were Dr. Timothy P. Condon, Associate Director, NIDA, Drs. Jag Khalsa, CAMCODA, David Shurtleff, DNBR, Cindy Miner, OSPC, Patricia Needle, OSPC, and Ms. Dale Weiss, OSPC.

On September 17, 2002, a meeting was held at NIDA with five visitors from Central Asia. The Phelps Stokes Fund on behalf of the Department of State sponsored the visitors. Their visit to NIDA was part of a three-week program in the United States on Drug Education and Rehabilitation for Youth. Speaking to the group from NIDA were Drs. Jackie Kaftarian and Eve Reider, DESPR, Dr. Donald Vereen, OD, and Mr. Brian Marquis and Ms. Blair Gately, OSPC. The visitors included Mr. Issaak Dvorkin, Kazakhstan, Ms. Bahar Annanepesova, Ms. Gulistan Yazkuliyeva and Ms. Sona Chuli-Kuli, Turkmenistan, and Mr. Dmitriy Adisman, Uzbekistan.

On January 28, 2003, NIDA hosted a visit from the European Drug Demand Reduction Group. This group was visiting the United States as part of a project of the Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, U.S. Department of State. Visitors included: Dr. Frank Pietsch, National Drug Coordinator of the Republic of Austria, Ms. Alice Schogger Consultant, Austrian Federal Ministry of Social Security and Generations, from the European Commission Mr. Timo Jetsu, Administrator, Directorate of Justice and Home Affairs, Anti-Drug Coordination Unit, from Greece, Dr. Anna Kokkevi, President, Organization for Combating Narcotics, from Italy, Mr. Pietro Soggiu Commissioner for Anti-Drug Policy for the Italian Government and Ms. Maryse Nadin, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, from The Netherlands Mr. Victor Everhardt, Senior Drug Policy Advisor, from Spain, Ms. Anna Maria Andres Ballesteros, Area Chief for International Relations, Spanish Narcotics Plan Office, from the United Kingdom, Ms. Sarah Clein, Young Peoples Drugs Policy Head and from the U.S. Department of State, Ms. Rebecca Brown Thompson, Escort Officer. Speaking to the group from NIDA were: Richard A. Millstein, Deputy Director, NIDA, Steve Gust, Ph.D., Director, NIDA International Program, Frank Vocci, Ph.D., Director, Division of Treatment Research & Development, Helen Cesari, Center for AIDS and Other Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse, Meyer Glantz, Ph.D., Division of Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Research, and David Shurtleff, Ph.D., Acting Director, Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Research.

On October 15, 2002, Ms. Dale Weiss, International Program, OSPC, attended a Roundtable and Briefing for Congressional Staff. The American Iranian Council organized the Roundtable and Briefing. The sponsor of the meeting was Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska). The purpose of the roundtable and briefing were to describe the close relationship between drug use and HIV/AIDS in Iran, government and medical efforts to treat and combat HIV/AIDS, as well as areas of opportunity for U.S.-Iran engagement on tackling this public health and security emergency. Speakers included Professor Kaveh Khoshnood, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, and Dr. Robert G. Newman, Director, Baron Edmond de Rothschild Chemical Dependency Institute of Beth Israel Medical Center.

A "Community Connections" Public Health Group from Amur Region, Russia, sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Exchange, U.S. Department of State visited NIDA on November 21, 2002. Drs. Tom Kresina, CAMCODA, and Patricia Needle, OSPC, presented information on Prevention and Treatment of HIV and HCV Among Injection Drug Users.

On December 17, 2002, Drs. Eve Reider, DESPR, Steve Gust and Pat Needle, OSPC/International met with Jeff Lee, Program Manager, Mentor Foundation, and Dr. Ken Winters, University of Minnesota to discuss cooperation between the Mentor Foundation and NIDA on development of global prevention awareness.

Dr. William Corrigall, DNBR, was a discussant at the 3rd International Conference on Smokeless Tobacco in Stockholm Sweden, September 22-25, 2002.

Dr. William Corrigall chaired the Tobacco Addiction panel and presented a paper on the mechanisms of nicotine addiction at a meeting of the Royal Society of Canada in Ottawa, Canada, November 23, 2002.

Dr. Frank Vocci and Mr. Jim Glass, both of DTR&D, were joined by Dr. Walter Ling at a meeting in Thailand to commemorate National Mental Health Week. The meeting was held on November 2-3, 2002 in Chiang Mai and opened by Her Royal Highness, Princess Urolbatana. Dr. Vocci spoke on Methamphetamine Dependence and Its Pharmacotherapy Development. Dr. Ling spoke on behavioral therapies and the possible role of medications in the treatment of methamphetamine addiction. Dr. Vocci and Mr. Glass also visited data transmission facilities, held meetings with the Thai Ministry of Public Health, the CDC, academic investigators, and briefed the U.S. Ambassador on NIDA activities in Thailand.

Dr. Elizabeth Robertson, DESPR, made a presentation entitled, Re-conceptualizing Prevention Research, at the Addictions 2002 meeting held by the Elsevier Science, Inc. on September 17-19, 2002 in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

Dr. Marilyn Huestis, IRP, recently visited England to meet with Professor David Cowan of King's College London and the Director of the Drug Control Centre to discuss anti-doping methods and procedures in sport. She also discussed potential collaborations with Drs. Paul Dedham and Keith Williams from the Laboratory of the Governmental Chemist. Dr. Huestis was also invited to the Royal Pharmacology Society to meet with the Chief Chemist, Dr. Anthony Moffat, and editors of Pharmaceutical Press. Dr. Huestis was asked to be on the editorial board of the new revision of Clarke's Isolation and Identification of Drugs. Further discussion of the medicinal uses of cannabinoids were pursued with Dr. Geoffrey Guy, president, and Dr. Philip Robson, clinical director, of GW Pharmaceuticals in Oxford, England.

See also Program Activities for a list of collaborative international research projects funded in FY 2002 and a description of NIDA's South African Initiative.


Research Findings

Program Activities

Extramural Policy and Review Activities

Congressional Affairs

International Activities

Meetings and Conferences

Media and Education Activities

Planned Meetings


Staff Highlights

Grantee Honors

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