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National Institute on Drug Abuse

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

May, 1998


Receptor Internalization: Implications on Receptor Function and Regulation This workshop, organized by Dr. Rita Liu of OEPR and Dr. David Thomas of DBR, was held on February 9, 1998. Speakers were members of the NIDA-B Review Subcommittee and included Drs. Chris J. Evans of the University of California, Los Angeles; Robert P. Elde of the University of Minnesota; Susan R. George of the University of Toronto; Kenneth P. Mackie of the University of Washington; and Bryan Roth of Case Western Reserve University Medical School. The workshop was filled to capacity, and attendees included members of the NIDA Neuroscience Consortium and NIH intramural and extramural scientists.

Women and HIV Investigators Group (WHIG) Meeting The WHIG, composed of women researchers who have grants that are sponsored by the Community Research Branch under the NIDA Program Announcement, "Women's HIV Risk and Protective Behaviors" (#95-083), held its second meeting in Washington, D.C. February 27-28, 1998. The meeting covered several key issues, including the role of power and its impact on women's HIV risk behaviors; high risk behaviors and other serious infections (e.g., other STDs, such as chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, viral hepatitis, and others); the effects of welfare reform changes on women at risk for HIV; interventions for partners and couples; and strategies for addressing research challenges in the field, such as behavior measurement, recruitment, outreach, and ethical decision making. NIDA staff involved in the initiation of WHIG included Susan Coyle, Ph.D. and Richard H. Needle, Ph.D., M.P.H., Chief, CRB.

NIDA's African American Researchers and Scholars Group met with NIDA staff in Bethesda, Maryland on March 5-6, 1998. Topics of discussion included Institute minority program activities, changes in NIDA and NIH peer review, collaborative activities with professional organizations, and recruitment and retention of African American and other minority researchers.

NIDA's Hispano/Latino Researchers and Scholars Group met March 16-17, 1998 in Rockville, Maryland. Participants heard research updates from NIDA program staff, overviews of Hispanic activities at other Public Health Service (PHS) agencies, and summaries of research and other activities related to US/Mexico border issues.

Understanding Drug Abuse and Addiction: Myths Vs. Reality NIDA organized this "Town Meeting" which was held in Boston, Massachusetts on April 7, 1998. NIDA Director, Dr. Alan I. Leshner and NIDA researchers discussed ways that state policy makers, organizations, schools and communities can utilize the latest scientific research to assess state and local drug problems and develop programs to meet their needs.

Meeting on Gender and Pain Drs. David Thomas and Robert Caudle of the Division of Basic Research helped plan and arrange for NIDA sponsorship of the meeting entitled "Gender and Pain: A Focus on How Pain Impacts Women Differently Than Men." This multi-institute sponsored meeting was held in Bethesda MD, April 7-8, 1998.

National Conference on Drug Addiction Treatment: From Research to Practice This NIDA-sponsored conference was held in Washington, DC on April 8-9, 1998. The conference was called to order by Dr. Alan I. Leshner followed by the keynote address presented by General Barry R. McCaffrey, USA (Ret.), Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. With the emphasis on informing leaders of national drug abuse and other professional organizations, treatment practitioners, the media, and the public, the conference highlighted over two decades of drug addiction treatment research. More than thirty conference speakers and discussants summarized the current state of scientific knowledge on a variety of topics, including health, social and economic benefits of treating drug addiction, the roles of behavioral and medication treatment, and the barriers impeding the delivery of and access to drug addiction treatment. The conference was organized through the combined efforts of NIDA staff in the Division of Clinical and Services Research and Office of Science Policy and Communications.

Stress, the CRF System, and Drugs of Abuse This NIDA sponsored workshop was held on April 14, 1998 in Bethesda, MD. Presenting participants included Dr. Paul Plotsky, Dr. Errol De Souza, Dr. Barbara Sorg, Dr. Friedbert Weiss, Dr. Jane Stewart, Dr. Franco Vaccarino, Dr. Stanley Watson, Dr. David Schultz, Dr. Donald Gehlert, and Dr. Rajita Sinha. Although the merits of various medication development targets (e.g., CRF and CCK receptor antagonists) was a primary focus of the meeting, implications for prevention and treatment research were also discussed.

NIDA/ASAM Symposium -- Treating Adolescent Drug Abuse and Addiction This Symposium was held at the American Society of Addiction Medicine's 29th Annual Medical-Scientific Conference, April 18, 1998 in New Orleans , LA, and presented scientific information on: adolescent drug abuse and co-occurring behavioral problems; psychopathology and risk of drug abuse; assessment and treatment of drug abusing adolescents with substance use disorders and comorbid mental disorders; pharmacotherapy for drug abusing adolescents; brief behavioral interventions appropriate for primary care settings; and family-focussed therapy, sensitive to drug abusing adolescents from different cultural backgrounds. The meeting was cochaired by Stephen Zukin, M.D., Director of NIDA's Division of Clinical and Services Research, and Marie Armentano, M.D., Chair of ASAM's Committee on Children and Youth. Drs. Dorynne Czechowicz, Elizabeth Rahdert, and Vincent Smeriglio, all of NIDA's Division of Clinical and Services Research, organized this meeting in collaboration with ASAM.

Developmental Follow-Up of Prenatal Drug Exposure: School-Age Children This meeting, sponsored by NIDA's Child and Adolescent Research Workgroup, was held on April 21-22, 1998. Overall purposes of the meeting were: to assess the status of the search for developmental sequelae of prenatal drug exposure, to examine the state of the science as to possible biological and environmental mechanisms underlying sequelae, and to address new and ongoing methodological challenges in studying cohorts of children when they reach school age. The meeting emphasized problem-solving and direction-setting discussions among investigators who are currently immersed in the issues.

Peripheral Blockers as Treatments for Substance Abuse and Dependence: Using Antibodies and Enzymes to keep Cocaine and Other Drugs of Abuse Out of the Central Nervous System This NIDA sponsored scientific meeting was held on April 27-28, 1998 to review the progress of research and development of vaccines, catalytic antibodies and enzyme enhancements that will block, or slow, the entry of cocaine or other abused substances into the brain. Presentations by 19 NIDA grantees, NIDA staff, and other scientists focussed on the biochemical and immunological aspects of peripheral blockers and on their behavioral effects in rodents challenged with drugs of abuse. Five postdoctoral fellows and graduate students were invited to present posters on related topics. The meeting was organized and conducted by Steven Sparenborg, Ph.D. with the assistance of Medications Development Division and Office of Science Policy and Communications staff members.

The Glutamate Cascade: Common Pathways of Central Nervous System Disease States was held on May 3-5, 1998 at the NIH Masur Auditorium to explore the evidence that the "glutamate cascade" appears to be associated with several seemingly diverse disease processes of the CNS. The related excitotoxic cascade has been demonstrated in some of these processes: addiction, stroke, epilepsy, degenerative disorders, brain trauma, neuropathic pain, schizophrenia, anxiety, and depression. The goal of the symposium was to stimulate a cross-fertilization of ideas in basic brain mechanisms and preclinical and clinical medications development of direct or indirect glutamatergic antagonists in diverse medical disciplines which focus on these disorders. This multi-Institute NIH symposium was organized by Barbara Herman, Ph.D., Medications Development Division.

The Second Annual PRISM Awards, co-sponsored by NIDA and the Entertainment Industry Council and honoring accurate depiction of drug, alcohol and tobacco use in film and television, took place on May 5, 1998, in Beverly Hills, California. Awards, commendations, and certificates of merit were presented for feature films and five TV categories -- comedy series, drama series, children's series, movies or dramatic specials, and reality series or specials. An award was also given for community service.

On February 5-6, 1998, NIDA convened two groups of technical experts in program evaluation design and measurement to advise NIDA and the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) on the most potentially effective research plan and structure to evaluate the impact of ONDCP's National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign. Leading experts in statistical sampling, design, and measurement, and prevention and communications research met together to consider these issues needing to be addressed in the overall campaign evaluation. Briefings were provided about the campaign audiences and objectives, and the initial phases of evaluation undertaken by ONDCP by senior ONDCP staff, including Dr. Hoover Adger, Deputy Director, ONDCP, and Dr. John Carnevale, Director of the Office of Programs, Budget, Research and Evaluation. The session, co-chaired by Dr. Zili Sloboda, Director of DEPR, addressed general structural questions about the research design and domains of interest and then considered the specific design questions and the measurements and instrumentation that can be applied to the overall campaign evaluation program. The report of the experts' meeting assisted NIDA staff in the development of the contract, and also provided guidance to the ONDCP staff in the design of questionnaires being employed in earlier phases of the evaluation being conducted outside of NIDA.

NIDA staff from the Division of Clinical and Services Research (DCSR) and the Division of Epidemiology and Prevention Research (DEPR) convened a meeting with extramural health services researchers to plan a health services research agenda for drug abuse prevention and treatment, in Rockville, March 5, 1998, on the Organization and Management of Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment.

NIDA staff from DCSR and DEPR convened a meeting with extramural health services researchers to plan a health services research agenda for drug abuse prevention and treatment, in Rockville, March 19, 1998, on the Effectiveness and Outcomes of Drug Abuse Treatment.

NIDA staff from DCSR and DEPR convened a meeting with extramural health services researchers to plan a health services research agenda for drug abuse prevention and treatment, in Rockville, April 7, 1998, on the Economics of Drug Treatment and Prevention.

NIDA staff from DCSR and DEPR convened a meeting with extramural health services researchers to plan a health services research agenda for drug abuse prevention and treatment, in Rockville, MD, April 28, 1998, on the Prevention of Drug Abuse.

On February 13, 1998, NIDA Deputy Director Richard A. Millstein met with Peter Pennekamp, Netherlands Under Secretary of Health, Welfare and Sport on international drug research policy and issues, Rockville, MD.

On February 26, 1998, NIDA Deputy Director Richard A. Millstein met with Harry Montoya, Eduardo Hernandez and Paul Cardenas of the Hispano/Latino National Network to plan NIDA outreach and education efforts to Hispanics and Latinos in the west and southwest, Rockville, MD.

On March 5, 1998, NIDA Deputy Director Richard A. Millstein presented to the African-American Researchers and Scholars Group on NIDA minority program activities and plans, Bethesda, MD.

On March 16, 1998, NIDA Deputy Director Richard A. Millstein presented to the Hispano/Latino Researchers and Scholars Group on minority program activities and plans, Rockville, MD.

On March 25, 1998, NIDA Director Alan I. Leshner and Deputy Director Richard A. Millstein met with Judge Jeffrey Tauber, Director, National Association of Drug Court Professionals on drug courts research and education, Washington, D.C.

On April 2, 1998, NIDA Deputy Director Richard A. Millstein presented on public awareness of and education on drug addiction as a disease to the Interagency Demand Reduction Working Group of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, Washington, D.C.

On April 2, 1998, NIDA Deputy Director Richard A. Millstein presented to the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine on NIDA's research priority setting process, Washington, D.C.

On April 7, 1998, NIDA Deputy Director Richard A. Millstein represented NIDA at the press conference at the NIH Conference on Gender and Pain, Bethesda, Maryland.

On May 4-5, 1998, NIDA Deputy Director Richard A. Millstein represented NIDA Director, Dr. Alan I. Leshner at the first meeting of the Attorney General's Methamphetamine Task Force Federal Advisory Committee. Mr. Millstein presented an overview of NIDA's research activities relating to methamphetamine (May 4) and made a presentation on the demographics and epidemiology of methamphetamine use (May 5). On May 5, Dr. Andrea Baruchin, Chief, OSPC Science Policy Branch presented on methamphetamine pharmacology and Dr. Frank Vocci, Director, MDD, presented on methamphetamine treatment.

Dr. Timothy Condon, NIDA's Associate Director for Science Policy, gave a presentation on the state of the science in drug abuse and addiction treatment and prevention at the American Society of Addiction Medicine Annual Medical-Scientific Conference on April 17, 1998 in New Orleans, LA.

Dr. Andrea Baruchin, Chief, OSPC Science Policy Branch made a presentation on February 24, 1998 to the National Research Council Committee on National Needs for Biomedical and Behavioral Science about NIDA's efforts to train behavioral scientists and the future needs for behavioral scientists.

Beverly Wyckoff Jackson, Chief, PIB, represented NIDA at meetings of the Secretary's Initiative on Substance Abuse and the Deglamorization Subcomittee of the Secretary's Initiative on Tobacco Use.

Dr. Jaylan Turkkan, DBR represented NIDA at the Summit of Psychological Science Societies in May 1998. Summit attendees were asked how they can capitalize on the base of knowledge in behavioral research, and to project into the future new theories, methods and applications for public health benefit. The Summit was supported by several NIH Institutes, Offices, and private foundations, and featured NIDA Director, Dr. Alan I. Leshner, as the keynote speaker.

Mr. Joel Egertson of MDD represented NIDA on the workshop committee of the American Methadone Treatment Association, at a meeting held in New York City on February 27-28, 1998. The workshop was held to consider and approve applications for presentation at the AMTA National Conference to be held in New York, September 26-19, 1998. The workshop group filled all 30 time slots from a list of 87 applications.

Peter Cohen, M.D., J.D. of MDD presented a discussion of "Treatment of Substance Dependent Professionals: Physicians' Health Programs" at the 29th Annual Medical-Scientific Conference of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, New Orleans, April 17, 1998.

Peter Cohen, M.D., J.D., presented a lecture entitled "A Physician's Guide to Legal Thinking", at an FDA Center for Scientific Review Seminar, March 26, 1998.

Lula Beatty presented a session on "HBCUs in Drug Abuse Research: Opportunities and Challenges" at the HBCU Alliance meeting held April 14, 1998 in Washington, DC.

On March 27-28, 1998, Lula Beatty attended a research meeting on HIV/AIDS Prevention in Native American populations in Tucson, AZ.

On March 9-10, 1998, an HBCU technical assistance meeting was held in Rockville. This is part of NIDA's HBCU Initiative. Lula Beatty presented a session on funding mechanisms.

On March 9, 1998, Lula Beatty attended a meeting of program directors participating in NIGMS supported minority programs where she provided information on NIDA programs to attendees.

On April 20, 1998, Lula Beatty and Ana Anders presented an overview of NIDA and the Special Populations Office to participants in the Okura Mental Health Leadership Foundation.

On March 20-22, 1998, Lula Beatty, liaison for the Division of Women, attended the meeting of the Committee on Women, Consolidated Meeting of the American Psychological Association.

On April 23, 1998, Lula Beatty presented a class lecture on drug abuse in African American communities and a brown bag seminar on research opportunities at NIDA at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

In March, 1998, Lula Beatty served as a field reviewer for the 12th Annual Child Abuse and Neglect Conference to be held in November, 1998.

On April 3, 1998, Lula Beatty attended, as the NIDA representative, the first Advisory Board meeting of the Office of Research on Minority Health, NIH.

On February 16-18, 1998, Ana Anders attended the National Asian Pacific American Families Against Substance Abuse (NAPAFASA) meeting in Los Angeles, CA. At the meeting, which was attended by Gen. Mc. Caffrey, she discussed NIDA's plans to develop an Asian and Pacific Islanders Initiative.

On March 4, 1998, Ana Anders, as the NIDA representative, attended the first meeting of the SAMHSA/CSAP Editorial and Advisory Board on Media Campaign Issues for the Hispanic/ Latino population.

On March 18-20, 1998, Ana Anders, as the NIDA representative, attended the ONDCP/ SAMSHA planning meeting of a U.S./Mexico Binational Conference on Substance Abuse in El Paso, TX.

As a part of NIDA's HBCU Initiative, the Center for Drug Abuse Research at Howard University sponsored a Conference on Epidemiology and Prevention of ATOD in South Africa and the United States. At this conference, Lula Beatty gave a presentation on drug use and the African-American population.

Arnold Mills, CRB/DEPR participated in a HIV Prevention and Treatment Adherence Meeting held in Albuquerque, NM on March 2-3, 1998, hosted by the Indian Health Service to discuss HIV/AIDS intervention strategies in Native American Communities.

Katherine Davenny, CMB/DCSR, gave a presentation on Hepatitis C infection, and co-infection with HIV, in drug users to the New York State AIDS Institute, Substance Abuse Section, in New York City, April 21, 1998.

Drs. Robert Battjes and Bennett Fletcher, DCSR, participated in NIMH's National Advisory Mental Health Council's Clinical Treatment and Services Research Workgroup, April 5-6, 1998 in Arlington, VA. The workgroup's goal is to bridge the gap between mental health research and the informational needs of consumers, practitioners, administrators, and payers.

Dr. William Cartwright, SRB/DCSR, presented a lecture entitled, "Cost-Benefit Analysis in Health and Medicine," at the George Washington University on March 25, 1998.

Dr. Teresa Levitin was an invited speaker at the Society for Research on Adolescence in February, 1998. She discussed the application and grant review process with specific reference to research on adolescent behavior and health.

On February 7, 1998, Dr. Elizabeth Robertson represented NIDA at the first graduation ceremony of participants in Washington, D.C. FAST (Families and Schools Together) prevention intervention. This project is jointly funded by NIDA, the Office on National Drug Control Policy and the Department of Education.

Drs. Elizabeth Robertson and Teri Levitin presented at an invited symposium on March 1, 1998 at the biennial Society for Research on Adolescence meeting in San Diego. The title of the presentation was " NIH Research Priorities and Funding Opportunities."

Dr. Elizabeth Robertson presented a paper on Family-based Prevention Interventions at the Clean Focus Coalition annual meeting in Winchester, Virginia on April 1, 1998.

Dr. Naimah Weinberg, DEPR, presented a poster on child psychopathology risk factors for drug abuse at the annual meeting of the American Psychopathology Assocation in New York City, March 1998.

Peter Hartsock, Dr. P.H., CRB, represented NIDA at the world-wide EREIDs briefing, held at the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C. on March 25, 1998. The purpose of the briefing was to consider the status of infectious diseases around the world and what can be done to lessen their effects.

On March 9-10, 1998 Arnold Mills, Community Research Branch, DEPR, represented the Institute at a NIDA sponsored two-day technical assistance Workshop for faculty and staff from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). The workshop was designed to encourage HBCU faculty to pursue drug abuse research careers. Representatives from eight HBCUs attended the meeting.

Dr. Katherine Bonson, IRP, presented a lecture entitled "Neuropharmacology of Drugs of Abuse" at Widener University, Philadelphia, PA, February 3, 1998.

Dr. Edythe D. London, IRP, presented "Effects of Nicotine on Cerebral Glucose Metabolism" at the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco Symposium entitled "Brain Imaging of Nicotine and Tobacco Smoking", New Orleans, LA, March 27-29, 1998.

Dr. Monique Ernst, IRP, presented "Effects of Nicotine on Cognitive Performance in Smokers and Nonsmokers" at the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, New Orleans, LA, March 27-29, 1998.

Dr. John Matochik, IRP, presented "Using Magnetic Resonance Imaging to Study Drug Abuse" at the Neuroscience Seminar Series, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA on April 2, 1998.

Dr. Edythe D. London presented "Brain Imaging Studies of Substance Abusers" at Duke University Medical Center and Health System, Durham, NC, April 7, 1998.

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