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Director's Report to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse - May, 2005

Planned Meetings

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is presenting a research track at the American Psychiatric Association's 158th Annual Meeting, May 21-26, 2005 in Atlanta, Georgia, with some 22,000 conference attendees. The NIDA track includes sessions on increases in opioid analgesic abuse, scientific advances in the neurobiology of behavior, cannabis dependence treatment and the neurobiology of compulsive reward-seeking. This track will raise awareness of new and emerging issues in addiction and psychiatry and provide important information related to best practices and treatment strategies. A number of NIDA staff, including NIDA's Director, Dr. Nora Volkow, will participate in these sessions.

NIDA will host a two-day conference titled: Smart Practice, Practical Science: Blending Clinical Treatment and Research at the Sheraton Bal Harbour Hotel, Miami Beach, Florida on June 6-7, 2005. This conference will bring together clinicians and researchers to present and discuss scientific findings related to empirically supported treatments for drug abuse and addiction and their application to clinical practice. NIDA and SAMHSA/CSAT will also sponsor a one-day meeting designed for the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD) titled: Forging Federal-State Collaborations to Blend Research and Practice to provide an update of Federal and state research-practice blending activities currently underway and planned.

On June 21, 2005, NIDA will hold a Grant Writing Workshop at the 2005 College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) Conference in Orlando, Florida. Approximately 50 early-career scientists will participate in learning how to apply for NIH grants and the NIDA grant application process. Drs. Timothy P. Condon, Suman King, Cindy Miner, David Shurtleff, and Mark Swieter from NIDA, and Scott Lukas, McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School, will present. Dr. Denise Pintello, OSPC, is coordinating and chairing this workshop. Drs. King and Pintello are also coordinating two additional research training activities, a NIDA Tutorials Workshop and a Training Mixer.

Drs. Minda Lynch, DBNBR, Larry Stanford, DCNDBT and Teri Levitin, OEA will be co-chairing a symposium at this year's Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association in July 2005, entitled Adolescent Brain Development: What Does it Have to do with Cognitive Processes? Speakers will include Drs. Beatriz Luna, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Debbye Yurgelun-Todd, McLean Hospital, Jay Giedd, NIMH and Jim Bjork, NIAAA.

A committee of NIDA divisional representatives is working with Jane Smither (OSPC), to organize a NIDA-sponsored Early Career Investigator Poster Session at this year's American Psychological Association Annual Convention. The session will be held in conjunction with the APA Division 28 and 50 Social Hour and NIDA will support the attendance of approximately 50 poster participants who will be provided an opportunity to present their research to clinicians and researchers representing the membership of these APA Divisions. NIDA program staff involved in this initiative include Drs. Mayer Glantz, DESPR, Minda Lynch, David Shurtleff and Cora Lee Wetherington, DBNBR, Melissa Racioppo, DCNCBT, Mary Ellen Michel, CCTN, Lula Beatty, OSP, Teri Levitin, OEA, Kenzie Preston, IRP and Steve Oversby, DPMCDA.

Drs. Elizabeth Ginexi, DESPR and Minda Lynch, DBNBR, along with Drs. Michael Bardo, University of Kentucky and Steve Sussman, University of Southern California, are co-chairing a one-day satellite at this year's CPDD meeting in June 2005, Orlando, FL. This satellite, entitled Translating Basic Research from Neural, Behavioral and Social Sciences to Prevention: Challenges and Opportunities, is co-sponsored by NIDA and the Center for Drug Abuse Research Translation at the University of Kentucky, and will explore examples of barriers and challenges to a successful bi-directional translational process between basic research in behavior, cognition and neurobiology, and prevention research in drug abuse. Topics to be highlighted include: Executive/Cognitive Functions, Developmental Risk, Stress, Alternative Reinforcement, and Gene X Environment Interactions. The meeting will also include a poster session with contributions from Early Career Investigators.

The Services Research Branch, DESPR, will host a scientific meeting on the Role of Faith-Based Services in the Treatment of Drug Abuse on September 27, 2005, at the Marriott Bethesda North Hotel, Bethesda, MD.

The Behavioral and Integrative Treatment Branch, DCNDBT and DBNBR are partnering with NCI and many other NIH Institutes in a conference on E-Health to be held on June 9-10, 2005.

NIDA will host the second Health Disparities Conference, "Bridging Science and Culture to Improve Drug Abuse Research in Minority Communities" at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta, Georgia, October 24-26, 2005. Conference highlights will include plenary sessions on genetic research, health disparities within rural communities, HIV/AIDS and the criminal justice system, and gender issues associated with drug abuse research. Participants will also have the opportunity to attend a poster session and smaller symposia on numerous drug abuse research concerns, including social, cognitive, behavioral, health and medical consequences as they relate to minority populations.

Dr. Jag Khalsa, DPMCDA, will present a mini-symposium on Metabolic and Endocrine Disorders and Interventions in Drug Abusers Co-infected with HIV and HCV at the XIII World Psychiatry Congress, in Cairo, Egypt, September 10-15, 2005. Speakers (Dr. Adrian Dobs of Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Tim Flanigan of Brown University, Dr. Charles Hinkin of UCLA, and Christine Wanke of Tufts) will present current research findings on the subject. A brief summary of the symposium will be placed on NIDA's website.

On June 17, 2005, just prior to the CPDD meeting in Orlando, NIDA DPMCDA and DBNBR will hold a consultants meeting entitled Review and Evaluation of NIDA Targets for Potential NIH Roadmap Library Screening Efforts. A series of 30-minute presentations will be given by NIDA-funded researchers whose findings suggest specific targets for potential library screening efforts within the NIH Roadmap-supported Molecular Libraries High Throughput Screening Centers. The potential targets under discussion will range from traditional receptors (such as the D-1 dopamine receptor) that are highly validated as targets for medications discovery to less traditional targets (such as protein scaffolds) that may yield useful research tools. A group of five consultants, with pharmaceutical and biotechnology company experience in target identification/validation and high-throughput screening assay development, will answer questions related to the perceived merits and readiness of each potential target for high-throughput screening and will be asked for specific recommendations regarding additional target validation and/or assay development efforts that may be desirable. The consultant recommendations will help NIDA to prepare NIDA-relevant targets for incorporation into the NIH Roadmap library screening effort. The meeting organizers are Drs. David McCann, Jane B. Acri and Frank Vocci, DPMCDA, and Drs. David Shurtleff, Paul Schnur, and Christine Colvis, DBNBR.

CTN Related Meetings

National CTN Steering Committee Meetings are planned for the following dates and locations: June 8-10, 2005, Miami, Florida, and October 24-28, 2005, Bethesda, MD.

The CTN Data and Safety Monitoring Board will meet July 21-22, 2005 in Rockville, Maryland. The group will review the new CTN0030 and continuing progress of the active CTN's protocols.

An invited symposium on special design challenges in multi-site trials involving behavioral interventions is scheduled for Tuesday, May 24, 2005, as part of the annual meeting of the Society for Clinical Trials in Portland, Oregon. Paul Wakim, Ph.D., CCTN senior statistician, is chairing the symposium. Planned speakers are: Daniel Feaster, University of Miami School of Medicine; Paula Schnurr, VA National Center for PTSD and Dartmouth Medical School; Rickey Carter, Medical University of South Carolina; and Ellen Hodnett, University of Toronto Faculty of Nursing. At that meeting, Janet Levy, Ph.D., and Paul Wakim, Ph.D., will also present a poster, titled: "The Selection of Population-average Versus Subject-specific Models for Analyzing Longitudinal Data from Clinical Trials of Treatments for Drug Addiction".


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

In Memoriam

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