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National Institute on Drug Abuse

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

May, 1996


On January 25-26, 1996 an ad hoc scientific consultant group reviewed the MDD clinical cocaine treatment program. Representatives of MDD, DCSR, IRP, and the VA MDRUs were present. The group reviewed currently available clinical and preclinical information and made recommendations regarding pharmacologic methods, clinical trial methods, and categories of compounds to be considered.

On March 18, 1996, NIDA Deputy Director, Mr. Richard A. Millstein convened a joint all-day meeting of Parklawn staff and ARC staff involved in HIV/AIDS research. The purpose of the meeting was to provide overviews of the Institute's AIDS initiatives and to discuss how the intramural program could be better integrated into the NIH/NIDA research planning efforts in this area. Representatives from the Office on AIDS and each of the Extramural Program Divisions, Dr. George Uhl, Acting Director, IRP, and staff members from the IRP's Treatment Branch, Molecular Neurobiology Branch, Neuroscience Branch, Clinical Pharmacology Branch, and Preclinical Pharmacology Laboratory participated.

Consultant meetings were held to review the Medication Development Division's two preclinical discovery programs--the Cocaine Treatment Discovery Program on March 7-8, 1996, and the Opiate Treatment Discovery Program on March 19, 1996. Both meetings involved NIDA staff, NIDA contractors, NIDA grantees, and experts from the pharmaceutical industry. Specific recommendations were obtained for future compound screening efforts and a number of follow-up subcommittee/workgroup meetings will be held to address critical issues raised during the meetings. One of the most important follow-up efforts will be to establish a detailed information template to be used in recommending compounds for advancement from preclinical to clinical development.

On April 15, 1996, an expert panel was convened to address special issues concerning "Research on the Role of Childhood Trauma in the Etiology of Drug Abuse." This meeting in which 15 national experts discussed the impact of child abuse trauma on the developmental trajectory of children, possible sequelae and outcomes including PTSD and drug abuse was organized by Dr. Coryl Jones, DEPR, and Ms. J.C. Comolli, OSPC, and chaired by NIDA Director Dr. Alan Leshner, and later, by NIDA Deputy Director Mr. Richard A. Millstein. Special issues concerned research on vulnerabilities and individual responsivities to trauma, risk and protective factors, and cross-cutting issues and related research activities within NIH and other Federal agencies and departments. Steps and barriers for prospective studies and the problems inherent in developing an epidemiologic data base were identified. These included a range of problems which must be addressed with regard to human subject concerns. Recommendations will be used for program development and review of applicable policies.

On April 17, 1996 the Satellite Wellness Action Network (SWAN) and The Frost Foundation, Ltd. in partnership with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG), Georgetown University, the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) sponsored a live interactive teleconference titled "Pathways to Prevention".

A NIDA/University of Puerto Rico Research Development Seminar on Increasing Drug Abuse Research by Hispanic Investigators was held in San Juan, Puerto Rico April 17-19, 1996. The workshop provided technical assistance, mentoring, and grants development assistance to new Hispanic investigators interested in drug abuse research.

The NIDA Resource Center for Health Services Research held a meeting focusing on Database Management and Archiving on April 18, 1996.

A NIDA/Howard University Drug Abuse Research Technical Assistance Project (DARTAP) HBCU Administrators Meeting was held in Bethesda, MD on April 30, 1996. Over 30 administrators and faculty members from Historically Black Colleges and Universities participated in an intensive grants development workshop which focused on infrastructure development needs and designs.

On May 14 and 15, 1996, Drs. Lisa Onken and Jack Blaine launched the first in a series of meetings attempting to enrich NIDA's behavioral therapy development efforts by linking therapy development with basic behavioral science. The meeting was entitled "Behavioral Therapy Development and Psychological Science."

NIDA's Services Research Branch staff worked with the Secretary of Health and Human Services' staff to develop the national conference, "Access and Opportunity: A National Leadership Conference on Managed Behavioral Health Care," which was held May 14 and 15, 1996, in Arlington, VA.

Dr. Dorynne Czechowicz, Division of Clinical and Services Research (DCSR), and Joel Egertson, Medications Development Division (MDD), organized a symposium entitled "New Medications for Treating Cocaine Abuse and Dependence: Bench to Bedside" conducted at the 27th Annual Medical-Scientific Conference of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) on April 20, 1996 in Atlanta Georgia. This day long symposium, co-sponsored by NIDA with the Medications Development Committee of ASAM, presented research on the neurobiology of cocaine addiction: the search for cocaine treatment medications, progress to date and future directions. The symposium was co-chaired by Dr. Frank Vocci, Acting Director MDD, and Dr. Stephen Zukin, Director, DCSR and featured NIDA's Dr. David Gorelick, Chief, Treatment Research Branch, Intramural Research Program, Dr. Peter Cohen, Special Expert, MDD, along with Dr. Donald Wesson, Chairman of the ASAM Medications Development Committee, Dr. David Smith, ASAM President, and several speakers from the research community and pharmaceutical industry.

Dr. Jaylan Turkkan gave the keynote address at a conference at the City University of New York on May 3, 1996. The conference title was "Categorization and Concept Formation: Same Topic, Different Perspectives".

Drs. Chiiko Asanuma, Joseph Frascella, Harold Gordon, and Mac Horton, of the Etiology and Clinical Neurobiology Branch/DCSR, attended a meeting on Current and Emerging Techniques for Monitoring Brain Structure & Function held in Bethesda, MD on March 28-29, 1996.

Dr. Chiiko Asanuma of the Etiology and Clinical Neurobiology Branch/DCSR attended the FASEB meeting in Washington D.C., April 1996.

Dr. Joseph Frascella of the Etiology and Clinical Neurobiology Branch/DCSR was a faculty participant in a NIDA Special Populations Research Development Training Seminar held in San Juan, Puerto Rico, April 17-19, 1996.

Gary Palsgrove, SRB, DCSR, served as reactor to a panel presentation of the UCLA/RAND Corporation research findings at the National TASC Conference on Drugs and Crime held in Chicago on April 1, 1996.

Dr. William Cartwright, SRB, made a presentation entitled "Managed Care, Government, and Science" to the NIH Workgroup on Economics on April 4, 1996.

Dr. William Cartwright participated in an Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research, Rutgers University workshop entitled, "Direct Contracting and Managed Mental Health Care from the U.S. and U.K. Perspective," May 9 and 10, 1996 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The workshop explored U.K. and U.S. experiences with public sector contracting in the private sector for mental health services.

Dr. Meyer Glantz presented a paper entitled "The Application of Etiology Research Data to Substance Abuse Prevention" at the International Congress of Behavioral Medicine joint meeting with the Society for Behavioral Medicine in Washington, D.C. March 14, 1996.

On March 10, 1996, Dr. Elizabeth Robertson, DEPR, presented a paper at the Society for Research on Adolescence entitled "Trends in Adolescent Drug Use: Comparisons of Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Areas of the United States."

Dr. Elizabeth Robertson of DEPR, represented NIDA at the Sixth Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research on Adolescence to discuss research opportunities with meeting attendees.

Dr. Meyer Glantz represented NIDA at the Scientific Advisory Board of the NIMH Depression/Awareness, Research & Treatment (D/ART) Planning Board Meeting on a new D/ART program focusing on comorbidity issues.

On March 28, 1996, Dr. William Bukoski and Cathrine Sasek joined a group of experts from the Department of Health and Human Services to provide guidance and scientific input to Disney Animation Studios in their efforts to develop a drug abuse prevention video for middle school students, parents and teachers.

Richard H. Needle, Ph.D., M.P.H., conducted a workshop on grantsmanship on March 29, 1996 at the annual meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology, held in Baltimore, Maryland.

Dr. Coryl Jones, ERB/DEPR, served on the steering committee and participated in the Federal Forum on Childhood Research on Child Abuse and Neglect involving 22 Federal programs held April 16, 1996, in Bethesda, Maryland. Her presentation outlined the NIDA portfolio on studies of child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, and victimization.

Dr. Peter Hartsock represented the Department at the annual conference of the Arctic Research Council of the U.S. (ARCUS) on March 26-27, 1996.

Dr. Peter Hartsock represented NIDA at the NIMH AIDS Cost Effectiveness Analysis Meeting on March 21-22, 1996 and described NIDA-supported economic modeling efforts related to drug abuse, AIDS, and other infectious diseases.

Dr. Peter Hartsock represented NIDA at the March 12, 1996 meeting of the NIH Task Force on Emerging and Reemerging Infectious Diseases (EREIDS). The Task Force met to review new EREID initiatives by the World Health Organization and opportunities for NIH support of EREID research.

On April 25-26, 1996, Dr. William Bukoski, Chief, Prevention Research Branch was a panelist for an NIAAA workshop entitled "Research on Alcoholism in the Workplace." The meeting was held in Washington, D.C. Dr. Bukoski presented NIDA's latest prevention research findings and discussed current program initiatives.

Dr. William J. Bukoski, Chief of the Prevention Research Branch served as panelist and resource person to the Fifth Annual National Conference on Prevention Research, sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health, which was held on May 9-11, 1996 in Washington, D.C. The meeting presented an overview of prevention research findings and discussed salient recommendations for future research.

On March 6, 1996 Dr. Peter Cohen, MDD, presented a talk entitled "Science and Law as Alternative Approaches to Reality" to anesthesia residents at the Georgetown University Medical Center.

On March 16, 1996 Dr. Frank Vocci spoke at the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco in Washington, D.C. Dr. Vocci spoke on new findings in the nicotine field as they related to medications development leads.

On March 28, 1996 Dr. Frank Vocci spoke at an FDA/ NIMH/ NIDDK sponsored symposium on "Current and Emerging Techniques for Monitoring Brain Structure and Function". The title of his talk was "Assessment of Neurotoxicity Caused by Drugs of Abuse and Potential Treatment Agents.

Dr. Cora Lee Wetherington, NIDA's Women's Health Coordinator, gave an invited plenary session presentation, "Women and Gender Differences: Research Opportunities" at the annual North Carolina Governor's Institute on Alcohol and Substance Abuse, February 14-16, 1996 in Greensboro, NC. Dr. Wetherington also led a workshop, "Research Priorities, Training and Development."

Dr. Lula Beatty presented a seminar on drug abuse research careers at the Psychology Department at George Washington University, Washington, DC on February 29, 1996.

Dr. Lula Beatty, Chief of NIDA's Special Populations Office, was the Keynote Speaker at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff's Annual Student-Faculty Research Forum held March 19-22, 1996.

Dr. Lula Beatty served as discussant on the panel "Ethnographic Methods for Community Health", at the Society for Applied Anthropology, in Baltimore, MD on March 28, 1996.

Dr. Lula Beatty moderated a session on drug abuse research at HBCUs at the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) Conference, held in New Orleans, LA, April 1-4, 1996.

Dr. Lula Beatty, Chief, SPO, presented NIDA's HBCU Initiative before the Twenty-First National Conference on Blacks in Higher Education, sponsored by the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO) on April 18, 1996.

Dr. Lula Beatty presented a session on research at the NIDA Leadership Seminar for Asian Pacific Islanders on April 22, 1996.

On February 1, 1996, Dr. Harry Haverkos made a presentation entitled, "National Trends of HIV Infection Among Minorities" at a conference on "Drug Abuse, HIV and Minorities" at the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida.

Dr. Harry W. Haverkos served as the Katharine Rosenbaum Boucot Sturgis Visiting Professor at the Medical College of Pennsylvania and at Hahnemann University, Philadelphia, PA, March 6-7, 1996. He met with medical students, researchers, clinicians, and drug abuse service providers. He presented Infectious Diseases Grand Rounds at Hahnemann University on "Kaposi's Sarcoma: A Multifactorial Hypothesis," and Infectious Diseases Grand Rounds at the Medical College of Pennsylvania on "Trends of AIDS and Drug Abuse."

Dr. Jonathan L. Katz, DIR, was invited to present a paper entitled "Dopaminergic Mechanisms Underlying Cocaine Effects and Cocaine Abuse" at a plenary session entitled "Ethanol, Cocaine and Opioids: Common CNS Substrates of Action and Addiction" held at the Seventh Annual Spring Brain Conference, March 1996.

Drs. Amy H. Newman and Jonathan L. Katz, both of DIR, were invited to co-present a paper entitled "Novel Benztropine Analogs: Potent Dopamine Uptake Inhibitors that are Behaviorally Distinct from Cocaine" at the NIDA/MDD Meeting entitled "Cocaine Medications -- Better Treatment Through Chemistry", held April 29-30, 1996.

Students from the National Association of Academies of Sciences and American Junior Academy of Sciences visited the Intramural Research Program on February 8, 1996. The visit was hosted by Dr. Edythe D. London and coordinated by Dr. Rebeca Soria.p> Dr. Edythe D. London, DIR, presented a lecture entitled, "FDG and PET Studies Comparing Brain Metabolism and Volumetric MRI Analysis in Substance Abusers and Controls" at the European Winter Conference on Brain Research held in Serre-Chevalier, France on March 16-23, 1996.

Dr. Steven J. Grant, DIR, presented a lecture entitled, "Activation of a Cortical Memory Circuit is Related to Cue-Elicited Cocaine Craving: A Positron Emission Tomographic Study" at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society Third Annual Meeting held in San Francisco, CA on March 31 - April 2, 1996.

Drs. Toni Shippenberg and Bruce Vaupel, both of DIR, participated in the Opiate Treatment Development Program Consultants Meeting held by the Medications Development Division, NIDA in Bethesda, MD on March 19, 1996.

Dr. Jean L. Cadet, DIR, presented a lecture entitled, "Superoxide Radicals Mediate the Biochemical Effects of MDMA" at the Gordon Conference held in Ventura California on February 11-16, 1996.

Dr. Jean L. Cadet presented a keynote address entitled, "Substance Abuse in the Elderly" at the Bethune Cookman College Gerontology and 4th Annual Substance Abuse Conference held in Daytona Beach, Florida on March 28-30, 1996.

Dr. Jean L. Cadet attended the Coppin State College 10th Annual Substance Abuse Conference held in Baltimore, Maryland on April 24-27, 1996.

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