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NIDA Home > Publications > Director's Reports > May, 2006 Index    

Director's Report to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse - May, 2006


The National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse Work Group examining NIDA's Approach to Grant-Making held their second meeting on February 7, 2006 to review NIDA's current grant-making practices and to determine if new actions or policies are needed. This meeting was coordinated by Dr. Denise Pintello, OSPC and was chaired by Dr. Constance Weisner, National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse. The Work Group is composed of members of the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse and other experts in the field of drug abuse research. The Work Group will complete their recommendations and final report by May 2006.

On March 8-9, 2006, NIDA convened the second meeting of the Basic Science Review Work Group in Washington, D.C. This meeting was chaired by Dr. Linda Porrino, who is a member of the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse and was coordinated by Dr. Denise Pintello, OSPC. The purpose for this Work Group is to conduct a comprehensive review of NIDA's basic science research portfolio and to provide recommendations to effectively address the future direction of basic science research at NIDA. The Work Group members will prepare a written report for the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse in 2006.

NIDA once again participated in Brain Awareness Week at the National Museum of Health and Medicine on March 16 and 17, 2006. Sponsored by the Dana Alliance, this event has taken place for several years. This year, NIDA scientists played "Brain Game Challenge" with 6-8th grade students. The students had the opportunity to learn new facts about drug abuse and were given numerous NIDA publications, pencils, erasers, etc.

On April 27, 2006, NIDA participated in the NIH sponsored Take Your Child to Work Day. During this event, children of NIH staff circulate to stations set up by the various institutes. NIDA played "Brain Game Challenge," which gave the children the opportunity to learn facts about drug abuse and addiction. The children also received NIDA publications, pencils, erasers, etc.

Wilson M. Compton, M.D., Director, DESPR, Yonette Thomas, Ph.D., Chief, Epidemiology Research Branch, DESPR, and Douglas Richardson, the Executive Director of the Association of American Geographers (AAG), organized a jointly-sponsored NIDA/AAG Research Symposium on "Geography and Drug Addiction" on March 8, 2006, in conjunction with the 2006 Annual Meeting of the AAG, held in Chicago, Illinois. The all-day Symposium included plenary, concurrent paper, and poster sessions, as well as a keynote address by Nora Volkow, M.D., NIDA Director.

The Division of Clinical Neuroscience and Behavioral Research (DCNBR) provided conference grant support for a New York Academy of Sciences/Brown Medical School meeting entitled Resilience in Children, held February 26-28, 2006 in Arlington, VA. NICHD and NIMH also contributed support. The goals of the conference were to examine behavioral-psychosocial and neurobiological aspects of resilience, and to help move the field toward a model that integrates these two perspectives. Dr. Nora Volkow gave a presentation on "Drug Addiction: A Brain Developmental Disorder", and numerous NIDA staff members attended the conference.

Drs. Karen Sirocco and Laurence Stanford, DCNBR, co-organized and co-chaired a trans-NIH workshop entitled Reward Neurocircuitry in Adolescent Development and Decision Making on January 20, 2006 in Bethesda, MD.

The 59th meeting of the Community Epidemiology Work Group (CEWG), chaired by Moira O'Brien, DESPR, was held in Phoenix, Arizona, on January 18-20, 2006.

On February 13-14, 2006, NIDA's Special Populations Office sponsored a follow-up NIDA Special Populations Research Development Seminar Series meeting in Bethesda, Maryland. Thirteen new minority investigators participated in the two-day workshop, which gave them opportunities to meet with NIDA-funded investigators and senior Institute staff, learn about NIDA's research priorities, and share their own research interests. This was a follow-up meeting for the new investigators, who were required to submit draft research grant applications which were discussed during a scheduled "mock grant review" session.

NIDA cosponsored the annual Lonnie E. Mitchell HBCU Substance Abuse conference held April 6-8, 2006 in Washington, DC.

On April 23, 2006 in Atlanta, Georgia, the CTN sponsored an all day pre-conference session entitled, "Treating People with Dignity and Evidenced Based Medicine - Emerging Research Findings on Buprenorphine, Hepatitis C and Prescription Drug Addiction" at the American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence (AATOD) conference. Dr. Betty Tai chaired the session and Dr. Petra Jacobs was the discussant.

The National CTN Steering Committee Meeting was held March 20-23, 2006, in Dallas, Texas. The following meetings/committees convened:

  • CIDI Training (Educational) - training sessions for two days
  • HIV Special Interest Group
  • CTP and PI Caucuses
  • Research Development Committee
  • Executive Committee
  • Node Coordinator Workgroup
  • Data and Statistics Center Systems Demonstration - Clinical Research Information System
  • The preliminary findings of the following study protocols were presented: CTN 0003 by Dr. Walter Ling; CTN 0004 by Dr. Sam Ball; and CTN 0009 by Dr. Malcolm Reid. Dr. Paul Roman presented preliminary findings of his study on the CTN.
  • Twelve-Step Facilitation Protocol Executive Committee
  • Research Utilization Committee

Dr. Timothy P. Condon, Deputy Director, NIDA, chaired a session entitled "Sharing the Science: Disseminating Evidence Based Treatments" at the International Conference on Treatment of Addiction Behaviors (ICTAB-11) on January 30, 2006 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Dr. Timothy P. Condon presented "Methamphetamine: The Science of Addiction" at the National Association of Counties Methamphetamine Action Group on March 3, 2006, in Arlington, Virginia.

Dr. Timothy P. Condon presented "It's a Brain Disease: Beyond a Reasonable Doubt: The Neuroscience of Addiction & Judicial Decision Making" at the Federal Judicial Center's Workshop for U.S. Magistrate Judges on April 6, 2006, in San Francisco, California.

Dr. Timothy P. Condon presented "Blending Research and Practice - An Overview of Where We Are and Where We Are Going: The NIDA/SAMHSA Blending Initiative" at the New Mexico Spring Institute on Addiction Treatment on April 10, 2006, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Dr. Cindy Miner, Deputy Director, OSPC served as a consultant at the judging for the 2006 PRISM Awards on February 4, 2006, in Los Angeles, California.

Dr. Cindy Miner, Deputy Director, OSPC presented "NIDA Research: Bringing the Power of Science to Combat Drug Abuse" at the Current Trends In Drug Abuse Research 4th Annual Symposium at Northeastern University on April 12, 2006, in Boston, Massachusetts.

On January 31st and February 7th, 2006, Dr. Ruben Baler, OSPC, made two presentations at the School of Public Health and Health Services, Department of Exercise Science, at George Washington University. The presentations were part of the "Drug Awareness" course offered every semester to incoming freshmen, and included a formal lecture entitled "Addiction is a Brain Disease" that highlighted NIDA's mission, strategies and achievements, as well as a screening, with debate, of the film "Euphoria," produced through a NIDA-funded SBIR grant.

Drs. Lula Beatty, Director, SPO, and Pushpa Thadani, DBNBR, attended a program review meeting of the Neuroscience of Drug Abuse Program at North Carolina Central University established under the HBCU Recruited Scientist Program on March 10, 2006 in Durham. Aims of the program include building a research program in the neuroscience of drug abuse at the Julius L. Chambers Biomedical/Biotechnology Research Institute, NCCU and preparing undergraduate and graduate students in the chemistry, biology and psychology departments for Ph.D. and M.D. training programs.

Dr. Lula Beatty presented a seminar entitled "Why Care About Addiction? Research and Training Opportunities at the National Institute on Drug Abuse," on March 30, 2006 for students and faculty at Livingstone College in North Carolina.

Dr. Lula Beatty participated as a panelist in two sessions at the National African American Drug Policy Coalition summit on April 6 and 7, 2006 in Washington, DC. One talk focused on NIDA's African American Initiative and the other was on Research Mentoring at NIDA.

Dr. Lula Beatty attended the meeting of the Committee on Women in Psychology (CWP) on April 6 and 7, 2006 in Crystal City, VA. CWP is one of the governance committees in the Public Interest Directorate of the American Psychological Association.

Dr. Lula Beatty co-hosted a roundtable and provided finals remarks at NIDA's Research Training Institute on April 18-19, 2006 in Bethesda, Maryland.

Dr. Harold Perl, CCTN, served as chair and discussant for a symposium titled: Implementing evidenced-based treatment methodology: Lessons from Adolescent Portable Therapy (APT), on March 27, 2006 at the 2006 Joint Meeting on Adolescent Treatment Effectiveness, in Baltimore, MD. He also presented a talk titled "Implementation and Adoption of Evidence-Based Practices: What Do We Know Today and What Will We Need to Do Tomorrow?"

Dr. David Shurtleff, Director, DBNBR, presented a session entitled "Research Funding Opportunities at NIH" at the 12th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroimmune Pharmacology in Santa Fe, NM, April 2006.

On April 17, 2006, Dr. David Thomas, DBNBR, chaired a session titled, "Neuronal and Glial Mechanisms of Pain" at the NIH Pain Consortium First Annual Symposium on Advances in Pain Research.

Drs. Cora Lee Wetherington, DBNBR and Vanya V. Quinones, Hunter College, co-organized & co-chaired the symposium, "Progesterone Effects on Reward: Possible Role in Drug Addiction," at the Combined meeting of The Conference on Sex and Gene Expression and The Workshop on Steroid Hormones and Brain Function, March 28 - April 1, 2006, Breckenridge, CO. Other participants included Jill Becker (University of Michigan), Suzette Evans (Columbia University and New York State Psychiatric Institute) and Mehet Sofuoglu (Yale University).

Dr. Minda Lynch, BCSRB/DBNBR, presented in a session entitled "Get Schooled: NIDA Funding for Adolescent Research" at the 11th Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research on Adolescence in San Francisco, CA during March 2006.

Dr. Susan Volman, DBNBR, Dr. Jerry Frankenheim, DBNBR, and Dr. Hal Gordon, DCNBR, co-chaired a workshop entitled "Biological Basis for Co-Occurrence of Substance Abuse and Other Psychiatric Disorders" on April 10-11, 2006 in Bethesda, MD.

On January 25, 2006, Dr. Frankenheim participated in a grantsmanship session with the Travel Fellows at the Winter Conference on Brain Research, Steamboat Springs, CO.

On February 15, 2006, Dr. Frankenheim briefed the Methamphetamine Working Group, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, US Department of State, regarding methamphetamine pharmacology, toxicology, and NIDA research, at the Department of State headquarters in Washington, DC.

Wilson M. Compton, M.D., Director, DESPR, presented to the steering committee of the SATH-CAP Cooperative Agreement study, Santa Monica, California April 4, 2006.

Wilson M. Compton, M.D. gave a plenary presentation at the Joint Meeting on Adolescent Treatment Effectiveness (JMATE), convened on March 27-29, 2006 in Baltimore, MD.

Wilson M. Compton, M.D. presented to the treatment program interest group of the NIDA Clinical Trials Network, Dallas, Texas March 20, 1006.

Wilson M. Compton, M.D. presented to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation meeting on models for treating addiction in primary care, Amelia Island, Florida February 16, 2006.

Dr. Elizabeth Robertson, DESPR, is currently serving on the Internal Advisory Work Group, the External Advisory Work Group, and the Evidence-based Work Group for the CSAP Strategic Prevention Framework - State Incentive Grants.

On February 13, 2006, Drs. Cindy Miner, Elizabeth Robertson, Jean Poduska (American Research Institute), and Evelyn Yang (CADCA) presented a workshop for community based organizations on the NIH system, how to apply for grants, developing community researcher partnerships and the view for a community-level organization. The workshop took place at the annual Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America meeting held at the Washington, DC Convention Center.

On March 25, 2006, Dr. Elizabeth Robertson, DESPR, participated on a panel titled "NIDA Funding for Adolescent Research at the society for Research on Adolescents in San Francisco.

Dr. Aria Crump, DESPR, presented a DESPR program overview to early career scientists at the NIDA Research Development Seminar Series in Bethesda on February 13-14, 2006.

Dr. Aria Crump, DESPR, participated in a panel entitled "NIH funding for Predocs and Postocs: Allow Us to Encourage You to Submit Grant Applications" at the 11th Biennial meeting of the Society for Research on Adolescence, held March 23-26, 2006.

Dr. Shakeh Kaftarian, DESPR, served on the Planning Committee of the PRIDE 2006 Conference, which was convened on April 6-9, 2006 in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Shakeh Kaftarian, DESPR, organized and chaired two sessions at the 2006 Joint Meeting on Adolescent Treatment Effectiveness (JMATE), convened on March 27-29, 2006 in Baltimore, MD. These sessions were titled "Child Maltreatment and Substance Abuse: Linking Research and Practice" and "Tobacco Cessation: Linking Research and Practice."

Drs. Shakeh Kaftarian and Elizabeth Robertson presented a workshop titled "Preventing HIV Infection: What Youth Should Know" on April 13, 2006 at the annual PRIDE conference in Washington, DC.

Dr. Shakeh Kaftarian, DESPR, convened a meeting of staff from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and NIDA to discuss the relevance of delivery-based networks which AHRQ is presently utilizing to work conducted by NIDA grantees. This meeting took place on Feb 28, 2006 at NIDA.

Dr. Jerry Flanzer, DESPR, co- led a grantmanship workshop focused on obtaining support from NIH, and presented the "Funding Opportunities for Social Workers at NIDA at the Society of Social Worker's 10th Annual Conference, Austin, Texas, January 12, 2006.

Dr. Jerry Flanzer, DESPR, presented an "Update on NIH Support of Social Work Research" at the National Association of Deans and Directors of School of Social Work, Chicago, Illinois, February 16, 2006.

Dr. Jerry Flanzer moderated a panel on Addiction Research and Social Work Practice, at the Annual program meeting of the Council on Social Work Education, Chicago, Illinois, February 18, 2006.

Dr. Jerry Flanzer, DESPR, presented the " Funding Opportunities and Priorities at NIH," at the Annual program meeting of the Council on Social Work Education, Chicago, Illinois, February 20, 2006.

At the recent Society for Research on Adolescence Biennial Meeting in San Francisco, CA, March 23 - 26, 2006, Jessica Campbell, Ph.D., ERB/DESPR, represented NIDA in a poster session and a discussion hour focusing on child and adolescent research support at NIDA.

Kathy Etz, Ph.D., ERB/DESPR, presented on "Funding Opportunities at the NIH and NIDA" in three symposia held at the Society for Research on Adolescence biennial meeting, March 23-26, 2006 San Francisco, CA.

Kathy Etz, Ph.D., ERB/DESPR, and Richard Denisco, M.D., SRB/DESPR, presented on "Current Trends in Drug Abuse Research and Assessment in Primary Care Settings" as part of the George Washington University Internal Medicine seminar series, May 16, 2006, in Washington D.C.

Peter Hartsock, Dr.P.H., ERB/DESPR, described NIDA's AIDS and other infectious diseases modeling program at the "Science and Technology Expert Partnership's Infectious Disease Modeling Conference," McLean, VA, March 2-3, 2006. The conference, supported by the Department of Defense, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the National Intelligence Council, and the Scientific and Technical Intelligence Committee, focuses on developing state-of-the-art mathematical modeling capabilities for predicting and understanding the worldwide spread of infectious diseases of humans, animals, and plants.

Peter Hartsock, Dr. P.H., ERB/DESPR, met with members of the Johns Hopkins Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, Department of Defense, and the Department of State to initiate a Central-Asia wide molecular epidemiologic/remote sensing study of the Silk Road heroin trade and accompanying HIV sub-types. The meeting took place in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2006.

Peter Hartsock, Dr.P.H., ERB/DESPR, represented NIDA at the Center for Strategic and International Studies' Task Force on HIV/AIDS Conference on HIV/AIDS in Vietnam, March 9, 2006, in Washington, D.C. Dr. Peter Piot, Executive Director of UNAIDS, Tommy Thompson, Former Secretary for DHHS, Senator Richard Lugar, and Senator John Kerry were conference speakers. The conference focused on the rapid growth of the Vietnamese HIV/AIDS epidemic, in which drug abuse plays a major role and the need for more international, especially U.S., involvement providing research and services assistance to Vietnam.

Moira O'Brien, ERB/DESPR, gave a presentation titled, "Methamphetamine Abuse in the U.S.: Patterns and Trends at the National and Local Levels," for the CADCA National Leadership Forum XVI in Washington, D.C., February 15, 2005.

Douglas Rugh, Ph.D., ERB/DESPR, presented results from a study of moderating influences on adolescent alcohol drinking at the January 16, 2006 Society for Social Work Research Meeting in San Antonio, TX.

On February 28, 2006, Frank Vocci, Ph.D., Director, DPMCDA, presented on preclinical and clinical studies involving the development of vaccines for nicotine dependence at the American Society of Preventive Oncology in Bethesda, MD.

On April 22-26, 2006, Jag Khalsa, Ph.D., DPMCDA, presented a symposium on Drug-drug Interactions at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence (AATOD), Atlanta. Speakers (Dr. David Greenblatt of Tufts, Dr. Evan Kharasch of the University of Washington, St.Louis, and Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz of VCU) presented the most current research findings on drug-drug interactions between drugs of abuse and antiretroviral medications. A brief summary of the symposium will be placed on NIDA's website.

On May 5, 2006, Jag Khalsa, Ph.D. presented a daylong sympsoium on "Clinical Approaches to HIV and Hepatitis C Infections in Drug Abusers" at the Annual Medical-Scientific Conference of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, San Diego. A number of clinician scientists (immunologists, hepatologists, infectious disease specialists) presented basic as well as clinical research findings on complications and clinical approaches to the management of dual infections in drug abusers. Publication of the proceedings in a professional medical journal is planned.

On February 28 and March 1, 2006, Ivan Montoya, M.D. and Jamie Biswas, Ph.D., DPMCDA, with program officials from NIMH and NIAAA co-organized a two-day workshop on Methodologies for Conducting Pharmacotherapy Trials for Psychiatric Comorbidities. The workshop took place in Bethesda, MD.

On March 27, 2006, Jamie Biswas, Ph.D. gave a presentation and participated as a panel discussant for the Recruitment Issues in Medication Trials for Adolescents With Substance Use Disorders panel at the annual JMATE meeting in Baltimore, Maryland on March 27, 2006.

Dr. Nicolette Borek, DCNBR, chaired a symposium on "Violence and Prenatal Drug Exposure: Impact on Adolescent Behavior" at the 11th Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research on Adolescence, March 23-26, 2006 in San Francisco.

Dr. Borek also presented a talk at SRA on research funding opportunities in DCNBR at the session "Get Schooled: NIDA Funding for Adolescent Research".

Dr. Nicolette Borek, DCNBR, gave two talks on NIDA resources and research funding opportunities to the Behavioral/Community and Therapeutics Leadership Groups at the Network Meeting of the Adolescent Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions in Rockville, MD, March 14-17, 2006. The ATN is a collaborative network cosponsored by NIDA, NICHD, and NIMH.

Dr. Nicolette Borek participated as a scientific collaborator in the Steering Committee meeting of the Maternal Lifestyle Study and co-conducted a site visit at the University of Miami site in Miami, FL, January 17-19, 2006.

Nicolette Borek, Katherine Davenny, Karen Sirocco, and Vince Smeriglio have participated in a numerous activities as scientific collaborators related to the start-up of the Pediatric HIV/AIDS Cohort Study (PHACS). PHACS is a cooperative agreement co-funded by NIDA, NICHD, NIAID, and NIMH to study the growth and development of children exposed to HIV/AIDS and/or antiretrovial therapy (ART) in utero. NIDA staff participated in the PHACS Leadership Group Meetings December 7, 2005 in Bethesda, Maryland and March 20-21, 2006 in Washington, DC, and have participated in ongoing conference calls and meetings to design the study. In addition to providing input to the overall protocol, Drs. Borek and Sirocco serve as NIDA representatives on the Neurodevelopment and Behavior workgroup.

On March 26 - 29, 2006, Dr. Melissa Racioppo, DCNBR, participated in the Joint Meeting on Adolescent Treatment Effectiveness (JMATE) in Baltimore, MD. Multiple symposia and workshops were held at this second annual meeting of clinicians and researchers with an interest in adolescent substance abuse treatment.

In February 2006, Drs. Lisa Onken, DCNBR, and Moira O'Brien, DESPR, gave presentations at CADCA about current research on the epidemiology and treatment of methamphetamine abuse.

In January 2006, Dr. Cecelia Spitznas, DCNBR, participated as a discussant and session chair for a symposium on Mechanism of Action in Behavioral Treatments at the International Conference on Treating Addictive Behaviors in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

A workshop entitled "NeuroAIDS, Drug Abuse, and Inflammation: Building a Collaborative Research Agenda" was held on March 23-24, 2006. The goal of this meeting was to generate discussion to identify and prioritize basic research studies needed to understand the interaction of drug abuse and the processes of HIV-induced neuropathology. This meeting was organized by Diane Lawrence, FNRB, DBNBR and Lynda Erinoff, AIDS Research Program (ARP) and was supported by the ARP.

Dr. Harold Gordon, DCNBR, co-organized (with other members of the Trans-NIH Sleep Research Coordinating Committee) a two-day workshop on Neuroimaging in Sleep Research held on the NIH campus, Bethesda, MD, March 29-30, 2006.

Dr. Harold Gordon represented NIDA at a workshop on Sleep Loss and Obesity sponsored by International Life Sciences Institute, the National Sleep Foundation, and Atlanta School of Sleep Medicine held in Washington, D.C. March 27-28, 2006.

Dr. Harold Gordon co-organized (with Susan Volman (lead) and Jerry Frankenheim) a two-day workshop on Biological Basis for Co-Occurrence of Substance Abuse and Other Psychiatric Disorders, Bethesda, April 10-11, 2006.

Dr. Steven Grant, DCNBR, represented NIDA at the annual meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society in San Francisco, CA, April 8-12, 2006.

Dr. Steven Grant represented NIDA at a Neuroethics Conference at the University of California, Davis, in Davis, CA, April 7, 2006.

Dr. Steven Grant represented NIDA at the workshop on "NeuroAIDS, Drug Abuse and Inflammation" in Bethesda, MD, March 23-24, 2006.

Dr. Steven Grant represented NIDA at the workshop on "Methodology of Conducting Pharmacologic Clinical Trials in Patients with Alcohol/Drug Dependence and Psychiatric Comorbidity", Bethesda MD, February 28 - 29, 2006.

Dr. Nemeth-Coslett continues to co-chair the Translationally Oriented Approaches, Devices and Strategies (TOADS) work-group. The TOADS workgroup has set aside money to support up to 8 junior researchers to attend the 11th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction. Researchers who have an interest in using state-of-the-art technologies as an investigative tool in drug abuse research; prevention and treatment were invited, via fliers at Neuroscience and through several ListServes, to submit proposals.

On February 8, 2006, Dr. Yihong Yang, Chief, MRI Physics Unit in the Neuroimaging Research Branch, NIDA, was invited to present the CCTN Classroom Series. He gave a talk entitled "Functional Brain Maps Revealed by Independent Component Analysis." Independent Component Analysis (ICA) is a valuable technique for multivariate data-driven analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data sets.

On February 13, 2006, Ahmed Elkashef and Shou-Hua Li spoke on secondary outcomes analysis on a study testing Buproprion--an antidepressant with modest monoamine uptake inhibition, and mild stimulant effects in animals--for the treatment of methamphetamine dependence.


Research Findings

Program Activities

Extramural Policy and Review Activities

Congressional Affairs

International Activities

Meetings and Conferences

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Planned Meetings


Staff Highlights

Grantee Honors

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