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Number 18, November 2007

This E-Newsletter is issued every other month to inform the international drug abuse research community about:

What’s New

Register now for the 2008 NIDA International Forum 
Globally Improving and Applying Evidence-Based Interventions for Addictions
June 13–14, 2008
San Juan, Puerto Rico

Important Dates

December 14, 2007 Forum Online Registration and Abstract Submission Opens
January 15, 2008 Forum Abstract Submission and Travel Award Application Deadline

WHO/NIDA/CPDD Traveling Fellowship Application Deadline
February 15, 2008 Forum Abstract and Travel Award Notification
March 2008 WHO/NIDA/CPDD Traveling Fellowship Application Notification (to be confirmed)
April 10, 2008 Forum Registration and Lodging Deadline

NIDA, Dutch Addiction Program Fund Four New Binational Research Teams

Continuing the uniquely successful binational funding agreement between NIDA and the Dutch Addiction Program (DAP), four new research teams have received funding to use brain imaging, animal models, and Ecological Momentary Assessment to explore ways to address the use of and dependence on marijuana, cocaine, and nicotine. NIDA funds the U.S. researchers; DAP supports the Dutch scientists. The four teams presented their research plans at the Fifth U.S.-Netherlands Binational Research Symposia, held November 28-29, 2007, in Amsterdam. In addition to learning about the newly funded projects, meeting participants heard updates on previously funded projects, met with national experts, and explored topics of mutual interest. The nine research teams who have already received funding have been highly productive, resulting in a NIDA research grant, three new collaborative links inspired by the U.S.-Netherlands projects, 14 books/chapters/reports, 19 scientific journal articles, and 42 presentations at scientific meetings. Dr. Wim van den Brink, University of Amsterdam, and NIDA Deputy Director Dr. Timothy Condon discussed recent advances on addiction research in their respective countries. Nick Ramsey, University Medical Center Utrecht, chaired a discussion of topics for future collaboration between NIDA and DAP that featured NIDA staff, including Dr. David Shurtleff, Director, Division of Basic Neuroscience and Behavioral Research; Dr. Joseph Frascella, Director, Division of Clinical Neuroscience and Behavioral Research; Dr. Ivan Montoya, Medical Officer, Division of Pharmacotherapies and Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse; and Dr. Eve Reider, Deputy Branch Chief, Division of Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Research. The meeting was co-chaired by Dr. Sineke ten Horn, Dutch Addiction Program, and NIDA International Program Director Dr. Steven W. Gust. The newly funded research teams include the following:

  • Linda Porrino, Wake Forest University, and A.E. Goudriaan, University of Amsterdam, will use fMRI and cognitive testing to study the neurobiological correlates of poor decisionmaking in chronic marijuana users.
  • Anna Rose Childress, University of Pennsylvania, and Wim van den Brink, University of Amsterdam, will conduct brain imaging studies to evaluate the effects of Varenicline in the brain of patients who use cocaine to test that compound as a potential cocaine pharmacotherapy.
  • Andrew Waters, Uniformed Services University, and I.H.A. Franken, Erasmus University, will study how cognitions in drug abusers may influence the success or failure of treatment (i.e., abstinence or relapse) using remote monitoring of craving or urges, with data entered by the subject into a hand-held computer.
  • Paul Phillips, University of Washington, and Matthijs Feenstra, Netherlands Institute of Neuroscience, will compare compulsive drug use with learning to obtain a natural reward (sugar) in animals that have been characterized as risk prone or risk averse in an effort to discover if there are changes in the neural activity that underlie the formation of habits.

DISCA Research Team Finds Hypothermia Key to Neurodegeneration in Chronic Methamphetamine Use

In studies investigating the role of brain temperature in permeability of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), Dr. Hari Sharma, Sweden, and his DISCA partner, Dr. Eugene Kiyatkin, NIDA Intramural Research Program, compared the brains of rats treated with methamphetamine (METH) to control subjects. Writing in the European Journal of Neuroscience 2007 September;26(5):1242-1253, the authors report that METH-induced changes in brain water, albumin, and glial fibrillary acidic protein correlated with the temperature of the nucleus accumbens, suggesting a key role of brain hyperthermia in BBB permeability, development of brain edema, and subsequent functional and structural neural abnormalities. The researchers conclude that by breaking down the BBB, brain hypothermia may play a crucial role in both decompensation of brain functions and cell injury following acute METH intoxication, thus possibly contributing to the neurodegeneration observed from chronic drug use.

NIDA Sponsors International Workshop on "Reducing HIV in Drug User Populations" at the American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence Conference

The international session at the American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence (AATOD) conference in San Diego (October 20-24, 2007) was developed by the International office (Dr. Steven Gust) and the Center for the Clinical Trials Network (Dr. Petra Jacobs) at NIDA. One of the workshop objectives was to discuss the role of evidence-based drug treatment in preventing HIV transmission in drug users. Dr. Zunyou Wu (Director, National Center for AIDS/STD Control and Prevention, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing, China) presented how HIV national preventive and treatment programs are addressing HIV in the population of drug users in China. This included the information about availability, accessibility, and structure of methadone programs. In addition, data from two NIDA-funded studies were presented: the impact of naltrexone on reducing HIV in Russia (Dr. George Woody, University of Pennsylvania) and buprenorphine maintenance treatment with behavioral counseling in Malaysia (Dr. Marek Chawarski, Yale University School of Medicine).

2007 AIDS Epidemic Update Employs New Methodology; Attributes Drop in New HIV Infections to Prevention Programs

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the World Health Organization (WHO) report in the 2007 AIDS Epidemic Update that global HIV prevalence has leveled off and the number of new infections has fallen. Using new epidemiological methods, the report estimates that in 2007, there were 33.2 million people living with HIV, 2.5 million people who became newly infected, and 2.1 million who died from AIDS. Global HIV incidence is now estimated to have peaked in the late 1990s at more than 3 million new infections per year. UNAIDS attributes the lower incidence of HIV in 2007 (2.5 million new infections) to HIV prevention efforts as well as natural trends in the epidemic. Injection drug use remains a major factor in the HIV epidemics in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa.

NIDA Poster Session at SfN Highlights Young International Neuroscience Researchers

NIDA organized an Early Career Investigators Poster Session on Friday, November 2, as part of NIDA's mini-convention on Frontiers in Addiction Research at the Society for Neuroscience Research meeting in San Diego, California. The invited poster session showcased drug abuse and drug-related neuroscience research by:

  • Francis Bambico, Canada
  • Alicia Brusco, Argentina
  • Resat Cinar, Hungary
  • Alline Cristina de Campos, Brazil
  • Daniele De Filippis, Italy
  • Francois Georges, France
  • Christ Henstridge, United Kingdom
  • Kimo Jensen, Demark
  • Naoko Kuzumaki, Japan
  • Manuel Mameli, Switzerland
  • Amy Milton, United Kingdom
  • Petra van Nieuwenhuijzen, Australia
  • Einav Sudai, Israel
  • Daifei Wu, Germany
  • Magdalena Zaniewska, Poland
  • Teresa Summavielle, Portugal

The International poster presenters were supported, in part, by NIDA and the International Union of Pharmacology, International Brain Research Organization, International Narcotics Research Conference, College on Problems of Drug Dependence, International Cannabinoid Research Society, and International Drug Abuse Research Society.

First NIDA/CICAD Competitive Research Program Awards Announced

Through its Latin America Initiative, NIDA and the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) cosponsor the Competitive Research Program to Support Drug Abuse Epidemiology. Awards support pre- or postdoctoral students on projects designed to fully exploit research data and information from existing databases in order to generate new analyses and promote greater understanding of the drug problem in the hemisphere. The national drug commissions in Organization of American States member states review initial applications and forward appropriate projects to the CICAD Inter-American Observatory on Drugs for review by representatives from NIDA, CICAD, and the U.S. National Hispanic Science Network. The first awards include:

Bolivia

  • Christian Arce Vargas Magne and Maria del Pilar Navia Bueno, Universidad Mayor de San Andres - Risk factors associated with drug consumption among adults in the city of La Paz during 2006

Chile

  • David Huepe and Jorge Manzi, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile - How family relationship and school factors relate to the different drug consumption profiles in the secondary school population in Chile: In search of a predictive model
  • Erika Eliana Queipul Vera and Gaston Pulido, Universidad de playa Ancha - Self-esteem and its relationship with drug consumption among eighth-year students of "basic education" in the municipal schools of Manuel Rodriguez and Rudicindo in the Copiapo community
  • Claudia Hernández Madrid and Bianca Dapelo, Universidad de Viña del Mar - Drug consumption among university students: Protective and risk factors
  • Jorge Gaete and Ricardo Araya, Universidad de Bristol - Effects of the student-school relationship on cigarette consumption among adolescents in Chile
  • Juan Luis Barria and Roberto Moreales Urra, Universidad Austral de Chile - School attendance and prevention: The adolescent view

Colombia

  • Mildred Alexandra Viancha Pinzon and Andres Barreto Agudelo, Universidad de Colombia - Evaluation of the association between psychoactive substance use and physical abuse among youth within the social protection system
  • Carlos Andrés Mejía Mosquera and Alberto Palacio Acosta, Universidad de Antioquia - Determining the association between antisocial personality disorder and the factors attributable to exposure and population according to psychoactive substance use in the Bellavista Prison in Medellín

Costa Rica

  • Ernesto Cortes Amador and Julio Bejarano, Instituto sobre Alcoholismo y Farmacodependencia - Patterns of alcohol use among first-year students at the University of Costa Rica, Rodrigo Facio Campus

Ecuador

  • Myriam Guerra and Rene Unda, Universidad Politécnica Salesiana - The social conditions that predispose adolescents to psychoactive substance addiction among adolescents attending the therapeutic communities Virgilio Gerrero and Buen Pastor

Uruguay

  • Higinio Perez and Eleuterio Umpierrez, Facultad de Química Polo Tecnológico de la República - Application of a study on drug consumption among new inmates, 2004-2005
  • Soledad Brescia Tudesco, Pablo Fielitz, Gabriela López Rega, and Veronica Santos Spagnuolo, Universidad de la Republica Oriental de Uruguay - Effects of coca paste consumption on intellectual performance
  • Rodrigo Zaragoza Tejera and Rafael Bayce, Universidad de la República - Consumption of psychoactive substances among secondary school youth
  • María Soledad Olave Silva and Ana Valentina Sosa Ontaneda, Centro Latinoamericano para la Economía Humana - Prevention of drug consumption among secondary school students in Uruguay
  • Gabby Recto and Adriana Insua, Instituto Universitario Centro Latinoamericano para la Economía Humana - Epidemiological study on the population involved in the Plan de Asistencia Nacional a la Emergencia Social (PANES) convoked through the Construyendo Rutas de Salida prevention program in Uruguay between October 2006 and March 2007.

NIDA Participates in Peruvian Congress on Addiction

Dr. Jag H. Khalsa, Chief, Medical Consequences Branch, NIDA Division of Pharmacotherapies and Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse (DPMC), delivered four talks at the Peruvian 5th National Congress on Addiction, held November 26-28, 2007, in Lima. Representing NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow, Dr. Khalsa discussed the Neurobiology of Addiction and Drug Abuse Research Priorities at NIDA. Dr. Khalsa also presented about DPMC work on nicotine vaccines and on medical consequences of drug abuse and infections. NIDA also supported participation by Dr. James Anthony, University of Michigan, who spoke on genomic epidemiology of drug addiction. Following the conference sessions, Dr. Khalsa visited a 60-bed drug abuse treatment center in NaNa, Peru, which treats alcohol and drug abuse patients with excellent recovery rates. The in-patient treatment center is directed by Rafael Navarro, M.D., who was also the President of the National Congress.

Study Finds International Program Fellowships Contribute to Scientific Productivity

A study of NIDA International Program Fellowship alumni has concluded that participation in the research training and exchange programs appears to contribute to the fellows' scientific productivity. Between 1990 and 2006, the NIDA International Program has funded 107 fellows from 47 countries, 72 percent of them from low- or middle-income countries. The International Program also recruited 49 DISCA partners and INVEST mentors representing 34 institutions in 20 U.S. states. A Web-based survey was distributed in December 2006 to former NIDA INVEST, Humphrey, and Distinguished Scientist (DISCA) program participants, asking them to report on their scientific productivity after completing the research and exchange program. Scientific productivity was defined as scientific publications, presentation at scientific conferences, and acquisition of research funding. The response rate varied from 38 percent to 70 percent among participants in the three fellowships. The outcomes for the INVEST and Humphrey program were combined because these program target early career scientists; the DISCA outcomes are presented separately because the program is restricted to senior-level scientists. DISCA scientists represented 11 countries; 55 percent reported a scientific publication, 55 percent reported a scientific presentation, and 100 percent reported receiving a research grant. Four DISCA scientists received funding from the U.S. National Institutes of Health; three, from government agencies in their home country; and one, from a non-governmental organization. The former INVEST and Humphrey Fellows represented 37 countries; 32 percent reported a scientific publication; 32 percent reported a scientific presentation; and 30 percent reported receiving a research grant. Seven former INVEST and Humphrey Fellows received funding from the U.S. National Institutes of Health; 20, from government agencies in their home country; 7, from government agencies outside their home country; and 11, from non-governmental organizations. The study was coauthored by Shyla John, M.B.A., IQ Solutions; International Program Director Steven W. Gust, Ph.D.; and Erin L. Winstanley, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Ms. John presented the study results orally at the International Conference on Urban Health, held October 31-November 2, 2007, in Baltimore, Maryland, and as a poster at the American Public Health Association Meeting held November 3-7, 2007, in Washington, D.C.

CICAD/NIDA Competitive Research Award Fund Seeks Applications

Application Deadline: December 31, 2007
Through its Latin America Initiative, NIDA and the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) cosponsor the Competitive Research Award Fund to support drug use research in the region. Awards support pre- or postdoctoral students on research in any area of the drug use field. Priority will be given to projects involving secondary analysis of existing research databases, such as national drug use surveys. The national drug commissions in Organization of American States member states review initial applications and forward appropriate projects to the CICAD Inter-American Observatory on Drugs for review by representatives from NIDA, CICAD, and the U.S. National Hispanic Science Network. For more information, see the Call for Papers.

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Funding Opportunities

International Research Collaboration on Drug Addiction

The PA-07-310.

Ongoing NIDA International Program Research and Training Opportunities

Existing NIDA-Supported Funding Opportunities

Other Funding Opportunities

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Research Training and Exchange Updates

For current information on NIDA and NIH training and exchange programs, please visit the following Web pages:

Ongoing NIDA International Program Research and Training Exchange Programs

NIDA, State Department Select 2007-2008 Hubert H. Humphrey Drug Abuse Research Fellows

NIDA and the U.S. Department of State have selected nine international drug abuse professionals as 2007-2008 Hubert H. Humphrey Drug Abuse Research Fellows. The two agencies co-sponsor competitive, 10-month awards that provide academic training at the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and 6-week professional affiliations with NIDA-supported researchers. The new VCU Humphrey Fellows include:

  • Raina Abou El-enein, Egypt (NIDA sponsored)
  • Rawnak Aqrawi, Iraq
  • Arian Boci, Albania
  • Fatima El Omari, Morocco (NIDA sponsored)
  • Marisa Felicíssimo, Brazil (NIDA sponsored)
  • Rushit Ismajli, Serbia
  • Boonsiri Junsirimongkol, Thailand
  • Ruhullah Nassery, Afghanistan
  • Zar Soe, Myanmar

Highlighting NIDA International Program Fellows

  • Highlights of Current Fellows
  • NIH Record Highlights Fellows’ Orientation
    The NIDA International Program orientation for INVEST and Hubert H. Humphrey Drug Abuse Research Fellows was featured in the May 4, 2007 NIH Record, the biweekly newsletter for employees of the National Institutes of Health.

International Neuroscience Fellowship
One to two years of research training in the United States for junior or mid-career level foreign neuroscientists; cosponsored by the National Institute on Aging (NIA).

Fogarty International Center
The Fogarty International Center, the international component of the NIH, addresses global health challenges through innovative and collaborative research and training programs and supports and advances the NIH mission through international partnerships.

  • FIC Grants Information
  • Programs and Initiatives
  • Program Application Deadlines & Review Cycle Dates
  • Fogarty International Center / Ellison Medical Foundation - Overseas Fellowships in Global Health and Clinical Research

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Meetings

Calendar of Major Scientific Meetings in Drug Abuse Research

Upcoming Meetings

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Press Releases

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Other Items of Interest

NIDA Methadone Research Web Guide

National Library of Medicine (NLM)

NIH Library Research Tools

NOTE: The following information is being provided for informational purposes only. Reference to any Website listed below does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by NIDA/NIH/HHS.

The Research Assistant
NIDA-funded online research tool for behavioral scientists.

Publishing Addiction Research Internationally:

SciDev.Net

The International Certification in Addiction Medicine for physicians.

Access to Free or Low Cost Online Publications for Researchers

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Reading Corner

Look here for research articles or other publications that may be of interest to the international drug abuse research community.

  • Get Automated My NCBI
  • Science & Practice Perspectives Becomes The Journal of Addiction Science & Clinical Practice
    Effective with the November issue, NIDA will change the title of its scientific journal Science & Practice Perspectives to The Journal of Addiction Science & Clinical Practice. The most widely distributed journal focused on addiction science, the peer-reviewed publication will also now be available through the MEDLINE database, expanding its reach and readership. The new title better reflects the journal's commitment to covering the exchange of ideas and to promote dialogue between scientists and addiction treatment professionals. The publication will now appear twice per year. Past issues can be found at www.drugabuse.gov/perspectives.

The following information is being provided for informational purposes only. Reference to any Website listed below does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by NIDA/NIH/HHS.

The International Journal of Drug Policy has published a special issue on HIV treatment and care for injecting drug users. The complete issue is available for free download until October 31 2007, at: http://www.ijdp.org/current/. The special issue is guest edited by Andrew Ball, World Health Organization; Michel Kazatchkine, The Global Fund; and Tim Rhodes, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Other Recent Publications

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This page was last updated October 2007

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