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National Institute on Drug Abuse

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

May, 1999

Staff Highlights

Honors and Awards

Arthur MacNeill Horton, Jr., Ed.D., DCSR, has been appointed Chairperson of the ABPP Committee of the Division on the Psychology of Addictive Behaviors (50) of the American Psychological Association (APA).

Dr. David A. Gorelick, IRP, has been elected to fellowship in the American Psychiatric Association. He will be inducted as a fellow at the annual meeting May 17.

Dr. Amy Newman, IRP, was awarded scientific tenure - March 15, 1999.

Dr. Amy Newman, IRP, was awarded the 1998 Sato International Memorial Award by the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan in March 1999, Tokushima, Japan.

Gary Fleming, Chief, Grants Management Branch, OPRM, received a Special Recognition Award from the NIH Grants Management Community for his work on revising the NIH Grants Policy Statement. This award is given to those whose actions produce a positive and measurable outcome related to grants management.

Staff Changes

David Anderson joined the staff of PILB on February 16, 1999 and assumed the editorship of NIDA NOTES. Mr. Anderson has been Senior Editor of RN, a journal for nurses, and Contemporary Internal Medicine, for primary care physicians. He has also served as founding editor of CV Nurse and contributing editor to Patient Care and Business & Health magazines. Mr. Anderson has a master's degree in Population and International Health from Harvard School of Public Health, and has written original research and policy monographs on international issues in abortion, AIDS, male fertility, and Russian mortality for the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population. Other health-related organizations he has worked with include the Pan American Health Organization, Pathfinder International, Data for Decision-Making, and the Harvard Center for Population and Development.

Nathan Appel, Ph.D., has joined the Pharmacology and Toxicology Branch of the Medications Development Division. Dr. Appel received his Ph.D. in physiology from the University of Toronto and postdoctoral training in neuroanatomy and neuropharmacology at the University of Minnesota and the NIDA Addiction Research Center. Prior to joining MDD, Dr. Appel was employed by the FDA Center on Drug Evaluation and Research, Division of Applied Pharmacology Research, where he worked on developing methods to determine the neurotoxic effects of drugs. At MDD Dr. Appel will be responsible for developing a (meth)amphetamine treatment discovery program and directing the ongoing neurotoxicity screening program.

Michael Costa, formerly with the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts joined NIDA's Grants Management Branch, OPRM, as a Grants Management Specialist on March 14, 1999. Mr. Costa has had a substantial amount of experience in grants and contracts, largely at the Office of Naval Research, and will serve as the specialist for the Treatment Research Branch, the Services Research Branch, and CAMCODA.

Thomas F. Hilton, Ph.D., joined the Services Research Branch of the Division of Clinical and Services Research on March 1, 1999. Dr. Hilton, an organizational psychologist, formerly managed the FAA Training and Organizational Research Laboratory at the Federal Aviation Administration's Civil Aeromedical Institute in Oklahoma City, and conducted studies on organizational climate and managerial efficiency. At NIDA, he plans to develop research on organizational factors affecting the identification and implementation of therapeutic and managerial innovations in drug abuse treatment service delivery.

Michelle Muth joined the Public Information and Liaison Branch as Press Officer on April 25, 1999. Prior to coming to NIDA, Ms. Muth was Senior Press Officer at the Federal Trade Commission. Before that, she was Acting Director of Public and Legislative Affairs at the U.S. Office of Consumer Affairs, and she also served in the Division of Policy and Intergovernmental Affairs there. She received her M.A. from University College in Cardiff, Wales, and her M.B.A. from Marymount University in Virginia.

Robert Walsh, has accepted the position of Acting Chief of the Regulatory Affairs Branch in the Medications Development Division. Bob replaces Stephen Sparenborg, Ph.D. who has left to pursue a position with the private sector in Frederick Maryland. Mr. Walsh is certified by the Regulatory Affairs Professional's Society and is one of the founding members of the Medications Development Division.

Grantee Honors

Dr. Ronald Breslow from Columbia University is the recipient of the 1999 Priestley Medal, the American Chemical Society's most prestigious award for distinguished services to chemistry. Dr. Breslow's NIDA grant is a project that grew from his work on biometric approaches to catalysis. The purpose of the work is to design and synthesize a selective catalyst which binds to cocaine in vivo, and hydrolizes it to inactive products. Such a catalyst would have potential uses as a treatment agent for cocaine toxicity and overdose. The catalysts being synthesized are cyclodextrins which act as enzyme mimics by binding to cocaine.

Dr. Ronald Kessler of Harvard University has been elected to the Institute of Medicine.

Dr. Ronald Kessler has also been selected as an Honorary Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.

Dr. Lynn McDonald, University of Wisconsin, and developer of the Families and Schools Together (FAST) program, has been appointed to a three year term on the President's Advisory Council on Youth Drug Use. This is a 3 year appointment starting in 1999 and ending in 2002.

Dr. Christina Mitchell was honored by the American Journal of Community Psychology for her paper "The Structure of Problem and Positive Behavior among American Indian Adolescents: Gender and Community Differences." The paper was selected as one of the ten most significant studies published in that journal in its first 25 years and will be included in an anthology volume on methodological advances.

Dr. Howard Moss of the University of Pittsburgh was awarded a U.S. Speaker and Specialist Grant Award, Asuncion, Paraguay, U.S. Information Agency September, 1998. This award was provided to travel to Paraguay and engage in information exchanges with governmental and psychiatric professionals concerning the etiology of drug abuse and methods of drug abuse prevention.

Dr. Eric Nestler, Yale University School of Medicine, was recently elected to the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Nestler has made substantial contributions to research focusing on the brain's responses to repeated perturbations under both normal and pathological conditions. He has done important work to identify molecular changes that drugs of abuse produce in the brain to cause addiction, and to characterize the genetic and environmental factors that determine individual differences in the ability of the drugs to produce these changes.

Charles P. O'Brien, M.D., Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, was voted 1999 President-Elect of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology.

Dr. Thomas Wills of Yeshiva University has been nominated for a year in residency at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, CA.

Dr. Mark Von Zastrow, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, at the University of California, San Francisco received The Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. His work played a major role in developing the current understanding of the mechanisms of protein sorting in the regulated secretory pathway. Dr. Von Zastrow made valuable contributions to the development of an RNA method for amplification from a small group of cells or a single cell, characterized the process of sequestration of an adrenergic receptor using immunocytochemical techniques, and identified the cellular proteins mediating sequestration. His current work concerns the regulated endocytic trafficking of G protein-coupled receptor systems and the identification of distinct membrane trafficking pathways that distinguish between and selectively mediate the movement of structurally homologous receptor proteins. His laboratory is working to identify and clone proteins that mediate these novel mechanisms, and to understand how these mechanisms interface with conserved machinery involved in other trafficking operations. Dr. Von Zastrow was the recipient of a Dana Fellowship in Neuroscience (1990-1992), a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship for Physicians (1991-1993), and was named as NARSAD Young Investigator in 1994. He currently holds a Scientist Career Development Award and a FIRST Award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

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