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National Institute on Drug Abuse

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

May, 2000

Staff Highlights

Honors and Awards

NIDA's Buprenorphine Development Team received the DHHS Secretary's Award for Distinguished Service at the 2000 HHS Honor Awards Ceremony held on May 9, 2000. Team members include: Nora Chiang, Lee Cummings, Joel Egertson, Liza Gorgon, Richard Hawks, Sue Herbert, Deborah Leiderman, Moo Park, James Terrill, Robert Walsh, Peter Bridge, Betty Tai, Frank Vocci and the late James Hill.

Ana Anders, Senior Advisor on Special Populations, was elected by the NIH Hispanic Employee Organization as President-Elect to serve for the year 2001.

Dr. Peter Hartsock, CAMCODA, received a commendation from National Science Foundation Director, and Chairperson for the Federal Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC), Dr. Rita R. Colwell, for his exemplary service as the Departmental Co-Representative on the IARPC.

A patent was recently awarded entitled "Radiolabeled pyridyl-7-azabicyclo [2.2.1]heptanes." This invention involved the use of radiolabeled epibatidine analogues to image and quantify nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the brain. Selective nicotinic radiotracers can be used to study the underlying mechanisms of tobacco dependence and will be useful in the development and testing of therapies for tobacco dependence. Further benefits may be realized in elucidating the role of nAChRs in neurodegenerative disease states, specifically Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and Tourette's syndrome, which are characterized, in part, by abnormalities in nicotinic receptors or neurotransmitter release modulated by nicotinic receptors. (London, E.D., Kimes, A.S., Horti, A.G., Dannals, R.F. and Kassiou, M., patent #5,969,144).

Staff Changes

Angela Benjamin joined the staff of the Office of Extramural Affairs as Grants Technical Assistant at the end of January 2000. Ms. Benjamin comes to NIDA from the Center for Scientific Review, NIH.

Loretta Beuchert joined the staff of the Office of Extramural Affairs as Program Assistant on February 28, 2000. Ms. Beuchert comes to NIDA from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Jahnavi Kharidia, Ph.D. joined NIDA's Division of Treatment Research and Development as a Pharmacokineticist in January 2000. Prior to joining NIDA, Dr. Kharidia was a reviewer at FDA for 3 years. Dr. Kharidia received her Ph.D. in Pharmacokinetics from University of Maryland in 1996.

LCDR Angela M. Martinelli, DNSc, RN joined the Science Policy Branch, OSPC in February 2000. Prior to coming to NIDA, Dr. Martinelli was a Nurse Consultant in the Division of Nursing, Health Resources and Services Administration. Dr. Martinelli has held faculty positions at Boston College and the Catholic University of America. She received her Doctor of Science in Nursing from The Catholic University of America and was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Health Promotion and Risk Reduction at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her research area of interest is tobacco and nicotine prevention and health promotion.

Eve E. Reider, Ph.D. recently joined the Prevention Research Branch in the Division of Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Research as a Health Scientist Administrator. Prior to joining NIDA, Dr. Reider worked as a psychologist and Director of Clinical Training in Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Kennedy Krieger Institute. She was also an Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Reider received her Ph.D. in Psychology at Michigan State University.

Ming Shih, Ph.D., joined NIDA's CTN Office/DTR&D on January 31, 2000. Previously, Dr. Shih headed a research chemistry laboratory and directed a medical products development program for multi-center clinical trials with the U.S. Army, Department of Defense. In 1997, she did a tour of duty at NIH for extramural grant management. She has practiced as a clinical pharmacist in hospitals and community pharmacies. Dr. Shih received her Ph.D. in Physical Pharmacy and Pharmacokinetics from the University of Pittsburgh.

Edwina Smith, M.S. joined the Clinical/Medical Branch of the Division of Treatment Research and Development in April 2000 as a clinical trials monitor. Ms. Smith is an RN, certified by the American Nurse Association Credentialing Center (ANCC) in Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing and is a Commander in the USPHS Commissioned Officers Corps. She holds a Master of Science Degree in Health Services Administration, and has 28 years experience as a registered nurse. She has held positions as staff nurse, nurse team leader, case manager, and supervisory psychiatric nurse. She has been employed at the Neuropsychiatric Research Hospital on the St. Elizabeth's Hospital Campus, at Greater Southeast Community Hospital, and most recently the Clinical Center at NIH as Nurse Case Manager of the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Day Program. She is a member of many professional organizations, has received several awards and was recently approved for a Commendation Medal from the U.S. Public Health Service.

Nathalie Thiriet, Ph.D. has joined the Molecular Neuropsychiatry Section of NIDA's Intramural Research Program as a Visiting Foreign Fellow. Dr. Thiriet graduated in 1999 from the Université Louis Pasteur, located in Strasbourg, France.

Dr. Ro Nemeth-Coslett of NIDA's Prevention Research Branch, Division of Epidemiology, Services, and Prevention Research recently assumed a detail in the Clinical Neurobiology Branch, Division of Treatment Research and Development.

Dr. Andrea Baruchin left NIDA at the end of April 2000 after serving as the Chief, Science Policy Branch, OSPC for almost three years. Dr. Baruchin will be going to Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee to become the Associate Director of the newly established Vanderbilt Brain Institute - a research infrastructure that will encompass all the brain research that is ongoing at the University.

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