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

Planned Meetings

Drs. Lisa Onken, DTR&D, Vincent Smeriglio, CAMCODA, and Joseph Frascella, DTR&D, are organizing a 2-day meeting entitled Neurobiology of Treatment: Recovery of Brain Structure and Function through Behavioral Treatments to be held in Bethesda in May 29-30, 2003.

NIDA will hold a 3-day meeting prior to the 2003 College on Problems of Drug Dependence in June 2003. The purpose of the meeting is to review the biology of neuronal nicotinic receptors and to encourage the medicinal chemistry field to work in the area to develop new ligands that can be useful for a variety of purposes, ranging from research tools to treatment. The meeting will occur June 12-14, 2003 in Bal Harbor, Florida.

Edward Nunes, M.D. (LI Node PI) and Paul Wakim, Ph.D, will chair a CTN workshop titled "From Efficacy to Effectiveness in the Design of Multisite, Community-Based Clinical Trials for Drug Abuse" at the College on Problems of Drug Dependency (CPDD) Meeting scheduled for June 14-19, 2003, in Bal Harbour, Florida.

A 3-day meeting on Executive Function will be held in June 2003 as a satellite symposium to the Human Brain Mapping annual meeting in New York City. The meeting was organized by the NIH Cognitive Neuroscience Consortium, and is co-sponsored by NIDA, NINDS, NIMH, NIA, and NIAAA. Dr. Steven Grant, DTR&D, participated in the organization of this meeting.

The Services Research Branch of the Division of Epidemiology, Services, and Prevention Research will host a research meeting July 17-18, 2003 on the role of primary care in substance abuse treatment. The purpose of the meeting will be to develop a new agenda for supporting health services research that examines how the primary health care system can enhance the early identification, treatment, and long-term management of drug abuse and addiction problems.

National CTN Steering Committee Meetings are planned for the following dates and locations: June 20-21, 2003, in Fort Lauderdale, FL; and September 10-12, 2003, in Denver, CO.

John Rotrosen, M.D., CTN NY Node PI and Paul Wakim, Ph.D., CCTN, will co-chair a CTN workshop entitled, "Challenges in Multi-Site Community Effectiveness Trials," at the 3rd Joint International Conference of the International Society for Clinical Biostatistics and the Society for Clinical Trials (ISCB/SCT) scheduled for July 22, 2003 in London, England.

A CTN Symposium on "The National Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network (CTN): Emerging Roles of Practitioners in Drug Abuse Research," will be presented at the American Psychological Association conference in Toronto, Canada, on August 7, 2003.

Drs. Cora Lee Wetherington and David Shurtleff, DNBR organized and will chair a symposium, "Adolescence and Nicotine Addiction: Basic and Clinical Research Perspectives" for the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association in Toronto, August 8-10, 2003.

NIDA will host Blending Clinical Practice & Research: Forging Partnerships in the Rocky Mountain States to Enhance Drug Addiction Treatment at the Westin Westminster, Westminster, Colorado, September 8-9, 2003. This conference will provide an opportunity for clinicians and researchers to examine cutting-edge findings about drug use and addiction and their application to clinical practice.

Dr. Susan Volman, DNBR, will chair a symposium entitled "Functional Changes in Synaptic Transmission and Drug Abuse" at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting, November 2-8, 2003 in New Orleans, LA. The symposium will focus on the mechanisms and implications of drug-induced alterations of synaptic transmission, particularly long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD), through which drugs of abuse usurp or interrupt the mesolimbic and mesocortical neural pathways involved in reinforcement learning and reward processing. The speakers, all of whom are NIDA investigators, will be: Julie A. Kauer, Brown University, "Amphetamine Modulates Synaptic Plasticity in the Ventral Tegmental Area;" Daniel S. McGehee, University of Chicago, "Synaptic Modulation by Nicotine in Brain Reward Areas;" Mark J. Thomas, University of Minnesota, "Synaptic Plasticity in the Mesolimbic Dopamine System: Role in Behavioral Sensitization to Psychostimulants;" and Patricio O'Donnell, Albany Medical College, "Effects of Repeated Methamphetamine on Information Processing in the Nucleus Accumbens."


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