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National Institute on Drug Abuse

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

May, 1997

Planned Meetings

On May 30, 1997 NIDA will hold a "Town Meeting" in Chicago, Illinois in partnership with the City of Chicago in order to discuss with policy makers, organizations, community leaders, and practitioners current science-based knowledge about drug abuse and addiction treatment and prevention.

Two NIH research groups, the NIH AIDS Interest Group and the Behavioral and Social Sciences Interest Group, are jointly sponsoring a mini-symposium on "Drug Abuse and AIDS: Research from the Behavioral and Social Sciences" to be held Thursday, July 31, 1997. NIDA staff have been involved in planning this event in conjunction with staff from the Office of AIDS Research and Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research. The mini-symposium will cover the epidemiology of HIV, drug abuse, and related risk behaviors; a behavioral overview of addiction; animal studies of the behavioral consequences of addiction and HIV infection; impulsivity and risk behavior; social network analysis; ethnography; and intervention research on risk reduction and outreach, needle and syringe access and exchange, and drug abuse treatment.

Naimah Weinberg, M.D., ERB/DEPR, is organizing a workshop on child psychiatric conditions in the etiology of drug abuse. The meeting,"Childhood Psychopathologic Risk Factors for Drug Abuse: Deficits and Mechanisms" will be held in the Washington area on July 9 and 10, 1997. Experts in the areas of child and adolescent psychiatric disorders, comorbidity, etiology, temperament, neuropsychology, epidemiology, behavior genetics, and family dynamics will participate.

DEPR's Community Research Branch along with the Division of Clinical and Services Research and the NIDA Office on AIDS is planning a meeting to synthesize the findings from NIDA-funded HIV prevention research. The meeting will be held in Flagstaff, Arizona on August 4 and 5, 1997.

DEPR, DCSR, MDD, DBR and the ARC are planning a national conference on research related to heroin to be held on September 29 and 30, 1997 at the Hyatt-Crystal City. The objective of the conference is to increase the understanding and heighten awareness of heroin addiction: nature, extent and changing trends in use patterns; biological and behavioral bases; consequences; and prevention and treatment. In addition to NIH researchers, the audience is intended to include key prevention, treatment and criminal justice leaders and decision makers and practitioner groups.

Cognitive Science Symposium sponsored by the Behavioral Sciences Research Branch, DBR - "Cognitive Science Research: Applications to Drug Abuse", to be held at the College on Problems of Drug Dependence meeting in Nashville TN on June 17, 1997. Presentations will cover animal cognition, drug and alcohol effects on mood and on cognitive abilities such as information processing.

NIDA/American Psychological Society Sponsored Symposium -- An all-day satellite meeting entitled Cognitive Science Research: More Than Thinking About Drug Abuse will be held at the Washington Hilton Hotel on May 23, 1997. The meeting, sponsored by the NIDA's Behavioral Science Working Group, will feature many distinguished cognitive researchers who will speak on the role of cognitive science in understanding the problem of drug abuse and addiction. Topics include animal cognition, the effects of drugs of abuse on cognitive ability, information processing, social cognition, and cognitive aspects of drug treatment and therapy.

American Psychological Society Federal Funding Poster Session -- NIDA staff from the Basic, Clinical and Review sections will be available at the Federal Funding Poster Session on May 24 at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Society.

Basic Behavioral and Cognitive Factors in HIV/AIDS and Drug Abuse -- This workshop sponsored by the Behavioral Sciences Research Branch (Division of Basic Research) will be held in the Washington D.C. area on July 29 and 30, 1997. The aim of the workshop is to bring together researchers within and outside of the drug abuse research community to explore how basic research in particular can be profitably employed to understand the behavioral and cognitive antecedents of HIV infection, and the interactive effects of HIV and drug use in addicts.

Society for Neuroscience Evening Symposium: What Do We Really Know About Mouse Behavior? -- sponsored by the Behavioral Science Working Group. Jacqueline Crawley (NIMH) and Cindy Miner (NIDA) as co-chairs will host speakers on mouse species behavioral differences, rat:mouse differences, behavioral paradigms as used to evaluate transgenic and knockout mice, and mouse ethobiology and behavior.

The MDD Pharmacology and Toxicology Branch will hold a review of progress under the first year of its cardiotoxicology contract. One of the key aspects of this contract is to develop methods to evaluate the cardiovascular effects of potential treatment agents in the presence of cocaine. Thus, the contractor will present a review of the progress on this phase of the contract. The contractor's accomplishments/planned activities will be assessed by a group of consultants who are actively engaged in preclinical cardiovascular research.

Staff from the Medications Development Division will attend and participate in a day-long satellite meeting on "Cocaine and a Changing Brain." at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in October. A stellar cast of speakers has been assembled including Bertha Madras, Frank White, Nancy Zahniser, Bert Weiss, and Nora Volkow.

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