December 22, 2011

More than 200 Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows from 93 countries descended on Washington, D.C., this fall to participate in the time-honored Global Leadership Forum. A 4-day event sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and the Institute of International Education (IIE), the Forum offers the fellows the opportunity to learn more about U.S. institutions, Federal agencies, and international organizations.

Ms. Dale Weiss, associate director of the NIDA International Program, met with interested fellows during the Forum luncheon to describe the activities and research priorities of the Institute and opportunities available to them during their fellowship. During her remarks, Ms. Weiss emphasized the broad societal impact of drug abuse across the globe and among all professional disciplines. She explained that NIDA’s research portfolio encompasses the full range of outcomes and consequences of drug use by examining its effects on the brain and on brain function, medical disorders related to drug use, as well as the broader social, economic, and criminal justice impacts of drug use.

Ms. Lauren Stewart and Ms. Laura Ormsby, IIE, and NIDA International Program fellowships administrator, Ms. Lisa Jordre, also attended and met the 23 Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Johns Hopkins University (JHU), Tulane University, and Emory University.

The fellows also met International Program Director Steven W. Gust, Ph.D., during the evening reception at the U.S. State Department and had the opportunity to introduce themselves to each other and formulate relationships as they begin their year-long fellowships.

This year’s NIDA-supported Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows at VCU include:

  • Tin Moe Aung (Myanmar [Burma]) Dr. Aung’s focus is on relapse prevention and promotion of comprehensive health care among injecting drug users. She hopes to enhance her knowledge and practical skills in the prevention of substance abuse to improve prevention programming and aftercare in Myanmar.
  • Natalia Estoyanoff (Uruguay) Ms. Estoyanoff would like to improve her knowledge and practical skills related to the design and implementation of effective community-based prevention programs, particularly those designed to target young drug users in high social vulnerability contexts.
  • Rogers Kasirye (Uganda) Mr. Kasirye wants to learn more about substance abuse prevention and policy work in the United States and explore ways of improving the policy environment in Uganda.
  • Laith R. Khalil (Iraq) Dr. Khalil’s goals are to gain the required knowledge and skills to help addiction sufferers in Iraq by learning about the most effective and proven treatment and prevention practices.
  • Lionel Kulathilake (Sri Lanka) Mr. Kulathilake plans to enhance his knowledge of substance abuse treatment and prevention, as well as program development and evaluation.
  • Pansak Pramokchon (Thailand) Mr. Pramokchon’s goal is to expand his professional experience in institutional management and policy formation to better prepare the Thai Food and Drug Administration for the challenges of global change.
  • Pedro Augusto de Andrade Rodrigues (Brazil) Mr. Rodrigues’ fellowship goals include developing greater knowledge of crack cocaine addiction and treatment and gaining a better understanding of the causes of recent increases in drug abuse and dependence in Brazil. He aims to enhance his knowledge of successful treatment and prevention programs to adapt them to the specific needs of the Brazilian population.
  • Aizhan Zhumasheva (Kazakhstan) Dr. Zhumasheva seeks to acquire knowledge and practical experience related to drug abuse treatment and prevention services in the United States, and to establish new professional contacts, particularly with U.S. antidrug coalition members. She plans to utilize this knowledge so that problems of drug abuse in Kazakhstan can be more effectively addressed.

JHU Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows include:

  • Sumitha Chalil (India) Ms. Chalil will focus on strategies for improving HIV prevention programs and ensuring sustainable behavior change among men who have sex with men and injecting drug users.
  • Tshegofatso Mmolawa (Botswana) Ms. Mmolawa is interested in strategies to prevent and reduce excessive use of substances among enlisted men and in research on cognitive decline in relation to prolonged substance use, especially alcohol.
  • Eugene Dordoye (Ghana) Dr. Dordoye will focus his fellowship training to be able to undertake a baseline survey of the alcohol and drug abuse situation in Ghana.
  • Ivan Y. Quevedo (Chile) Dr. Quevedo’s goal is to improve his knowledge and skills to better conduct clinical and translational research on addiction with a special focus on genetics.
  • Onukogu Uchechi Chinyere (Nigeria) Ms. Onukogu is interested in improving substance abuse treatment in Nigeria and adapting U.S. relapse prevention models to Nigeria.
  • Elis Haan (Estonia) Ms. Haan seeks to improve her knowledge and skills for the treatment and prevention of substance abuse among youth. She is also interested in strengthening her leadership skills to improve the management and coordination of mental health services in Estonia.
  • Tshering Dolkar (Bhutan) Ms. Dolkar’s goals are to make international connections and get experience with substance abuse intervention programs.
  • Renata de Cerqueira Campos (Brazil) Ms. de Cerqueira seeks to improve her knowledge in addiction prevention and treatment and in antitobacco advocacy. Her goal is to improve mental health and addiction treatment in the city and propose a model that can be used by the national health system.