Three scientists are working to get to the roots of addiction through support from NIDA and the Fogarty International Center (FIC). The scientists and their work, highlighted in FIC’s recent newsletter, illustrate the true intent of the NIDA/FIC collaboration to nurture global research exchange and bring about a greater understanding of drug abuse and addiction worldwide. Highlights of the scientists’ research are described below:
As part of his research into preventing HIV and hepatitis C infections among injection drug users, Pedro Mateu-Gelabert, Ph.D., National Development and Research Institutes, noticed that drug dealers in New York were creating heroin brands by labeling the glassine envelopes in which they distributed the drug. Working with the Social Art Collective in New York City, Dr.
In research funded by NIDA and the Fogarty International Center (FIC), Jasmin Vassileva, Ph.D., University of Chicago, is investigating the impact of heroin on neurocognitive function and HIV transmission in Bulgaria. Why Bulgaria? In Chicago, up to 80% of heroin users also use cocaine, making it difficult to isolate the effects of a single drug. In contrast, Bulgarian heroin users are more likely to use only that drug. In addition, both heroin addiction and HIV are major public health problems and research is scarce in the country where Dr. Vassileva was born. Dr.
Alan Anticevic, Ph.D., Yale University, is 1 of 14 junior scientists who will be supported by the National Institutes of Health Director’s Early Independence Award. Dr. Anticevic focuses on characterizing brain circuits involved in processing certain stimuli and their interactions with neural systems. His aim is to understand how these interactions may go awry in the context of different neuropsychiatric illnesses, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and substance abuse.
Late last year, five new research teams began work to address HIV/AIDS and drug use in areas where it is already at epidemic proportions or where it is quickly emerging to become one if efforts are not made to halt or reverse the current momentum. The research projects are the result of NIDA grants designed to stimulate collaborative research among foreign investigators from the same geographic regions to address regional issues on the intersection of HIV/AIDS and drug use in international settings.
Recent awards through the NIDA International Program Announcements (PA) on International Research Collaboration on Drug Abuse and Addiction Research will support four research teams investigating drug-related HIV: