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National Institute on Drug Abuse

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

September, 1997

Staff Highlights

Honors and Awards

Dr. Lula Beatty received the NIH Director's Award in June, 1997 for "exceptional leadership and service in promoting Institute initiatives on minority research development, and for advancing the needs of under represented minorities and other special populations."

Dr. Alan I. Leshner received the Richard T. Louttit Award for excellence in government service from the Federation of Behavioral, Psychological, and Cognitive Sciences on August 15, 1997 at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association in Chicago, IL.

Dr. Alan I. Leshner received the American Psychological Association's (APA) 1996 Senior Career Award for Distinguished Contribution to Psychology in the Public Interest on August 16, 1997 at the APA annual meeting held in Chicago, IL.

Dr. Teresa Levitin has been invited to serve on the Society for Research in Child Development's Committee for Ethical Conduct in Child Development Research.

Chanvadey Nhim received the NIH Director's Award in June, 1997 "in recognition of the outstanding efforts displayed in assuming significant responsibilities which enabled the Institute to continue providing critical human resource services without disruption."

Dr. Alexis Thompson received a travel award from the International Narcotics Research Conference (INRC) to present her research at the 1997 INRC meeting which was held in Hong Kong, China, August 3-8, 1997.

Berhane Yitbarek received the NIH Director's Award in June, 1997 "in recognition of the outstanding efforts displayed in assuming significant responsibilities which enabled the Institute to continue providing critical human resource services without disruption."

Staff Changes

Teresa Levitin, Ph.D. was appointed Director of NIDA's Office of Extramural Program Review (OEPR) on June 5, 1997. In February 1997, Dr. Levitin assumed the role of Acting Director, OEPR. Prior to joining NIDA as OEPR's Deputy Director in September 1995, Dr. Levitin held review and program positions with the Division of Research Grants, NIH, and with the National Institute of Mental Health.

William Grace, Ph.D. has been selected as Deputy Director, Office of Extramural Program Review (OEPR). Dr. Grace has been serving as Acting Deputy Director, OEPR since February 1997. Prior to assuming this role he held both program and review positions within NIDA, serving as a scientific review administrator in OEPR from 1995 to 1997 and as a program official in DCSR's Clinical Medicine Branch from 1990 to 1994.

Andrea Baruchin, Ph.D. is OSPC's new Science Policy Branch chief. Dr. Baruchin was previously associate director of science policy at NIMH and has authored and collaborated on numerous publications on topics including molecular neurobiology of stress and biomedical ethics.

Ahmed Elkashef, M.D. has joined MDD's Clinical Trials Branch. Dr. Elkashef, a biological psychiatrist, came to NIDA from the NIMH's Neuropsychiatry Branch where he was a Senior Staff Fellow.

Florence Hammond joined NIDA as a Secretary in the Prevention Research Branch, DEPR on August 17, 1997. Ms. Hammond was formerly a Customer Service Representative with Colonial Distributors.

Jan Lipkin is the new deputy chief for OSPC's Public Information Branch. Ms. Lipkin transferred from a similar position at the NIH Clinical Center where she was responsible for media relations, publications, videos, events, and publicity. Her 20-plus years in communications include serving as senior public relations manager for the American Diabetes Association, co-founding and editing a regional political journal, and creating an employee newspaper.

Ms. Aida Meagher-Klun has recently joined NIDA's MDD. Ms. Meagher-Klun formerly worked at the Fogarty International Center, NIH.

Montrue Nelson joined NIDA's MASB as an Administrative Technician on July 6, 1997. Prior to coming to NIDA Ms. Nelson was with the NIH Office of the Director.

Jacques L. Normand, Ph.D. has joined the Community Research Branch, DEPR, as a Health Science Administrator.

Jack Stein, LCSW is a public health analyst in the OSPC director's office. Before coming to NIDA, Mr. Stein worked for several private firms as a project director on numerous Federal and state-funded training and technical assistance projects on drug abuse and HIV-related topics. A social worker, Mr. Stein has provided direct clinical services to drug abusers with HIV/AIDS and was executive director of a large AIDS service organization in Baltimore. He is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in health services with a focus on drug abuse from Walden University.

Marc Swieter, Ph.D. has recently joined OEPR as a Scientific Review Administrator. Before coming to NIDA Dr. Swieter was a senior staff fellow at the National Institute of Dental Research.

Naimah Weinberg, M.D. has joined the Division of Epidemiology and Prevention Research, Epidemiology Research Branch, as a Medical Officer. Dr. Weinberg formerly served as special expert in DEPR/ERB.

James V. Dingell, Ph.D., Director, Division of Basic Research, will retire in November 1997 after a distinguished career of academic and Federal government service. Dr. Dingell began his career at the National Institutes of Health as a chemist in 1955 at the National Heart Institute, later to become the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. After working for various universities, he worked for the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Dingell joined NIDA in January 1990 where he nurtured the development of the Institute's basic biomedical, behavioral and neuroscience research programs.

Gary Palsgrove, a Public Health Analyst with the Services Research Branch and a federal employee for over 37 years, retired in July.

Grantee Honors

John L. Falk, Ph.D. of Rutgers University, is the recipient of the 1997 Solvay Award. The award, given by Solvay Pharmaceuticals and administered by Division 28 of the American Psychological Association, is for "Outstanding Basic Psychopharmacological Research on Affective Disorders."

Perry F. Renshaw, M.D., Ph.D., of Harvard Medical School/McLean Hospital, a NIDA-funded investigator, was recently given the American Psychiatric Association/ SmithKline Beecham Young Faculty Award for Research Development in Biological Psychiatry. The award was primarily based upon Dr. Renshaw's research in the area of depression.

Duncan Stanton, Ph.D., a NIDA grantee and professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester Medical Center, was selected as the 1997 recipient of the American Family Therapy Academy Award for Outstanding Contributions to Family Therapy Research. The award was presented at the annual meeting in Minneapolis, MN, June 19, 1997 in recognition of Dr. Stanton's outstanding work and its impact on the family therapy field.

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