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NIDA's 25th Anniversary Symposium

Scientific Symposium and Evening Event for the Public

Speaker Biographies

Huda Akil, Ph.D.
Co-Director and Senior Research Scientist
Mental Health Research Institute
University of Michigan
205 Zina Pitcher Place
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
(734) 763-3770
(734) 647-4130 Fax

After receiving her undergraduate degree at the American University of Beirut, Dr. Akil obtained a doctorate in psychobiology from UCLA, where she gained experience in behavioral techniques. Together with J. Liebskind, she described the phenomenon of stimulation-produced analgesia and explored its neurochemical nature. This work suggesting the existence of an endogenous opioid system presaged the discovery of the endorphins. She pursued her postdoctoral training at Stanford University, under Professor Jack Barchas, where she learned biochemical and immunological techniques for the study of neurotransmitters, receptors, and neuropeptides.

With her colleagues, she first characterized the phenomenon of stress-induced analgesia and its mediation by endogenous opioids. While at Stanford, she also initiated a longstanding collaboration with Stanley Watson on the anatomical distribution of opioid systems in the brain.

In 1978, Dr. Akil was recruited by the University of Michigan as an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and assistant research scientist in the Mental Health Research Institute. Between 1993 and 1996, Dr. Akil became the director of the Neuroscience Graduate Program at the University of Michigan. She currently holds the Gardner Quarton Distinguished Chair of Neuroscience in Psychiatry and is a senior scientist and co-director of the Mental Health Research Institute.

Dr. Akil has an extensive and often cited bibliography. Among other honors, she has given a number of named lectures, including the Yale Flynn Lecture in 1997, and several Grass lectures. She was secretary of the International Narcotics Research Conference, has served on the Mental Health Board of the Institute of Medicine and on the organizing Committee for the Decade of the Brain Symposia, and has served on a number of NIH study sections, study groups, and advisory committees. She received the NIDA Pacesetter Award in 1993 and was the co-recipient (with Dr. Watson) of the Pasarow Award for 1994. In 1998, she received the Sachar Award from Columbia University and was also the recipient of the Bristol Myers Squibb Unrestricted Research Funds Award. She is the past president (1998) of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology and the treasurer-elect of the Society for Neuroscience. In 1994, she was elected to the membership of the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences.

Floyd E. Bloom, M.D.
The Scripps Research Institute
10550 North Torrey Pines Road
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 784-9730
(858) 784-8851 Fax

Dr. Bloom is presently chairman of the Department of Neuropharmacology at The Scripps Research Institute. He previously was director of behavioral neurobiology at The Salk Institute and chief of the Laboratory of Neuropharmacology of NIMH. A member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine, he has received numerous awards, including the Pasarow Award in Neuropsychiatry and the Hermann van Helmholtz Award, as well as a number of honorary degrees from major universities. He is the editor in chief of Science Magazine.

Dr. Bloom was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1936. He attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, where he received a bachelor's degree cum laude, and then received a medical degree from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

Hans Breiter, M.D.
Co-Principal Investigator
Human Cocaine Imaging Project
Massachusetts General Hospital
MGH-NMR, 2nd Floor
149 13th Street
Charlestown, MA 02129-2000
(617) 726-5715
(617) 726-7422 Fax

Not available at press time

Avram Goldstein, M.D.
Professor Emeritus of Pharmacology
Stanford University
735 Dolores Street
Stanford, CA 94305-8427
(650) 324-9251
(650) 328-8412 Fax

Dr. Goldstein is a pharmacologist and neuroscientist whose career has been devoted to research on addictive drugs. He laid the basis for studying opioid receptors, and he discovered the dynorphins—one of the three families of opioid peptides. He established the first methadone program in California, where he studied methadone, LAAM, and naltrexone in the treatment of heroin addicts. He invented the first technique for rapid on-site urine testing. He has published more than 370 research papers and three books, including ADDICTION: From Biology to Drug Policy.

A member of the National Academy of Sciences and its Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Italian Academy of the Lincei (Foreign Associate), he is a recipient of many awards including the Franklin Medal, Nathan B. Eddy Award, and Sollmann Award. He served twice on the National Advisory Council of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. He is an honorary professor of Beijing Medical University and the Institute of Materia Medica of the Academia Sinica.

A founder scientist of the drug discovery company Affymax, he has been scientific advisor to several other biotechnology companies and is presently a consultant to Receptron and to the Zaffaroni Foundation. He served recently on the board of directors of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence and is currently on the board of directors of Drug Strategies.

Ruth L. Kirschstein, M.D.
Deputy Director
National Institutes of Health
Building 1, Room 126
MSC 0148
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20892
(301) 496-7322
(301) 402-2700 Fax

Dr. Kirschstein is the Deputy Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). From 1974 to July 1993, Dr. Kirschstein served as Director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), the first woman to hold such a position at NIH. She came to NIH in 1956 as a medical officer in clinical pathology. From 1957 to 1972, she was with the Division of Biologics Standards (now the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research of the Food and Drug Administration), where she worked on the means to ensure the safety of viral vaccines for such diseases as polio, measles, and rubella. In addition to directing NIGMS, from September 1990 to September 1991, Dr. Kirschstein also served as the Acting Associate Director of the newly established NIH Office of Research on Women's Health. Dr. Kirschstein also served as the Acting Director of NIH from July to November 1993.

Dr. Kirschstein received a B.A. degree magna cum laude from Long Island University in 1947 and an M.D. degree from Tulane University School of Medicine in 1951. After an internship in medicine and surgery, she took residency and fellowship training in pathology. Dr. Kirschstein has more than 70 scientific publications to her credit.

Her many honors include the 1985 and 1995 Distinguished Executive Service Award of the Senior Executive Association; 1985 Presidential Rank Award for Distinguished Executives, the highest honor that can be given to a career civil servant; selection by the Office of Personnel Management in 1989 as one of ten outstanding executives for its first group of "Profiles in Excellence"; the 1990 Dr. Nathan Davis Award from the American Medical Association given to a member of the Executive Branch in career public service; and the 1993 Public Service Award from the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Dr. Kirschstein is a member of the Institute of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Herbert D. Kleber, M.D.
Division on Substance Abuse
New York State Psychiatric Institute
Department of Psychiatry
College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University
Unit 66
1051 Riverside Drive
New York, NY 10032
(212) 543-5570
(212) 543-6018 Fax

Dr. Kleber is professor of psychiatry and director of the Division on Substance Abuse at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute. In addition, he is executive vice president and medical director of The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA), a policy center founded by him and Joseph Califano in 1992.

Before coming to Columbia University in 1991, Dr. Kleber served for 2_ years as the Deputy Director for Demand Reduction at the Office of National Drug Control Policy in the White House. His office was responsible for the portion of the National Drug Control Strategy concerned with reducing the demand for illegal drugs, including prevention, education, treatment, and research.

Prior to assuming that position, Dr. Kleber was professor of psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine, director of the Substance Abuse Treatment Unit at the Connecticut Mental Health Center, and chief executive officer of the APT Foundation, the major treatment site for drug abusers in the New Haven area. Combined, these various programs had about 1,000 patients in treatment at any one time. In addition, he was director of two National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)-funded Centers at Yale.

Dr. Kleber has been a pioneer in the research and treatment of narcotic and cocaine abuse for over 30 years. He and his colleagues have helped develop and improve both medications currently used to treat substance abuse and the psychosocial approaches that accompany them. He received his undergraduate education at Dartmouth College and his medical training at Thomas Jefferson Medical School and served his psychiatric residency at Yale University School of Medicine. Following his residency, he spent 2 years at the U.S. Public Health Service Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky, the primary locus for narcotic addiction treatment and research for many decades. He then returned to Yale, where he founded the Drug Dependence Unit in 1968.

Dr. Kleber is the author or coauthor of more than 200 papers, chapters, and books dealing with all aspects of substance abuse, and the co-editor of the American Psychiatric Association Textbook of Substance Abuse Treatment. He has received numerous awards and two honorary degrees, was selected as one of the "Best Doctors in America," is on the editorial board of seven scientific journals, and was elected in 1996 to be a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

He is a fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, the American College of Psychiatrists, the New York Academy of Medicine, the College on Problems of Drug Dependence, and the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry. He has served on three National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine committees and numerous governmental panels, and he chairs or serves on seven national scientific advisory boards in the areas of prevention, epidemiology, treatment, and policy.

Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D.
National Institute on Drug Abuse
National Institutes of Health
Room 5274
6001 Executive Boulevard
Bethesda, MD 20892
(301) 443-6480

Dr. Leshner was appointed Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) in February 1994. As one of the Institutes within the National Institutes of Health (NIH), NIDA supports over 85 percent of the world's research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction. Before joining NIDA, Dr. Leshner had been with the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) since 1988, holding the positions of deputy director, then acting director. He came to NIMH from the National Science Foundation (NSF), where he held a variety of senior positions, focusing on basic research in the biological, behavioral, and social sciences and on science education. As a professor of psychology at Bucknell University, Dr. Leshner's research concentrated on the biological bases of behavior. Dr. Leshner received his undergraduate degree in psychology from Franklin and Marshall College and his master's and doctoral degrees in physiological psychology from Rutgers University.

General Barry R. McCaffrey, USA (Ret.)
White House Office of National Drug Control Policy
Executive Office of the President
Washington, DC 20503
(202) 395-6700

General McCaffrey was confirmed by unanimous vote of the U.S. Senate as Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) on February 29, 1996. He serves as the senior drug policy official in the Executive Branch as the President's chief drug policy spokesman. He is also a member of the National Security Council and the Cabinet Council on Counternarcotics. Before assuming his current position, General McCaffrey was the commander in chief of the U.S. Southern Command based in Panama. General McCaffrey began his distinguished military career at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. He served four combat tours: one in the Dominican Republic, two in Vietnam, and one in Iraq. When he retired from active duty, he was the most highly decorated officer and the youngest four-star general in the U.S. Army. He received two awards of the Silver Star for heroism, four awards of the Bronze Star, and three Purple Heart medals for wounds sustained in combat. General McCaffrey has a master's degree in civil government from American University and has taught American government, national security studies, and comparative politics at West Point.

Mary Ann Pentz, Ph.D.
Center for Prevention Policy Research
Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center
Department of Preventive Medicine
School of Medicine
University of Southern California
1441 Eastlake Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90089-9176
(323) 865-0327
(323) 865-0134 Fax

Dr. Pentz is director of the Center for Prevention Policy Research and professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Southern California. She received her Ph.D. degree in psychology from Syracuse University and a B.A. in psychology from Hamilton College. Dr. Pentz's research has emphasized community and policy approaches to tobacco, alcohol, and drug abuse prevention in youth, and prevention technology transfer. She has published widely in psychology, public health, and medical journals on the use of multicomponent approaches to community-based prevention. Her findings from longitudinal prevention trials contributed to the formulation of a U.S. Senate bill and use of evidence-based criteria for appropriating funds for prevention under the Safe and Drug Free Schools Act. Dr. Pentz has chaired the NIDA Epidemiology and Prevention study section and has served on the evaluation advisory boards for CSAP's Community Partnership grants program, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Fighting Back Initiative, the Office of National Drug Control Policy's National Anti-Drug Abuse Campaign Expert Panel, and the Attorney General's Methamphetamine Task Force.

Donna E. Shalala, Ph.D.
Secretary of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Room 615F
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, DC 20201
(202) 690-7850

Dr. Shalala was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Secretary of Health and Human Services on January 22, 1993, to lead the Federal Government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) administers a wide variety of programs including Medicare, Medicaid, and almost all of the Federal welfare and children's programs. As chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1988 to 1993, Dr. Shalala was the first woman to head a Big Ten University. Before that, she served as president of Hunter College at the City University of New York (CUNY) for 8 years and as Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research at the Department of Housing and Urban Development during the Carter Administration. A leading scholar on the political economy of State and local governments, Dr. Shalala has held tenured professorships at Columbia University, CUNY, and the University of Wisconsin.

Since taking the helm at HHS, Dr. Shalala has been a leader in the Administration's efforts to reform the Nation's welfare system and improve health care while containing health costs. She received her bachelor's degree from Western College for Women in 1962 and her doctoral degree from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, in 1970.

José Szapocznik, Ph.D.
Professor and Director
Center for Family Studies
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
University of Miami School of Medicine
Suite 312
1425 N.W. 10th Avenue
Miami, FL 33136
(305) 243-8217
(305) 243-5577 Fax

Dr. Szapocznik is professor of psychiatry and psychology and director of the Center for Family Studies, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Miami School of Medicine. As director of the Center for Family Studies, which has been successfully funded through competitive national grants since 1973, Dr. Szapocznik is a pioneer in the national effort to prevent and treat drug abuse using family-oriented approaches. He has pioneered strategies to engage drug-abusing adolescents and drug-addicted mothers in treatment. His work has received national and international recognition, and he has more than 130 scholarly publications.

Among his accomplishments are the following:

  • In 1983 the Spanish Family Guidance Center, a component of the Center for Family Studies, was designated as a Collaborating Center of Excellence by the World Health Organization.

  • In 1987, the family therapy work of Dr. Szapocznik was designated by the International Council on Alcohol and the Addictions, in a program sponsored by the United Nations Fund for Drug Abuse Control, as one of three programs in the United States exemplary of the innovative adaptations that had occurred in the demand reduction field in the previous decade.

Among the awards and honors he has received are the following:

  • In 1999, the first-ever Substance Abuse Prevention Research Award from the National Substance Abuse Prevention Congress, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention.

  • In 1999, one of six expert panelists who advised Vice President Al Gore on "Families and Communities" at the Vice President's Eighth Annual Family Reunion Conference in Nashville, Tennessee.
  • In 1999,the Latino Behavioral Health Institute Lifetime Achievement Award.

  • In 1998, the Provost's Scholar Award from the University of Miami.

  • In 1996, the Carolyn Attneave Award for Diversity in Family Psychology, Division of Family Psychology, American Psychological Association.

  • In 1995, Merit Award from the National Institute of Mental Health.

  • In 1995, the Center for Family Studies selected by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for inclusion in a White Paper to Congress on the effectiveness of substance abuse treatment as one of six programs designated examples of success in adolescent drug abuse treatment.

  • In 1996, the Center for Family Studies selected as a model program by the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Strengthening America's Families initiative.

  • In 1993, the Award for Distinguished Contributions from the American Family Therapy Academy.

  • In 1991, the Distinguished Professional Contributions to Public Service Award from the American Psychological Association

  • In 1990, the Outstanding Research Publication Award from the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

  • In 1989, the Rafael Tavares, M.D., Academic Award from the Association of Hispanic Mental Health Professionals.

  • In 1988, Dr. Szapocznik's work chosen as one of fourteen Exemplary Treatment Programs cited in the Final Report of the White House Conference for a Drug Free America.

  • In 1978, 1982, and 1984, the National Community Agency Award, the National Leadership Award for Academic Excellence, and the National Public Service Award from the National Coalition of Health and Human Services Organizations.

David Vlahov, Ph.D.
Department of Epidemiology and Medicine
Johns Hopkins University
The Center for Urban Epidemiologic Studies
The New York Academy of Medicine
Room 553
1216 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10029-5293
(212) 822-7382
(212) 876-6220 Fax

Dr. Vlahov has a Ph.D. degree in epidemiology and is director of the Center for Urban Epidemiologic Studies at The New York Academy of Medicine. Dr. Vlahov is also currently a professor of epidemiology and medicine at Johns Hopkins University. He has extensive experience in the design, conduct, and analysis of infectious disease epidemiological studies, including 250 publications on related topics. Dr. Vlahov is principal investigator of the current HOPE study (Risk Behavior and HIV in Young Injecting Drug Users, New York) funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He is also the principal investigator of the ALIVE study (a natural history study of HIV infection in IDUs), funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and was principal investigator of the Needle Exchange Evaluation studies in Baltimore, Maryland. In addition, Dr. Vlahov was the co-investigator of the HERS Baltimore women study site (epidemiological research studies of AIDS and HIV infection), funded by the CDC, and was co-investigator of the HIVNET study (HIV prevention sites). Dr. Vlahov provides expertise on study design, questionnaire development (particularly on drug abuse issues), external collaboration, data analysis, interpretation, and reporting and ensures supervision and integrity of the overall scientific enterprise.

[25th Anniversary Symposium Index][25th Anniversary Agenda][25th Anniversary Poster Abstracts]

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