Scientists from Greece, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, and The Netherlands have been awarded NIDA INVEST Drug Abuse Research Fellowships, and a scientist from China has been awarded a NIDA INVEST/Clinical Trials Network (CTN) Drug Abuse Research Fellowship. The awards provide postdoctoral training with a NIDA grantee in the United States. The new INVEST Fellows are:
- Antonis Gardikiotis, Ph.D., Aristotle University of Thessalonlki, Greece. Dr. Gardikiotis will focus on designing, implementing, and evaluating drug abuse prevention messages for adolescents with his mentor, William Crano, Ph.D., Claremont Graduate University.
- Zulvia Syarif, M.D., Addiction and AIDS Research Center, Indonesia. Dr. Syarif will improve her behaviorally oriented psychosocial counseling and research skills in order to conduct a research project in Indonesia comparing methadone maintenance treatment plus behavioral drug and HIV risk reduction counseling with methadone maintenance treatment alone among 240 HIV-positive opiate-dependent patients. Her mentor is Marek Chawarski, Ph.D., Yale University.
- Bilal Salem, M.D., Al Amal Hospital Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, will learn about neuropsychological testing and conducting controlled experiments from his mentor, Richard Rawson, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles. When he returns to Saudia Arabia, Dr. Salem will use his new skills to investigate neurocognitive function among amphetamine-dependent patients at 1 week and 3 weeks into inpatient treatment.
- Makhbatsho Bakhromov, M.D., M.Sc., Prisma Research Center, Tajikistan, will focus on improving his theoretical and quantitative skills in prevention research during his fellowship. His mentor is Carl Latkin, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University. Following the fellowship, Dr. Bakhromov plans to adapt Project SHIELD, a peer education, network-based HIV prevention intervention, for use among injection drug-using migrant workers in Moscow.
- Michel Verheij, Ph.D., Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, The Netherlands, will work with his mentor, George Koob, Ph.D., Scripps Research Institute, to investigate the neuronal basis underlying the transition from noncompulsive drug use to drug dependence. Using serotonin transporter knockout rats, Dr. Verheij will measure short access (1hour/day) and long access (6 hours/day) cocaine intake, corticotropin-releasing factor levels in stress-related brain regions, and anxiety-like behavior.
The new INVEST/CTN Fellow is Haifeng Jiang, M.D., Shanghai Mental Health Center, China. Dr. Jiang will work with his mentor, Walter Ling, M.D., University of California, Los Angeles, to gain expertise in conducting clinical trials and improve his skills in research methods. During the fellowship, Dr. Jiang will conduct a secondary analysis of data from NIDA-funded clinical research to investigate possible relationships between metabolic phenomena and clinical outcomes for methadone maintenance treatment patients. He will then design a similar study of patients receiving treatment with buprenorphine and naloxone.