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National Institute on Drug Abuse

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

May, 1996

Staff Highlights


Dr. Alan I. Leshner, Director, NIDA received an award from the Society for Applied Anthropology on March 28, 1996 in recognition of "exceptional leadership, resourcefulness, and vision in supporting and significantly furthering the work of anthropology in applied research on substance abuse and AIDS."

Dr. Jack E. Henningfield, Chief, Clinical Pharmacology Branch, DIR received the 1996 ASAM Annual Award "for expanding the frontiers of the field of Addiction Medicine and broadening our understanding of the addictive process, through research and innovation."

Dr. Edward J. Cone, Chief, Chemistry and Drug Metabolism Section, DIR has been selected by the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Officers Association to receive the 1996 SciPAC Career Scientist of the Year award for "his pioneering research on the detection of psychoactive drugs in humans and for the broad implications of his discoveries to improve drug abuse prevention and treatment."

Dr. Roger Brown, Chief, BNRB, DBR was elected to membership in the International Behavioral Neuroscience Society.

Dr. Rao S. Rapaka, Chief, Basic Neurobiology and Biological Systems Branch, DBR, was selected by the organizers of the Cyprus conference on "New Methods in Drug Research" as the recipient of the "1996 Award for Distinguished Service in Drug Abuse Research". The award recognizes Dr. Rapaka's long-standing efforts in promoting drug abuse research, drug supply system, medications development, and drug discovery.

Dr. Edythe D. London, DIR, was appointed as member of the Graduate Faculty, Graduate School, University of Maryland.

Dr. Toni Shippenberg, DIR, was appointed to the Executive Committee of the European Behavioral Pharmacology Society.

Dr. Stephen Husbands, DIR, received a Travel Award to attend the 1996 Annual Meeting of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence.

Staff Changes

Effective April 15, 1996, Dr. Charles Grudzinskas, Director, Medications Development Division (MDD), left Government service to become Vice President for Medications Development, G.D. Searle Company. Dr. Grudzinskas served as division director for five years during MDD's critical formative period, and from June 1993 to February 1994, served as NIDA's Acting Deputy Director. Dr. Frank Vocci is now serving as MDD's Acting Division Director. Ms. Marge Hutton, Chief of NIDA's Personnel Management Branch, OPRM, retired after 20 years of Federal service on March 1, 1996.

Henry L. Francis, M. D. was appointed Chief, Clinical Medicine Branch, DCSR, effective April 29, 1996. Dr. Francis comes to NIDA from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Baltimore City Health Department. He was previously employed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, including an assignment conducting AIDS research in Kinshasa, Zaire. Dr. Francis received his M.D. from Howard University College of Medicine and is board certified in internal medicine.

Joseph Frascella, Ph.D. has been appointed Chief, Etiology and Clinical Neurobiology Branch, DCSR, effective May 12. Dr. Frascella joined NIDA in December 1988 as a program official in the Neuroscience Research Branch, DBR, and has been serving as Acting Chief, ECNB, since February 1995. He holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Brown University.

David Thomas, Ph.D. and Thomas Aigner, Ph.D. joined the Behavioral Neurobiology Research Branch of the Division of Basic Research in October, 1995. Dr. Thomas received his doctorate from The American University in Washington, D.C. and was most recently a Research Associate fellow at the University of Chicago. Dr. Aigner received his Ph.D. from the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, and spent the last 13 years in the intramural research program of NIMH on the Bethesda campus.

Nancy Pilotte, Ph.D. joined the Behavioral Neurobiology Research Branch of the Division of Basic Research in March, 1996. Dr. Pilotte, who received her degree from Florida State University, transferred from the Medications Development Division of NIDA to DBR.

Leslie Cooper, Ph.D., a Commissioned Officer, joined NIDA's Epidemiology Branch on April 1, 1996. Prior to coming to NIDA, Dr. Cooper was stationed at the NIH from June 1983 until May 1995 primarily assigned to NICHD, and the last three years at the NINR and the NHLBI. From May 1995 to April 1996, she worked at the Maternal and Child Health Bureau within the Health Resources Services Administration. Dr. Cooper is an epidemiologist with the majority of her experience focusing on the maternal and child health population.

Dr. Peter Delany, Services Research Branch, DCSR, has been detailed part-time to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation to coordinate HHS's efforts on the National Survey of Homeless Assistance Providers and Clients.

Grantee Honors

NIDA grantees David Paschane, Dennis Fisher, Henry Cagle, and Andrea Fenaughty, of the University of Alaska at Anchorage, were awarded the 1996 Award for Excellence by the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment and the National Rural Institute on Alcohol and Drug Abuse. The award was in recognition of their work on drug use, sexually transmitted diseases, and sex-related risk behaviors in Alaska. The award will be formally presented at the 12th Annual National Rural Institute on Alcohol and Drug Abuse to be held at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, June 9-13, 1996.

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