NIDA and the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (Inserm) signed an agreement May 7, 2013, to cooperate on neuroscience and psychiatry research to improve understanding and treatment of addiction. Activities under the new agreement will include joint scientific seminars, research development exchange visits, and postdoctoral fellowships. A binational steering committee will identify research areas, such as animal research on the mechanisms of addiction; data sharing and innovative approaches for analyzing imaging, genetic/epigenetic, and clinical datasets; drug discovery for addiction pharmacotherapies; clinical research on addiction with a special emphasis on Phase I and II trials; and biomarkers of addiction including study of the “addictome” and brain imaging.
NIDA Director Nora D. Volkow, M.D., hosted the signing ceremony, which was organized by NIDA International Program Director Steven W. Gust, Ph.D. In his opening remarks, His Excellency François Delattre, Ambassador of France, noted that Dr. Volkow had been awarded the Inserm International Prize for her pioneering work in brain imaging and addiction science, an indication of the commitment NIDA and Inserm share to address the health consequences of addiction. In his plenary address, André Syrota, M.D., chair and chief executive officer of Inserm and president of Alliance Nationale pour les Sciences de la Vie et de la Santé (Aviesan), outlined opportunities for NIDA and Inserm to cooperate in using science to solve the problems of addiction.
The binational agreement grew out of a joint meeting held October 15, 2012, where representatives of NIDA, Inserm, and the French Multi-Organization Thematic Institute explored opportunities to enhance collaborative research and research training activities between the United States and France. The agreement with Inserm is the eighth binational agreement NIDA has signed to address mutual research criteria and priorities, develop new international scientific relationships, and significantly enhance existing relationships.