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

Staff Highlights

Staff Honors and Awards

Dr. Marilyn Huestis, IRP, was elected to a three-year term as President of the International Association of Forensic Toxicologists (TIAFT) in Paris, France in August of 2002. Dr. Huestis is the first woman president of the organization and only the second American to hold this prestigious position.

Dr. Amy Newman, IRP, was invited to serve on the Editorial boards of the following Journals starting January 1, 2003: Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, Letters in Drug Design and Discovery, and Current Organic Chemistry.

Dr. Santosh Kulkarni, IRP, received an NIH FARE Travel award in December 2002.

Dr. Jonathan Katz, IRP, co-edited a special double issue of the Psychopharmacology, which was a Festschrift for P.B. Dews, R.T. Kelleher, and W. H. Morse.

Dr. Toni Shippenberg, IRP, was appointed Reviewing Editor (Systems Neuroscience/ Behavioral Neuroscience) for the Journal of Neuroscience effective January 1, 2003.

Staff Changes

Nicolette Borek, Ph.D. joined the Human Development Unit of the Center on AIDS and Other Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse (CAMCODA) in December 2002. Dr. Borek earned her doctorate in clinical psychology from The George Washington University in 1998. Her research has focused on at-risk youth, acculturation, and ethnic identity while her clinical experience included behavioral interventions for substance abuse for women and their young children and comorbid mental and drug abuse disorders. Prior to joining NIDA, Dr. Borek served as program official for the Child and Adolescent Research Program at the Center for Mental Health Research on AIDS at NIMH and worked on projects addressing youth behavior problems including "Youth Violence: A Report of the Surgeon General". Dr. Borek will focus on HIV prevention for high-risk youth, comorbid disorders, and life course research.

Howard Chilcoat, Sc.D. joined DESPR as Chief of the Epidemiology Research Branch in September 2002. Dr. Chilcoat is a psychiatric epidemiologist with a focus on the epidemiology of drug use and problems related to use. Most recently, he was an Associate Professor in the Department of Mental Hygiene at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Chilcoat received his doctorate from Johns Hopkins in 1992 from the Department of Mental Hygiene and a Master's degree in Biostatistics in 1991. His research has been both substantive in nature, focusing on factors influencing transitions in stages of drug use, and methodological, applying new developments in biostatistics to address problems in psychiatric epidemiology.

Edith Davis joined OPRM's Grants Management Branch as a Grants Management Specialist on September 22, 2002. Before coming to NIDA Ms. Davis had been with the NIH Center for Scientific Review.

Hirsch Davis joined DTR&D's Medications Discovery and Toxicology Branch as a Psychologist in September 2002. Mr. Davis received his BA from the College of Wooster, Wooster OH (1977) and an MA in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1983). He worked at the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute from 1985-1991, utilizing behavioral tasks to study the effects of radiation and radioprotectant drugs on performance. In 1991, he joined FDA's Division of Antiviral Drug Products, in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, where he used animal models to study behavioral effects of medications used in AIDS therapy. He performed this work in collaboration with the Uniformed Services University of the Life Sciences, where he holds an appointment as an Adjunct Instructor of Medical and Clinical Psychology. In 1998, he transferred to CDER's Division of Applied Pharmacological Research, where he continued the collaborative effort with USUHS on new projects, including correlating neural imaging of toxicities with behavioral effects of serotonergic compounds in animal models.

Cynthia F. Kleppinger, M.D. was recruited to the Center for Clinical Trials Network in September 2002. She received her Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1979. She received her postgraduate training in Family Medicine at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, N.Y. and is board certified by the American Board of Family Practice. She has held faculty positions with the State University of New York at Stony Brook and the Southside Hospital Family Practice program. She was an active practicing clinician in family and emergency medicine for many years, director of a nursing home, and occupational physician for a number of companies. From 1998-2002, she was a Clinical Reviewer in the Division of Vaccines and Related Products Applications, Office of Vaccines Research and Review, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, FDA. Her review work concentrated on the development of vaccines for bioterrorism use.

Kim Louth joined OPRM's Contracts Management Branch as a Contract Specialist on December 1, 2002. Prior to joining NIDA, Ms. Louth was with Equity Research Group in New Jersey.

Karla Moras, Ph.D. joined the Behavioral Treatment Development Branch, Division of Treatment Research & Development on September 23, 2002. Dr. Moras came from the University of Pennsylvania, and currently is president of the international Society for Psychotherapy Research (SPR). She was a recipient of the Society's Early Career Contribution Award, and previously was president of the North American Regional Chapter of the SPR. While at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Moras was involved in NIDA's Cocaine Collaborative Study of behavioral treatments for cocaine dependence. She also was the Principal Investigator of two NIMH grants: an Independent Scientist Award (K02) and a Treatment Development Grant (R21). The focus of her research was the refinement of efficacious treatments for comorbid unipolar depression and anxiety disorders for outpatients with medication resistant depression. Her research included treatment development to optimize the potential efficacy of combined medication and behavioral treatments for medication resistant depression. Earlier, Dr. Moras was involved in research on psychodiagnostic assessment methods, including the reliability and validity of the DSM-III-R criteria for various anxiety disorders and field studies on some anxiety disorders that were done in preparation for the DSM-IV.

Denise Pintello, Ph.D. joined the Science Policy Branch in the Office of Science Policy and Communications in September 2002 as a Health Science Administrator. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland School of Social Work. Before arriving at NIDA, she worked at SAMHSA in the Center for Mental Health Services. As a Senior Research Associate at Caliber Associates in Virginia, Dr. Pintello conducted applied research and program evaluations within the fields of child welfare, domestic violence, mental health and substance abuse. Her publications have focused on the clinical treatment of intrafamilial child sexual abuse, behavioral factors associated with post-traumatic stress in women and predictors of child maltreatment recurrence.

Jordan Pulaski joined OPRM's Contracts Management Branch as a Contract Specialist on December 1, 2002. Prior to coming to NIDA, Mr. Pulaski was with the Department of Commerce.

Joni L. Rutter, Ph.D. joined NIDA's Genetics and Molecular Neurobiology Research Branch in the Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Research on February 9, 2003 as a Health Scientist Administrator. Prior to entering graduate school, Dr. Rutter worked at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in the Molecular Neurogenetics Unit where she was involved in cloning the gene for Neurofibromatosis Type-2. Dr. Rutter then earned her doctorate from the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at Dartmouth Medical School where she studied the transcriptional regulation of matrix-metalloproteinase-1, leading to the discovery and patent of a single nucleotide polymorphism in its promoter. Dr. Rutter's post-doctoral work at the National Cancer Institute expanded her work on genetic variation and susceptibility to complex diseases, such as breast and ovarian cancer. At NIDA, Dr. Rutter will be involved with research programs on genetic susceptibility and pharmacogenetics.

Nancy Sorrell joined the CCTN as a secretary in August 2002. Prior to joining the CCTN, Nancy was employed as an administrative secretary with Nationwide and as a legal secretary with law firms in Columbus, Ohio. Other positions she has held include employment with the National Academy of Sciences, Prince George's County Government, and Classic Corporation. Nancy received the designation of Certified Professional Secretary (CPS) in 2000 after passing the examinations administered by International Association of Administrative Professionals. Nancy has attended the University of Maryland and Columbus State Community College and has taken courses in business management and paralegal studies.

Anna Staton joined OSPC in October 2002 as a Public Health Advisor. Previously, Ms. Staton held a position at the Institute of Medicine (IOM), responsible for analyzing and evaluating data in the HIV Prevention Strategies Study, Veterans and Agent Orange Study and the E Coli Risk Assessment Study. She received a Masters in Public Administration from George Washington University. Ms. Staton will be responsible for collecting, analyzing and reporting information relating to NIDA's research programs and other Science Policy Branch programs.

Jack B. Stein, Ph.D. was recently named as Chief, Services Research Branch, DESPR. Dr. Stein served as the Deputy Director, Office of Science Policy and Communications (OSPC) since 1997. While in OSPC, Dr. Stein coordinated numerous research dissemination activities including national conferences, Town Meetings, and regional "blending" conferences, as well as the development of various publications.

Lucinda Miner, Ph.D., Chief of OSPC's Science Policy Branch has been named Acting Deputy Director, OSPC.

Kathrine Sasek, Ph.D. has been appointed Acting Chief of OSPC's Science Policy Branch.


Research Findings

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Extramural Policy and Review Activities

Congressional Affairs

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Staff Highlights

Grantee Honors

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