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Director's Report to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse - February, 2004

Staff Highlights

Honors and Awards

Mr. Richard A. Millstein, J.D., the then-Deputy Director, NIDA, received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Tenth Annual Conference on Behavior, Clinical Neuroscience, Substance Abuse and Culture "for your many years of devoted advocacy toward development of substance abuse research for underserved populations", October 23, 2003.

Dr. Jonathan Katz, IRP, was appointed as Editor for Behavioral Pharmacology for the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, and as Associate Editor, Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

On December 12, 2003, Dr. Lisa Onken, DTR&D, received a Meritorious Research Service Commendation from the American Psychological Association. The award was for building a model program of basic to clinical translation research, and for building the behavioral therapies development program.

Dr. Cora Lee Wetherington, NIDA's Women & Gender Research Coordinator, gave the keynote address at the Alcohol & Drug Problems Association of North America (ADPA) national women's conference, September 14 -16, 2003, Buffalo, NY and was presented with an award for her "Outstanding Federal Service" in promoting research on women and gender differences.

CAPT Steve Oversby, DTR&D, volunteered to serve as a Mental Health Specialist with the American Red Cross from September 19th to October 3rd 2003 during the aftermath of Hurricane Isabel, in Virginia Beach, VA. CAPT Oversby and CAPT Armen Thoumaian discovered a trailer park that had not been adequately served and were able to alert the ARC and Civil authorities. The Trailer Park consisted of 240 families, 40 of who suffered total destruction of their trailers. Many were living in tents, near open sewer drains, and were being harassed by vandals at night. The American Red Cross, Civil Authorities, and Social Services intervened with a successful outcome.

On October 30, 2003 Dr. Laurence Stanford, DTR&D, received an NIH Merit Award for his participation in the reorganization of the integrated review group structure of the NICHD Division of Scientific Review.

Staff Changes

Richard A. Millstein, J.D., NIDA Deputy Director since 1988, in January 2004 began an assignment on detail as the Acting Deputy Director of the NIH John E. Fogarty International Center for Advanced Study in the Health Sciences. In this position he will take a leadership role in guiding Fogarty's efforts to reduce the global burden of disease through research and research training that prepares current and future scientists to meet health challenges, and look for new ways to strengthen ties between Fogarty and NIDA. Fogarty, through partnerships with NIH institutes, international organizations (including WHO and PAHO), foundations (such as Rockefeller and Gates), and non-governmental organizations supports over 20 programs of research training, research capacity-building, and research, focused on developing countries. These programs extend to over 100 countries and involve over 5,000 scientists in the U. S. and abroad. The Fogarty mission is to identify global changes, anticipate their effects on health and well-being, and mobilize scientific resources to reduce disparities in global health.

Timothy P. Condon, Ph.D. has been named Deputy Director of NIDA. Dr. Condon will assist in developing, implementing, and managing NIDA's programs, priorities, resources, policies and research dissemination efforts. In addition, he will continue to serve as director of the Institute's Office of Science Policy and Communications (OSPC). Dr. Condon has held prominent science policy positions at NIDA since he arrived in 1992. He served as the Chief of the Science Policy Branch and the Acting Deputy Director of OSPC until 1996 when former NIDA Director Dr. Alan Leshner appointed him NIDA's first Associate Director for Science Policy, as well as the Director of OSPC. Prior to joining NIDA, Dr. Condon coordinated research and service programs at the former Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration (ADAMHA) for four years serving as the Deputy Associate Administrator for Policy Coordination and Deputy Associate Administrator for Science. From 1986 to 1989 he served as Science Policy Analyst and Project Director at the U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), where he directed an assessment of emerging technologies in the neurosciences. Dr. Condon received his Ph.D. in neuroscience from the Ohio State University College of Medicine. He pursued postdoctoral research in neuroendocrinology and neuropharmacology at the University of California at Los Angeles' Brain Research Institute and at the Oregon Health Sciences University where he also served on the faculty.

Susan Weiss, Ph.D. was appointed Chief, Science Policy Branch, OSPC, in October 2003. Dr. Weiss has been with OSPC since June 2003. Previously, Dr. Weiss was the Senior Director of Research at the National Mental Health Association, the Nation's largest and oldest grassroots advocacy organization devoted to improving the mental health of all Americans through the support of public education, healthcare reform, implementation and deployment of evidence-based practices, and research. Prior to that, she served as the Chief, Unit on Behavioral Biology in the Biological Psychiatry Branch of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Her research program at the NIMH sought to characterize the evolving nature of psychiatric and neurologic illnesses through the use of animal models, in order to help in the development of novel treatment options for patients with disorders of affect, anxiety, and substance abuse. She has authored or co-authored more that 140 journal articles and book chapters.

Robin Mackar, M.P.H. has been selected to serve as Deputy Branch Chief, SPB. Ms. Mackar joined OSPC's Science Policy Branch in March of 1996. While in SPB, Ms. Mackar has taken a lead role in writing materials that disseminate science findings to a wide variety of audiences, including Congress, researchers, constituents and the public. Prior to becoming a NIDA employee, Ms. Mackar worked as a communications manager at the US Agency for International Development and for three years as a policy analyst in the NIH, Office of Science Education Policy in the Office of the Director at the NIH. She served for two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa after receiving her undergraduate degree in Journalism from Pennsylvania State University. Upon her return from Africa, she worked with several newspapers while completing her Master's Degree in Public Health.

Mark Green, Ph.D. has been selected to serve as Deputy Director, OEA. Dr. Green has been at NIDA for three years and has over 22 years experience in extramural programs. He received a Ph.D. in pharmacology from New York Medical College and started working for the government in 1979, at NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health). Initially he was a Criteria Manager, charged with evaluation of health hazards in the workplace and then served as the Executive Secretary of the Safety and Occupational Health (SOH) study section, which evaluated epidemiological and prevention studies in the workplace, as well as biomedical aspects of exposures to agents and environments. In 1983, he joined the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, where he was a program officer, for two years, in the Division of Extramural Research, followed by two years as an SRA in the Office of Scientific Affairs. After that Dr. Green served as a Science and Policy Analyst for a little over a year before becoming Chief of the Extramural Project Review Branch. He held this position for the 12 years prior to joining NIDA as Chief of the Clinical, Epidemiological and Applied Sciences Review Branch. Dr. Green has worked with both grant and contract review committees and worked with the research areas of prevention, epidemiology, clinical trials, health services, neuroscience, and physiology. He has been active at many technical assistance forums, working with researchers to enhance skills in application preparation. Since coming to NIDA, he has continued to work primarily on issues involving peer review and extramural policy.

Jag H. Khalsa, Ph.D. has been appointed as Acting Head of the Medical Consequences Unit of CAMCODA.

Gayathri Jeyarasasingam, Ph.D. joined OSPC's Science Policy Branch in November 2003 as a Health Scientist Administrator. Prior to coming to NIDA, Dr. Jeyarasasingam was a Program Director in the Office of Minority Health and Research at the NINDS where she managed a portfolio of research and education programs aimed at promoting diversity in the neuroscience research workforce. She completed a Ph.D. in Neurobiology at the University of California, Davis, conducted research at the Parkinson's Institute studying the role of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in muscle cell degeneration and neuroprotection, and then served as a Scientific Review Administrator at the NIMH.

Dr. Theresa Montini has joined the CCTN as Health Scientist Administrator. Previously, she served as a Scientific Review Administrator of the Behavioral and Social Science Approaches to Preventing HIV/AIDS Study Section at NIH's Center for Scientific Review. Dr. Montini received her doctorate in medical sociology from the University of California-San Francisco, did post-doctoral work in alcohol studies at the NIAAA National Alcohol Research Center at the University of California-Berkeley, and post-doctoral work in Health Policy and Health Services Research at the Institute for Health Policy Studies, UCSF School of Medicine. As an assistant professor at the Institute for Health Policy Studies, she was the principal investigator on a NIAAA-funded study of nicotine cessation and smoking bans in alcoholism treatment, a co-investigator on a NIDA-funded study of the conditions under which community-based treatment providers adopt innovative drug abuse treatment interventions (Joe Guydish, PI), and an advisor to the California-Arizona Clinical Trials Network Research Node (Jim Sorensen, PI). Dr. Montini has served as an appointed member of the editorial board of the journal Gender & Society, and serves as a peer reviewer for a number of journals, including Journal of General Internal Medicine and Tobacco Control.

Arnaldo R. Quinones, M.D. has joined the CCTN as a Medical Officer. Dr. Quinones received his medical degree from the University of Puerto Rico, School of Medicine in 1987. He completed training in internal medicine at the Tulane University Medical School in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is board certified in internal medicine. After completion of his internal medicine residency program, he completed a fellowship in hematology at the Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC. From 1992-1994, he served in the U.S. Air Force as an active duty officer. During this time he was appointed as Assistant Chief of Hematology for Kessler Medical Center, in Biloxi, Mississippi. He also worked in the pathology department as the officer in charge of quality assurance and blood utilization practices. During this time he was awarded the Meritorious service medal from the United States Air Force. After his discharge from active duty, Dr. Quinones worked in the private sector and most recently as Medical Director for a non-profit organization in the area of HIV/AIDS. He has been the Principal Investigator for multiple Phase I, II, and III clinical trials in coordination with the pharmaceutical industry.

Denise Burns joined CAMCODA as a Program Assistant in September 2003. Ms. Burns has 20 years of diverse experience in office organization administration, database management, and customer fulfillment service relations. Before joining CAMCODA, she completed a 6-month assignment with Microsoft Corporation and served 6 years as a Senior Fulfillment Administrator at Fannie Mae Foundation. Ms. Burns is currently pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Media Communications.


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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