July 1, 2010

Kenneth W. Griffin, Ph.D., M.P.H., Weill Cornell Medical College, and Irina Pervova, Ph.D., St. Petersburg State University (SPSU), used Dr. Griffin’s U.S. Distinguished International Scientist Collaboration Award (USDISCA) to conduct key informant interviews and focus groups on the epidemiology, etiology, and prevention activities regarding adolescent substance use in St. Petersburg; to conduct a local prevention needs assessment; and to obtain government and university approval to adapt, test, and refine evidence-based family prevention programs that address differences between the United States and Russia in culture, language, and organizational structures. The pair, who met while planning a 2006 NIDA-funded conference in St. Petersburg, has already submitted one grant application, a feasibility study for drug abuse prevention trials, and is developing two others. While he was in St. Petersburg, Dr. Griffin also presented at two SPSU conferences, met with U.S. consular officials, participated in a United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime seminar, and met with kindergarten through 12th-grade educators.