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Director's Report to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse - September, 2003

International Activities

The eighth annual NIDA International Forum, Building International Research: Emerging Drug Trends and Patterns in Drug Abuse around the World, was held in conjunction with the College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) Annual Meeting from June 13--19, 2003, in Miami, Florida. The Forum, which grew from 65 participants representing 26 countries in 2001 to 180 participants from 49 countries and territories in 2003, has been very successful in allowing scientists from around the world to exchange information and establish collaborative drug abuse research projects, and remains an integral part of the NIDA International Program. The Forum was chaired by Dr. Steven W. Gust, International Program, and featured remarks by NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow, and Dr. M. Patricia Needle, OSPC. Updates on emerging and changing drug abuse patterns in Asia, Europe, Australia, and North America were provided by Dr. Kamran Diaz, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime; Dr. Vladimir Poznyak, World Health Organization; Dr. Louisa Degenhardt, National Drug and Alcohol Research Center, University of New South Wales, Australia; Mr. Balasingam Vicknasingam, National Center for Drug Research, University Sains Malaysia; and Dr. James Hall, Up Front Drug Information Center, Miami. In a special workshop on journal publishing chaired by Dr. Robert Balster, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Dr. Ian Stolerman, Co-Editor of the Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence and Dr. Kerstin Stenius, President of the International Society of Addiction Journal Editors, offered insights and tips on how to publish scientific papers in international journals. Members of two binational research teams discussed their differing models of successful international collaboration: Dr. Walter Ling, University of California, Los Angeles, and Dr. Phunnapa Kittirattanapaiboon, Suanprung Psychiatric Hospital, Chiang Mai, Thailand; and Dr. George Woody, University of Pennsylvania, and Dr. Edwin Zvartau, Pavlov Medical University, St. Petersburg, Russia.

As part of its Southern African Initiative, NIDA cosponsored a meeting, Research Collaborations Across Continents: Drug Abuse, Health Disparities, HIV and Other Health-Related Consequences, held July 1-3, 2003, in Cape Town, South Africa. Other cosponsors included the U.S. Department of State, the Medical Research Council of South Africa, and the World Health Organization. Participants included drug abuse researchers, clinicians, community representatives, and students from the United States and Southern Africa. Several NIDA staff members made presentations, moderated sessions, and served as rapporteurs, including Dr. Leslie Cooper, DESPR, who organized and co-chaired the scientific meeting; Dr. Donald Vereen, OD; Dr. M. Patricia Needle, OSPC; and Dr. Jacques Normand, CAMCODA. Ms. Pamela Goodlow, Special Populations Office, coordinated the travel awards and poster presentations. NIDA grantees who presented included: Dr. James Anthony and Dr. William Latimer, Johns Hopkins University; Dr. Dorothy Browne, Morgan State University; Dr. David Brook and Dr. Judith Brook, Mount Sinai School of Medicine; Dr. Ronald Braithwaite, Emory University; Dr. Murelle Harrison, Southern University; Dr. Gary King, Pennsylvania State University, Dr. Alexandros Makriyannis, University of Connecticut; Dr. Neo Morajele, Medical Research Council of South Africa; Dr. Perry Renshaw and Dr. Deborah Yurgelun-Todd, Harvard University; Dr. Kathy Sanders-Phillips, Howard University; Dr. Wendee Wechsberg, RTI International; Dr. Constance Weisner, University of California, San Francisco; and Dr. Frank Wong, George Washington University. The primary goal of the NIDA Southern Africa Initiative is to stimulate binational collaborative drug abuse research between the United States and Southern Africa that focuses on reducing drug abuse, addiction, and drug-associated adverse behavioral, social, and health consequences such as violence and infectious diseases (including hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS, and pulmonary diseases). The Southern African Initiative integrates drug abuse research in the areas of epidemiology, early interventions, clinical, prevention, treatment, or health services.

One of the 2003-2004 NIDA INVEST Fellows has begun his research. Zhijun Li, M.D., China, is working with Xiao-Fang Yu, M.D., D.Sc., Johns Hopkins University, studying RNA clearance of the hepatitis C virus using specimens collected from a cohort of Chinese injection drug users. Dr. Li is the Deputy Director and chief physician of the AIDS Center at the Guangxi Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which conducts HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infection surveillance, prevention, control, and research in the Chinese province. The other 2003-2004 NIDA INVEST Fellow, Pajulo Marjaterttu, M.D., Ph.D., Finland, will arrive later this year to work with Linda C. Mayes, M.D., at Yale University School of Medicine. INVEST Research Fellows also participate in an orientation program at NIDA and receive travel support to attend scientific meetings. Fellows and their mentors jointly develop a collaborative research proposal for implementation in the Fellows' home country.

The four 2002-2003 Hubert H. Humphrey Drug Abuse Research Fellows supported by NIDA have completed their professional affiliations with NIDA grantees. Dr. Amit Chakrabarti, India, worked with Dr. Janet Neisewander, Arizona State University, to examine the role of 5-HT systems in incentive motivation for cocaine. Dr. Winston De La Haye, Jamaica, worked with Dr. James Anthony, Johns Hopkins University, to establish a collaborative school surveillance survey modeled on Dr. Anthony's collaborations with several Latin American researchers. Dr. Ye Swe Htoon, Myanmar, worked with Dr. David Celetano, Johns Hopkins University, on epidemiological studies of, and local responses to, production, trafficking, and use of narcotics and methamphetamines in northern Thailand and Myanmar border areas. Mr. Alisher Latypov, Republic of Tajikistan, worked with Dr. Steffanie Strathdee, Johns Hopkins University, on gathering epidemiological data, evaluating drug abuse intervention programs, and writing grant proposals. NIDA sponsors the competitive, 10-month Fellowships in cooperation with the U.S. Department of State, the Institute of International Education, and The Johns Hopkins University. Through a combination of academic courses and professional experience, Fellows learn about NIDA -supported drug abuse research and the application of research to the development of prevention programs, treatment protocols, and government policy.

NIDA provided travel awards to support the participation of 11 scientists at the American Psychological Association Conference, held August 7-10, 2003, in Toronto, Canada. The NIDA-supported participants included: Josefina Alvarez, Ph.D., DePaul University; Susan Budney, Ph.D., Cornell University Weill Medical College; Christopher Cronin, Ph.D., Saint Leo University; Mark K. Greenwald, Ph.D., Wayne State University School of Medicine; Kerry Grohman, Ph.D., Research Institute on Addictions, Buffalo, New York; Matthew W. Johnson, M.A., University of Vermont; Danica K. Knight, Ph.D., Texas Christian University; Juliet Lee, Ph.D., Pacific Institute Prevention Research Center; Maria Mouratidis, Psy.D., Yale University; Amy L. Odum, Ph.D., University of New Hampshire; and Brian J. Piper, M.S., University of Massachusetts.

NIDA provided support for the International Society for Neurochemistry Satellite Meeting held July 29 - August 1, 2003, in Kyoto, Japan. The 150 attendees from 14 countries focused on cellular and molecular mechanisms of drugs of abuse and neurotoxicity. NIDA Division of Intramural Research scientists Michael Baumann, Ph.D., F. Scott Hall, Ph.D., and George Uhl, M.D., Ph.D., presented research results during the conference. NIDA supported the participation of the following researchers at the conference: Dr. Michael Kuhar, Emory University; Dr. Glen Hansen, University of Utah; Dr. Francesco Fornai, University of Pisa, Italy; Dr. Valentina Bashkatova, Institute of Pharmacology, Moscow, Russia; Mr. Frederica Pereira, University of Coimbra, Portugal; and Dr. Jo Lewohl and Ms. Nina Foley, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.

Visitors from 15 different countries visited NIDA as part of the Department of State's "Narcotics Demand Reduction Efforts" program. Meeting with the group from NIDA were, Dr. Steve Gust, International Program, OSPC, Dr. Cindy Miner, OSPC, Dr. Katherine Davenny, CAMCODA, Drs. Ivan Montoya and Cece McNamara, DTR&D, and Dr. Shakeh Kaftarian, DESPR. The 15 countries represented by the group were, Afghanistan, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Laos, Namibia, New Zealand, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Serbia/Montenegro, Trinidad & Tobago, United Kingdom and Zambia.

Drs. Peter Bootsma and Dirk Ruwaard from the Royal Netherlands Embassy visited NIDA on June 24, 2003. Dr. Bootsma is the outgoing Counselor for Health and Welfare at the Embassy. Dr. Ruwaad will be replacing him in that position. Dr. Steve Gust and Dale Weiss of the International Program, OSPC, met with Dr. Bootsma and Dr. Ruwaard. Discussions centered around the duties of the Counselor at the Embassy and ways to develop further collaborations between NIDA and The Netherlands.

Jesús Antonio Pérez de Arróspide, Juan Carlos Melero and Jorge Melguizo from Spain, Margarita María Sánchez from Colombia, and Julio Calzada from Uruguay, visited NIDA on July 15, 2003. Their visit was sponsored by the International Development Bank and the Spanish National Plan on Drugs and was focused on presenting the work of EDEX, the school-based drug abuse prevention program titled "The Adventure of Life." EDEX has disseminated this program to 20 different organizations in 16 countries. EDEX representatives discussed possibilities for program evaluation with Dr. Steve Gust International Program, OSPC; Dr. Patricia Needle, OSPC, and Drs. Larry Seitz and Susan Martin, DESPR.

NIDA, along with the Fogarty International Center (FIC), NIAAA and NICHD hosted a Department of State sponsored "Communication Strategies for Promoting Health: Russia" program on July 22, 2003. The purpose of the program was to examine a number of themes and institutions relating to the United States experience with health advertising campaigns. Meeting with the Russian group was Dr. Steve Gust, International Program, OSPC; Jan Lipkin, OSPC; Dr. Jack Stein, DESPR; Natalie Tomitch, Program Officer for Russia, Newly Independent States, and Central & Eastern Europe, FIC; Isabel Ellis, NIAAA; and Dr. John McGrath, NICHD.

Eight International Clinical, Operational and Health Services Research and Training Award (ICOHRTA) recipients from Peru and two summer minority trainees all currently at Johns Hopkins University visited NIDA on July 24, 2003. Dr. Steve Gust, International Program, OSPC; Dr. Vince Smeriglio, CAMCODA; Dr. Cece McNamara, DTRD; and Dr. Susan Martin, DESPR, met with the group to present current NIDA research projects and to discuss ways to form future research collaborations.

Dr. William Corrigall, DNBR, organized a workshop at the World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Helsinki, August 3-8, 2003. The workshop, entitled "Translating the Science of Nicotine Addiction into Practice", included presentations on "NIDA's Agenda in Translating Nicotine and Tobacco Research" (Bill Corrigall), "Development of Medications for Smoking Cessation "(Frank Vocci), and "Genetic Variation in Drug Metabolizing Enzymes and the Risks for Smoking and Cessation" (Rachel Tyndale, Toronto).

Dr. William Corrigall, DNBR, was the discussant in the research panel on "Transdisciplinary Approaches to Etiology, Prevention and Treatment" at the World Conference on Tobacco or Health in August 2003.

Dr. Timothy P. Condon, Associate Director, NIDA, presented "Nicotine Addiction: The Neurobiological Underpinnings of Smoking Behavior," at the 2003 World Conference on Tobacco or Health (WCTOH) in Helsinki, Finland, on August 6, 2003.

Dr. Timothy P. Condon, Associate Director, NIDA, presented "The Basics: Writing a Credible Research Grant Application," and conducted an afternoon practicum at the NIDA sponsored WCTOH Pre-Conference Symposium: Funding for Global Tobacco/Nicotine Research/Grant-Writing for Success on August 3, 2003, in Helsinki, Finland.

Dr. Frank Vocci, Director, DTR&D, traveled to three European countries to meet with pharmaceutical firms between June 26 and July 3, 2003. He was accompanied by Drs. Bill Corrigall, Jane Acri, Ahmed Elkashef, and David McCann. The group interacted with GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals in Verona, Italy, the Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research in Basel, and Solvay Pharmaceuticals in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

As an invited speaker, Dr. Jag Khalsa of CAMCODA delivered a talk on: Drug abuse, neuroAIDS Research, and Brain Banking Issues and International Collaborations at NIDA at the annual meeting of XV International Congress of Neuropathology, September 14-18, 2003, Turin, Italy. This is a follow-up to the NIDA/NINDS-sponsored International Conference on Brain Banking, April 2002, the proceedings of which are being published in the Journal of Neuropathology.

Dr. Wilson Compton, Director, DESPR, presented a paper at the July 2003 World Psychiatric Association Section Meeting in Paris, France on "Developing a Public Health Drug Abuse Research Program".

Dr. Meyer Glantz, DESPR, presented a paper at the July 2003 World Psychiatric Association Section Meeting in Paris, France written by the Analytic Unit of the Division of Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Research. The paper, entitled "Twenty Years of Adolescent Drug Use: Comparing Multiple Sources" was written by Meyer Glantz, Ph.D., James Colliver, Ph.D., Marc Brodsky, M.S., Bennett Fletcher, Ph.D. Published and publicly available data from the MTF, NHSDA, YRBSS, NCS, ADHealth, NLSY, NSPY, NELS and NSAUS studies were used to create variables that are comparable across the studies for age and drug use by adolescents in the years 1975 through 2001.

Drs. Elizabeth Robertson and Shakeh Kaftarian, both of DESPR, met with Dr. Olivia McLeod, Director of Substance Abuse Prevention Programs of the United Kingdom, on June 20, 2003 to discuss substance abuse prevention research methods and programs in both countries.

Dr. Gianluigi Tanda, IRP, presented a paper at a meeting in Stockhom, Sweden on "Monitoring Molecules in Neuroscience." The title of his paper was: "A Microdialysis Study of the Effects of 4-Cl-BZT on Mesostriatal, Mesocortical and Mesolimbic Dopamine Transmission: Comparison with Cocaine's Effects."

Drs. Lisa Onken, DTR&D, and David Shurtleff, DNBR, organized and co-chaired a symposium: "Stress Anxiety and Drug Abuse" at the 111th annual meeting of the American Psychological Association in Toronto, Canada.

Dr. Cora Lee Wetherington, NIDA's Women & Gender Research Coordinator, chaired the symposium, "Substance Abuse Prevention, Treatment, and Service Delivery for Adolescent Girls," American Psychological Association, August 7-10, 2002, Toronto, Canada. The symposium was co-organized by Drs. Beverly Pringle and Redonna Chandler, DESPR.

Drs. Cora Lee Wetherington & David Shurtleff, DNBR, co-chaired a symposium, "Adolescence and Nicotine Addiction -- Basic and Clinical Research Perspectives," at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, August 7-10, 2003, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

At the invitation of the American Embassy in Mexico and the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, Ana Anders, Senior Advisor on Special Populations, made a presentation at Mexico's First International Congress on the Prevention and Treatment of Addiction Among Children on May 6-9, 2003 in Cancun, Mexico.

Ana Anders met with researchers at the FILIUS Institute of University of Puerto Rico to discuss substance abuse prevention on May 14-15, 2003.

John Rotrosen, M.D. (NY Node PI) and Paul Wakim, Ph.D., CCTN, co-chaired a CTN workshop entitled, "Challenges in Multi-Site Community Effectiveness Trials," at the 3rd Joint International Conference of the International Society for Clinical Biostatistics and the Society for Clinical Trials (ISCB/SCT) on July 22, 2003 in London, England.

Betty Tai, Ph.D., Director CCTN, co-chaired and presented a CTN Symposium on "The National Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network (CTN): Emerging Roles of Practitioners in Drug Abuse Research," at the American Psychological Association conference in Toronto, Canada, on August 7, 2003.

Betty Tai, Ph.D., addressed the Tenth International Conference on Treatment of Addictive Behaviors meeting held in Heidelberg, Germany, September 4-8, 2003. The meeting theme was "From Research to Practice and Back Again". Dr. Tai also joined panel members, Bill Miller, Everett Rogers, and Tom McLellan for a round table discussion: What Does It Take for Evidence-Based Treatments to be Adopted in Practice?


Research Findings

Program Activities

Extramural Policy and Review Activities

Congressional Affairs

International Activities

Meetings and Conferences

Media and Education Activities

Planned Meetings


Staff Highlights

Grantee Honors

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