ORTDD Staff Listing

Name Title Phone
Wilson Compton, MD, MPE NIDA Deputy Director;
Acting Director, ORTDD 
301-443-6480
Albert Avila, Ph.D. Deputy Director, ORTDD;
Director, ODHD
301-496-8804
Angela Holmes, Ph.D. Diversity and Disparities Program Officer 301-827-2487
Lindsey Friend, Ph.D. Research Training and Career Development Program Officer 301-594-4673
Julie Huffman Diversity, Disparities, and Training Program Analyst 301-443-9798
Isabela Lopes, MPH Diversity, Disparities, and Training Program Analyst 301-827-8255
Ernestine, Lenteu Staff Assistant to the NIDA Deputy Director 301-827-8190

Biographies

Wilson Compton, MD, MPE
Deputy Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse
Biography

Albert Avila, Ph.D.
Dr. Albert Avila is currently the Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Office of Diversity and Health Disparities (ODHD) and Deputy Director of the NIDA Office of Research Training (ORT).  As the ODHD Director he oversees the health disparities and diversity outreach efforts for NIDA and provides guidance to NIDA leadership on matters pertaining to diversity, equity and inclusivity as they relate to the substance use and addiction workforce.  His primary goal for the ODHD is to increase the number of independently funded underrepresented scientists conducting addiction research through internal and extramural research and professional development opportunities.  As the NIDA ORT Deputy Director, he ensures that the training and career development opportunities are addressing the needs of the substance use and addiction community at all career stages.  Dr. Avila received his undergraduate degrees in psychobiology and English Literature from UCLA and his doctorate degree in Pharmacology from Georgetown University studying the effects of cocaine, withdrawal, and stress on the neuroimmune system.  Following postdoctoral training in pain neurotransmission at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), he became an Intramural Training Director, leading training programs for pre- and post-doctoral scientists in NIDCR.  Prior to joining NIDA, Dr. Avila was a Program Officer for NIDCR directing extramural research training and career development research programs.  At NIDA, Dr. Avila served as a Program Officer in the Division of Basic Neuroscience and Behavioral Research for five years and managed a research grant portfolio in the area of neuroimmunology, psychopharmacology, and HIV as they relate to drug abuse.  In addition, he managed a robust research training and career development grant portfolio for early-career investigators.  At NIDA, Dr. Avila works to equip NIDA trainees and early-stage investigators with the tools, resources, and support necessary to successfully transition to independent research careers.

Angela Holmes, Ph.D.
Angela Holmes joined the NIDA Office of Diversity and Health Disparities in July 2020 as a Diversity and Disparities Program Officer (Health Science Administrator). She currently manages and oversees the NIDA Diversity Supplement Program. Before joining extramural research, Angela did her postdoctoral fellowship in Movement Disorders with a focus on cervical dystonia in NINDS, completed a detail as a Health Program Specialist in the NINDS Division of Translational Research and had government contract positions at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and the Defense Centers for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury. She also had the opportunity to do an internship in the American Psychological Association’s Office of Ethnic Minority Affairs whose goals were focused on increasing the recruitment, retention and training of underrepresented groups in psychology. She earned her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Georgetown University with support from a diversity NRSA predoctoral fellowship and received postdoctoral training at NIH in the NINDS Human Motor Control Section with diversity supplement support. She earned a B.S. in Psychology and a M.S. in Clinical Psychology from the University of the District of Columbia.

Lindsey Friend, Ph.D.
Lindsey Friend is a Research Training and Career Development Program Officer (Health Science Administrator) in the Office of Research Training, Diversity, and Health Disparities at the National institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Her priority is to assist NIDAs extramural research training and career development programs. Lindsey received her doctorate in neuroscience from Brigham Young University where she studied cocaine and cannabinoid effects on reward circuitry.  She did a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development studying glutamate receptor physiology before joining NIDA in 2020.

Julie Huffman
Julie Huffman joined the NIDA Office of Diversity and Health Disparities (ODHD) in July 2013. Prior to joining the ODHD she was in the NIDA Division Neuroscience and Behavioral. She brings over 20 years of government experience to the ODHD and has served in multiple DHHS agencies. Mrs. Huffman’s primary responsibilities include maintaining the ODHD participant databases for the diversity supplement, seminar series, and summer internship programs, tracking program participants’ NIH grant and application records, as well as handling logistical actions for the Office. She is the coordinator of the NIDA summer research internship program which includes pre­ and post­program activities and communication with participants and Principal Investigators.

Isabela Lopes, MPH
Isabela Lopes is a Diversity, Disparities, and Training Program Analyst in the Office of Diversity and Health Disparities (ODHD). Ms. Lopes joined NIDA in August 2020 and performs analysis on the office’s programs and initiatives aimed to promote diversity and support career development for NIDA trainees. She comes to NIDA from the DHHS, Office of the Secretary, where she began her federal career as a Pathways Intern in 2017 and upon graduation in 2019, became a Management Program Analyst. Isabela has a Bachelor of Science in Health Administration with a concentration in Assisted Living/Senior Housing Administration and a Master of Public Health (MPH) with a concentration in Community Health Promotion. She sparked an interest in the health field when she encountered uninsured individuals and was able to experience firsthand the impact that social determinants have on health. Her interests in the health of racial/ethnic minorities, substance use and addiction research, and a passion for eliminating health disparities makes her beyond excited to be a part of the NIDA, ODHD.

Ernestine Lenteu
Ernestine Lenteu joined NIDA in May 2019 as the Executive Assistant to the NIDA Deputy Director. Ernestine graduated from Nanterre University in Paris, France, where her family resides. She previously worked as a Program Specialist at NINDS (National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) for the Neural Circuits and Channels Synapses Circuits clusters from 2008-2019.