NIDA Participates in Italian National School on Addiction
Building on the 2011 Binational Agreement between NIDA and the Italian Department for Anti-Drug Policies (DAP), NIDA staff and grantees taught a module of the National School on Addiction, which was held March 12–13, 2012, in Italy.
NIDA Intramural Research Program (IRP) Director Antonello Bonci, M.D., via video, and Giovanni Serpelloni, M.D., DAP, opened the school with a discussion of research opportunities available through the Binational Agreement. NIDA Director Nora Volkow, M.D., addressed participants by video. Dr. Bonci and Marilyn A. Huestis, Ph.D., NIDA IRP, reported on advances in clinical and preclinical neuroscience research conducted by NIDA. Dr. Huestis also discussed acute and chronic cannabis smoking and approaches to differentiating new drug use from residual drug excretion.
NIDA Division of Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Research Director Wilson Compton, M.D., reviewed the Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) protocol and methods to evaluate the effectiveness of prevention programs. Markus A. Hellig, M.D., Ph.D., clinical director of both the NIDA and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism intramural clinical research programs, outlined pharmacogenetic approaches to addiction treatment for alcohol abuse.
The four grantee speakers included (1) A. Thomas McLellan, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, who discussed evidence-based policies and strategies; (2) Walter Ling, M.D., University of California, Los Angeles, who discussed the NIDA Clinical Trials Network (CTN) and the CTN protocol to reduce cocaine use with buprenorphine (CURB); (3) Robert Schwartz, M.D., Friends Research Institute, who reported on the effectiveness of opiate substitution treatments and strategies to manage noncompliant patients; and (4) David Gastfriend, M.D., Alkermes, who summarized strategies for matching patients to treatments.
Participation by U.S. scientists in Italian training programs such as the National School on Addiction was a priority established by the Binational Agreement.
InWomen Working Group Publishes Journal Supplement
A new journal supplement focuses research attention on women who use substances, their diversity, the contextual factors affecting their lives, their needs, the treatment barriers they face, and next steps with regard to interventions and treatment.
The open access Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation supplement (2012; 3[S1]) was produced by the International Women’s and Children’s Health and Gender Research Group (InWomen), a multidisciplinary research group organized through the NIDA International Virtual Collaboratory (NIVC), an initiative of the NIDA International Program.
The collection of seven papers focus on a range of issues related to women and substance abuse, including:
Long-term, residential substance abuse treatment for Israeli women
Methadone treatment for Iranian women
HIV prevention interventions targeted at women who have been victims of intimate partner violence
Substance abuse treatment needs of lesbian, bisexual, and transgender women
Impact of criminal justice system involvement on interventions for drug-using women in South Africa
Maternal Opioid Treatment Human Experimental Research (MOTHER) study comparing the efficacy of buprenorphine versus methadone for detoxification of pregnant women addicted to opioids
Gender, Alcohol, and Culture: International Study (GENACIS) multisite collaborative study of alcohol abuse.
Authors of the supplement are InWomen members, with several of them having spoken at the 2011 InWomen satellite to the NIDA International Forum and the College on Problems of Drug Dependence. InWomen is chaired by NIDA grantee Wendee Wechsberg, Ph.D., RTI International, who also wrote the introduction to the supplement.
International Program Joins Johns Hopkins Workshop for Burmese Officials
NIDA International Program Director Steven W. Gust, Ph.D., participated in an April 10 workshop at Johns Hopkins University for a delegation of government officials from Burma (Myanmar). The Burmese delegation, which was lead by the Minister of Health, Dr. Pe Thet Khin, included representatives from the Office of the President; Ministries of Health, Education, Justice, and Science and Technology; and the nongovernmental organization Mingalar Myanmar. In addition to meeting with Dr. Gust, the delegation learned about opioid dependence treatment research conducted at the university from Eric C. Strain, M.D., who directs the university’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment and Research. The workshop also focused on health systems; maternal, child, and women’s health; nutrition; infectious diseases; and mental health.
Two New Online Resources Enhance Research Methods
Researchers now have access to free, online tools developed with National Institutes of Health support to standardize research methods. Developed as part of a collaborative effort that included experts from across the globe, the tools promote the collection of comparable data across studies and rigorous design of behavioral and social science research projects.
The PhenX Toolkit was designed to help integrate genetics and epidemiologic research by providing standard measures related to complex diseases, phenotypic traits, and environmental exposures. NIDA supported development of the PhenX Substance Abuse and Addiction Project (SAA), which added 43 new measures that support SAA research. The Toolkit describes each measure along with the standard protocols and requirements for data collection, such as training, personnel, equipment, or licensing fees. NIDA recently issued a Notice (NOT-DA-12-008) encouraging researchers conducting human-subject studies to use the PhenX measures. Learn more about the PhenX Toolkit.
This anthology presents the latest information about behavioral and social sciences research to address emerging challenges in public health, including substance abuse and addiction. The 20 chapters in e-Source include interactive exercises on designing research projects; selecting research methods to describe how or why something happens, or confirm the effectiveness of an intervention; and emerging research challenges.
New! NIDA Issues Program Announcements; Sets Aside Funds for Medications Development
NIDA has issued several Program Announcements (PAs) that will accept applications from non-U.S. institutions. PAs identify areas of science that are of increased priority at NIDA. The recent funding opportunities open to non-U.S. institutions include:
Technology-Based Interventions To Promote Engagement in Care and Treatment Adherence for Substance-Abusing Populations With HIV supports pilot feasibility tests (PA-12-118) and R01 research project grants (PA-12-117) investigating the utility and implementation of technological tools, including mobile devices, to promote engagement in HIV care among substance-abusing populations with HIV.
Health Services and Economic Research on the Prevention and Treatment of Drug, Alcohol, and Tobacco Abuse uses four separate types of grants to fund projects investigating service delivery models and organizational or systems-level interventions designed to improve the quality of prevention, treatment, and recovery support services for drug, alcohol, and tobacco abuse. Research projects might emphasize any of the following subjects: (1) clinical quality improvement, (2) organization and delivery of services, (3) implementation research, (4) economic and cost studies, or (5) development or improvement of research methodology, analytic approaches, and measurement instrumentation.
Strategic Alliances for Medications Development To Treat Substance Use Disorders (PAS-12-122) will support grants leveraging the strengths of two or more organizations in developing medications to treat substance use disorders. NIDA has set aside $6 million during fiscal year 2013 to support medications development projects focused at any point along the drug development continuum, from the advanced development of new chemical entities through preclinical testing and clinical trials supporting new drug applications to the Food and Drug Administration. Awards will provide up to $2 million per year for up to 3 years.
Use-Oriented Basic Research: Change Mechanisms of Behavioral Social Interventions (PA-12-119) will use Administrative Supplements to promote research across disciplines on the initiation, personalization, and maintenance of behavior change that leads to an improved understanding of the underlying principles of behavior change. The program is funded though the NIH Common Fund, which supports cross-cutting programs that are expected to have exceptionally high impact, and is administered by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
Fogarty Funds New International Training Programs
The Fogarty International Center (FIC) recently announced two new programs of interest to the drug abuse and addiction research community. FIC’s programs provide funding to perform research and to train researchers in a variety of global health topics. The new programs offer funding to enhance research capacity and to mentor and train early-career health scientists in global health topics.
AIDS/TB Research Capacity-Building
The Fogarty HIV Research Training Program was developed to strengthen the human capacity to contribute to the ability of institutions in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) to conduct HIV-related research on the evolving HIV-related epidemics in their country and to compete independently for research funding.
NIDA is one of three National Institutes of Health (NIH) components supporting the Fogarty HIV Research Training Program. FIC encourages applications through three different announcements under the new program:
Fogarty HIV Research Training Program for Low- and Middle-Income Country Institutions (D43, PAR-12-068) encourages applications to support research training to develop and strengthen the scientific leadership and expertise needed for HIV-related research at LMIC institutions.
Limited Competition: Planning Grant for Fogarty HIV Research Training Program for Low- and Middle-Income Country Institutions (D71, PAR-12-070) encourages planning grants to support LMIC institutions as they develop an application to submit under this Funding Opportunity Announcement.
Training Programs for Critical HIV Research Infrastructure for Low- and Middle-Income Country Institutions (G11, PAR-12-069) support applications from U.S. institutions for training in defined research infrastructure areas at LMIC institutions.
The new Fogarty HIV Research Program is the result of the consolidation of the AIDS International Training and Research Program (AITRP) and the International Clinical, Operations and Health Services Research Training Award for AIDS TB program (ICOHRTA AIDS TB). It is important to note that current AITRP and Phase II ICOHRTA AIDS TB award institutions are not eligible to submit applications under this funding opportunity announcement until the last year of their current AITRP or Phase II ICOHRTA AIDS TB project period.
Training Program in Global Health Research
FIC has created five support centers for the Global Health Program for Fellows and Scholars. Over the next 5 years, the program will train 400 early-career health scientists through focused mentoring and diverse clinical research experiences at approximately 80 research sites in 27 low-resource countries. Fellows may be citizens of low-resource countries or the United States. Approximately 80 percent of the trainees will be postdoctoral fellows; the remaining trainees will be doctoral students. Each support center consists of a lead university working with three partner universities. The support centers are located at the:
University of California Berkeley, which will train fellows to address global health challenges specific to slum dwellings, working with partners at Florida International, Stanford, and Yale Universities. Fellows will work at sites in 10 slum communities located in Central and South America, Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe, where research has been ongoing for at least 3 years.
University of California Global Health Institute, which links University of California campuses in San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Davis with 24 international collaborating institutions in Mexico, Central and South America, Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe. Fellows from this consortium will focus on interdisciplinary research in areas such as social and behavioral science, nutrition, environment, medicine, public health, nursing, veterinary science, and basic science.
Vanderbilt Institute of Global Health, which will train research fellows with partners at Emory, Cornell, and Duke Universities. Fellows will investigate HIV/AIDS, cancer, heart disease, ophthalmology, or mental disorders at 10 sites in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and Latin America.
University of Washington, Seattle, which has partnered with the Universities of Hawaii, Michigan, and Minnesota to train fellows at research sites in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, which will partner with Johns Hopkins, Morehouse, and Tulane Universities; fellows will conduct research at sites in Africa, Asia, and South America.
NIDA is one of 15 NIH components supporting the Global Health Program for Fellows and Scholars.
Register Now: NIDA International Forum
Registration Closes May 10
Join us for the 2012 NIDA International Forum to be held June 8–11, 2012. Cosponsored by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, this year’s agenda features speakers who will focus on new and emerging synthetic and natural drugs, such as synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists (e.g., “spice”) and stimulants (e.g., cathinones).
The NIDA International Forum is held in conjunction with the 74th Annual Scientific Meeting of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD). The NIDA Forum and the CPDD meeting have their own registration processes. Please register separately for each meeting.
International Women's Group Promotes Its CPDD Satellite
Save the Date
Friday, June 8, 2012
11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific Time
Palm Springs, California, USA
The 2012 Annual International Women’s and Children’s Health and Gender Working Group (InWomen’s) Conference, which will focus on global issues in the context for and treatment of substance abuse by women, also will promote research on the topic with poster logos and T-shirts.
Members of InWomen have agreed to promote their satellite meeting at the College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) by adding the group’s logo to posters they present at the NIDA International Forum and CPDD. The logos are available online through the InWomen’s resources folder in the NIDA International Virtual Collaboratory. The group also will sell v-neck T-shirts promoting the InWomen’s group during their meeting. Shirts will cost $12 and be available in adult sizes.
Featured speakers at the meeting will include Cora Lee Wetherington, Ph.D., coordinator of the NIDA Women and Sex/Gender Research Program, and participants in international projects supported by NIDA, including Trecia Wouldes, Ph.D., M.A., New Zealand, who will discuss research focusing on children born to addicted mothers; Irma Kirtadze, M.D., Republic of Georgia, who will report on drug use by women in her country; and Olga V. Toussova, Ph.D., Russia, who will present research about HIV risks among women in Russia.
The InWomen’s conference is held in conjunction with the NIDA International Forum and the 74th Annual CPDD Scientific Meeting, and cosponsored by the NIDA International Program, CPDD, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health, RTI International, and Danya International.
Register for the InWomen meeting now.
South African Investigator Receives International Traveling Fellowship Award
The World Health Organization, NIDA, and the College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) together have selected this year’s recipient of the International Traveling Fellowship Award. Hetta Gouse, Ph.D., University of Cape Town, South Africa, received the award based on her research into the investigation of the effects of methamphetamine in a South African sample using detailed neuropsychological testing and a functional magnetic resonance imaging reward task. The award enables Dr. Gouse to make a 1-week research visit with a NIDA-supported research grantee and participate in the NIDA International Forum and the CPDD Annual Scientific Meeting in June 2012.
Dr. Gouse is an early-career investigator who is building an innovative program of research to examine the clinical relevance of neuropsychological function in substance abuse treatment outcomes as well as HIV prevention and care. She plans to visit Adam W. Carrico, Ph.D., and others in the Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco, where they will discuss future potential collaborative research to examine the clinical relevance of neuropsychological function for HIV prevention among methamphetamine users.
Former Humphrey Fellow Leads Methadone Maintenance Treatment in Bangladesh
Munir Ahmed, M.D., a 2008–2009 NIDA Hubert H. Humphrey Drug Abuse Research Fellow at Virginia Commonwealth University, is now officer in charge for the Joint United Nations Programme for HIV/AIDS in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Dr. Ahmed started the country’s first methadone maintenance treatment program and directs efforts to reduce stigma and discrimination against drug users. During 2012, a pilot methadone program in government health care settings will be replicated with nongovernmental organizations. Dr. Ahmed reports that HIV prevalence among Bangladeshi injection drug users has been 5.3 percent for about a decade.
USAID Adopts New Ethics Rules
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) issued a new Scientific Integrity Policy (441 KB) in late March. The policy outlines principles designed to protect the scientific process from misconduct and from inappropriate influence; promote access to scientific and technical information; maintain a highly skilled technical and scientific staff; convene and use Federal advisory committees ethically and transparently; and ensure quality, methodological rigor, and ethical standards in all USAID-funded research activities.
New Prescription Drug Curriculum Available
A new online curriculum for clinicians reviews prescription drug abuse within the common clinical scenario of chronic pain management in outpatient settings.
The Prescription Drug Abuse Curriculum is a free, downloadable PowerPoint presentation designed to increase awareness of the problem of prescription drug abuse. It focuses on psychosocial and medical issues associated with pharmacologic management of chronic pain and provides a framework for safe prescribing practices.
INVEST/CTN Fellow Assesses Risk Behavior Among Kosovo Youth
INVEST/CTN Drug Abuse Research Fellow Rushit Ismajli, M.D., M.Sci., spent his fellowship with Dennis M. Donovan, Ph.D., University of Washington, Seattle, examining risk behavior among adolescents in Prishtina, the capital of Kosovo. Currently, little data exist on the risk behaviors and substance use of young people in the city; therefore, Dr. Ismajli proposed a pilot data collection study in two schools to assess research tools, training materials, and research methodologies for a larger study.
Dr. Ismajli’s pilot study was conducted in two parts. The first involved an examination of risk behavior in two upper secondary schools using the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey. The Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) tool was used for the second part of the study in one school to determine its effectiveness among youth in Kosovo. Dr. Ismajli plans to return to Kosovo to undertake a larger scale study to more fully assess risky behavior among Kosovo’s youth.
Important Dates and Meetings
The NIDA International Program stays abreast of funding opportunities, upcoming deadlines for fellowship and grant applications, and meetings of interest to the international addiction and drug abuse research community.
Fogarty International Center
NIH Funding Announcements
Society for Prevention Research 2012 Conference
May 29–June 1, 2012
Washington, D.C., USA
1st International Conference on Family-Based Prevention and Positive Parenting
June 8–10, 2012
NIDA International Forum
June 8–11, 2012
Palm Springs, California, USA
74th Annual Meeting of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence
June 9–14, 2012
Palm Springs, California, USA
AIDS 2012: XIX International AIDS Conference
July 22–27, 2012
Washington, D.C., USA
Society for Neuroscience 2012 Annual Meeting
October 13–17, 2012
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
International Society of Addiction Medicine’s 14th Annual Meeting
October 14–18, 2012