August 24, 2011

“Find good partners, start small, and take advantage of every research training and funding opportunity available.” That was the theme of presenters at the 16th Annual NIDA International Forum, which featured reports on U.S. initiatives to improve evidence-based drug treatment, research training, and policy implementation around the world.

NIDA International Program Director Steven W. Gust, Ph.D., chaired the meeting, which was held June 17–20, 2011, in Hollywood, Florida, as a satellite to the Annual Scientific Meeting of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD). More than 255 participants from 51 countries participated in the plenary session, workshops, and networking activities.

A joint CPDD/NIDA International Forum Poster Session featured presentations by 146 U.S. and international researchers. Plenary session speakers included NIDA Deputy Director David Shurtleff, Ph.D., as well as James E. Herrington, Ph.D., M.P.H, Fogarty International Center, and Richard H. Needle, Ph.D., M.P.H., U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. A panel of NIDA grantees organized by Division of Pharmacotherapies and Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse Acting Deputy Director Ivan Montoya, M.D., M.P.H., described recent progress in developing pharmacotherapies to treat addiction.

Another panel of NIDA grantees offered advice on building international research collaborations that could compete for funding, and a group of former International Program fellows reviewed the challenges of collecting and publishing reliable youth risk behavior data in Muslim-majority countries. NIDA staff chaired sessions where international scientists presented research reports on basic science, HIV/AIDS, epidemiology, prevention, and treatment.

See more information about the Forum, including the full Executive Summary, Program Book, photos, and a list of presentations (available upon request).