ERANID To Fund Multinational Research on Drug Use Pathways
The European Research Area Network on Illicit Drugs (ERANID) has announced plans to fund €4 million in multidisciplinary, transnational research investigating processes underlying the dynamics of drug use pathways and transitions between types of drug use. Funding organizations in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, and the Netherlands will support researchers from their own nations working in networks with colleagues from other participating countries.
NIDA International Forum Turns 20; Focuses on Opportunities for International Collaboration and Multidisciplinary Initiatives
NIDA International Program Director Steven W. Gust, right, and Associate Director Dale Weiss with Richard Isralowitz, Israel. Dr. Isralowitz and his colleagues were recognized during the 2015 NIDA International Forum for their work in areas where conflict and traumatic conditions are common.
More than 200 participants from 45 countries participated in the 20th Annual NIDA International Forum, which was held June 12–15, 2015, in Phoenix, Arizona. International Program Director Steven W. Gust, Ph.D., chaired the meeting. A joint College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD)/NIDA International Forum poster session featured presentations on international research by 136 scientists from the United States and 43 other countries.
NIDA Division of Extramural Research Director Susan Weiss, Ph.D., reviewed developments, priorities, and opportunities in the NIDA research portfolio; recent research findings on marijuana; new Institute foci on improving reproducibility of results and access to data; and multidisciplinary initiatives. Representatives of U.S. and international organizations described programs that support addiction research, prevention, and treatment around the world. Speakers included Brian A. Morales, M.A., U.S. Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs; Anja Busse, M.S., M.P.H., United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC); Nita Lalla Roncone, M.S.W., U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy; Vladimir Poznyak, M.D., Ph.D., World Health Organization (WHO); and Igor Koutsenok, M.D., M.S., UNODC.
To mark the 20th anniversary of the NIDA International Forum, Dr. Gust reviewed the history, growth, and outcomes of the meeting. NIDA International Program Associate Director Dale S. Weiss moderated a panel discussion by Forum participants who described how the meeting affected their careers in drug abuse. The panelists included Zulvia Syarif, M.D., University of Indonesia; Silvia L. Cruz, Ph.D., Cinvestav, Mexico; Bronwyn Myers, Ph.D., M. Soc. Sci., South African Medical Research Council; and Valeriy Ryabukha, L.L.M., “Choice” Prevention Center, Ukraine. During the discussion, Dr. Poznyak of WHO noted that the NIDA International Forum is unique in creating opportunities for scientists of different generations to interact, learn, mentor, and participate in a poster session that includes highly qualified researchers from around the world. Marya Hynes, M.H.S., Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) at the Organization of American States, agreed, saying that many of CICAD’s important initiatives began from networking at the Forum. Robert L. Balster, Ph.D., Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), a speaker at the 1996 meeting and a past president of CPDD, noted that CPDD had benefitted greatly from the increased participation of international researchers attracted to the larger scientific meeting by the NIDA International Forum. Dr. Gust thanked 17 “pioneers” who attended both the 1996 and 2015 Forums for their generosity in helping junior scientists build international research careers. He also acknowledged his predecessor at the International Program, M. Patricia Needle, Ph.D., who chaired the first Forum, and Ivan D. Montoya, M.D., M.P.H, Division of Pharmacotherapies and Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse, who as a former Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow chaired the international organizing committee for the 1996 meeting.
NIDA staff chaired and spoke during several breakout sessions. Ms. Weiss co-chaired the NIDA International Networking Session with J. Randy Koch, Ph.D., VCU. Office of Science Policy and Communications Director Jack Stein, Ph.D., discussed National Drug Facts Week, and NIDA Hubert H. Humphrey Drug Abuse Research Fellow Mohammed Elhamshary, M.D., M.Sc., described implementing Drug Facts Week in Egypt. Yu “Woody” Lin, Ph.D., Division of Clinical Neuroscience and Behavioral Research, chaired a session on NIDA AIDS and addiction research in Vietnam, and Carmen Rosa, M.S., Center for the Clinical Trials Network, co-chaired a session on implementation science and evidence-based treatments in Latin America.
International Program Presents Awards of Excellence to Four Individuals
NIDA International Program Director Steven W. Gust, second from right, congratulates the 2015 NIDA International Awards of Excellence winners, Robert Booth, University of Colorado; Hendrée E Jones, University of North Carolina; and Viviana Horigian, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Dr. Jones’s research partner, Gabriele Fischer, Medical University of Vienna, is not pictured.
NIDA International Awards of Excellence, which recognize individuals for outstanding contributions to international cooperation in drug abuse research and training, were presented during the NIDA International Forum for:
- Excellence in mentoring, to Robert E. Booth, Ph.D., University of Colorado, for his work encouraging others to investigate addictions and mentoring Ukrainian colleagues testing community- and network-based interventions among people living with HIV and those who inject drugs.
- Excellence in international leadership, to Viviana Elizabeth Horigian, M.D., University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, for her work establishing research teams modeled on the NIDA Clinical Trials Network in Chile, Ecuador, and Mexico.
- Excellence in collaborative research, to Hendrée E Jones, Ph.D., University of North Carolina, and Gabriele Fischer, Ph.D., Medical University of Vienna, Austria, for their work investigating buprenorphine as a treatment medication for pregnant women and serving on the Guidelines Development Group for the 2014 World Health Organization Guidelines for the Identification and Management of Substance Use and Substance Use Disorders in Pregnancy.
CPDD Creates Award for Best Poster at International Research Poster Session
The College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) International Committee created an award for the best poster presented at the joint CPDD/NIDA International Forum poster session. From left are CPDD President Eric Strain; the winner, Irma Kirtadze, Republic of Georgia; CPDD International Committee Chair Jan Copeland, Australia; and NIDA International Program Director Steven W. Gust.
The College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) created an annual award for scientists from low- and middle-income countries who present their research at the joint NIDA International Forum/CPDD International Research Poster Session. The research must have been conducted in the author’s home country or another low- or middle-income country. A panel of judges organized by the CPDD International Committee selected the winning poster. Irma Kirtadze, M.D., Republic of Georgia, received the 2015 award for her poster, “Comprehensive women-centered treatment for substance use in Georgia: Initial examination of drug use and HIV risk.” Dr. Kirtadze will receive 3 nights’ lodging at the conference hotel for the 2016 or 2017 CPDD and NIDA International Forum meetings. For more information, contact the chair of the CPDD International Committee, Jan Copeland, Ph.D., via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Women’s 2016 Conference Set for Friday, June 10, 2016
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Thai Researcher Named WHO/NIDA/CPDD International Traveling Fellow
The NIDA International Program, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) selected On-anong Saiphoklang, Ph.D., Thailand, as the 2015 WHO/NIDA/CPDD International Traveling Fellow. The award provides partial support for a low- and middle-income country researcher to work with a NIDA-supported researcher and participate in the NIDA International Forum and CPDD meetings. During the two meetings, Dr. Saiphoklang presented her research on exposure to drugs, alcohol risk factors, and weapon carrying among 2,588 Thai students. Dr. Saiphoklang spent her research exchange visit with Linda B. Cottler, Ph.D., M.P.H., University of Florida. The two, whose previous work together was supported by Dr. Saiphoklang’s scholarship from the Thailand Research Fund and Chulalongkorn University, analyzed data for a third paper. Dr. Saiphoklang also took Dr. Cottler’s grant- writing course, worked with a University of Florida resource librarian on references and citations, and prepared a grant application to support research on substance dependence health risks in the general Thai population. More information about the WHO/NIDA/CPDD International Traveling Fellowship is available online at here.
SPR Meeting Features NIDA International Poster Session
NIDA International Program Associate Director Dale Weiss and Society for Prevention Research (SPR) President Felipe Gonzalez Castro, Ph.D., University of Texas at El Paso, welcomed participants to the 8th Annual NIDA International SPR Poster Session. The poster session was held May 26, 2015, in conjunction with the SPR Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. The sixteen posters highlighted drug and alcohol abuse prevention research featuring U.S. collaborations with prevention researchers in 12 nations. NIDA provided travel awards to nine researchers: Tatiana de Castro Amato and Elaine Lucas Dos Santos, Brazil; Alejandro Lobo, Mexico; Anilena Mejia, Panama; Aliia Farkhatovna Makhamatova, Russia; Lisa Wegner, South Africa; Johanna Gripenberg, Sweden; Rogers Kasirye, Uganda; and Valeriy V. Ryabukha, Ukraine.
NIDA Supports ISAJE/Hashemite University Scientific Writing Workshop
NIDA provided partial support for an intensive workshop on scientific writing and preparing research manuscripts for publication. Participants included 35 doctors, pharmacists, nurses, and graduate students from the Middle East and North Africa. The International Society of Addiction Journal Editors (ISAJE), University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and Hashemite University at Zarqa, Jordan, organized the interactive workshop, which was held May 31–June 2, 2015. The workshop was co-chaired by Sukaina Al-Zyoud, Ph.D., Hashemite University; Willi Mcfarland, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., UCSF; and Richard Pates, D.Clin.Psych., ISAJE. Dr. Pates, who is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Substance Use, invited participants to submit articles for a special issue on substance abuse in the region.
NIDA Selects INVEST Postdoctoral Fellows
NIDA has awarded INVEST postdoctoral fellowships to five drug abuse researchers who will work with NIDA-supported researchers at U.S. institutions. The three INVEST Drug Abuse Research fellows are:
- Yanhui Liao, M.D., a researcher and teacher at the Institute of Mental Health, The Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, China. Dr. Liao will compare the effects of reduced-nicotine cigarettes in dependent and non-dependent young daily smokers using task-based and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging. Her mentor is Edythe D. London, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles.
- Bulat Idrisov, M.D., M.S., a clinician and teacher at Bashkir State Medical University, Russia, and 2013 World Health Organization/NIDA/College on Problems of Drug Dependence International Traveling Fellow. Dr. Idrisov will study the relationship between food insecurity and HIV disease progression, HIV risk behaviors, and access to antiretroviral therapy among people who are living with HIV and inject drugs. His mentor is Jeffrey Samet, M.D., M.A., M.P.H., Boston University.
- Roy Otten, Ph.D., a senior research associate at The Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction (Trimbos). Dr. Otten will spend his fellowship working with Thomas J. Dishion, Ph.D., Arizona State University. He plans to investigate the role of peers and genetic differences in a developmental substance use process model that demonstrated a link between effortful control and onset of substance use. He also will test whether the model is relevant for progressive stages of substance use.
The INVEST/Clinical Trials Network Fellow is Lysa Remy, Ph.D., a psychologist and postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Drug and Alcohol Research, Hospital de Clinicas of Porto Alegre, Brazil. Her fellowship mentor is George E. Woody, M.D., Treatment Research Institute and the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Remy will study outcome measures and treatment models for individuals who are dependent on new psychoactive substances.
The U.S.–Mexico Drug Abuse Prevention Research Fellow is Annick Bórquez, Ph.D., a research associate in HIV modeling at Imperial College London, United Kingdom. She will conduct a mathematical modeling study to investigate the impact of changes in Mexican drug policies on the HIV epidemic among people who inject drugs in Tijuana. A Mexican citizen, Dr. Bórquez will join that country’s Centro Nacional para la prevencion y el Control del VIH/SIDA (CENSIDA) upon completion of her NIDA fellowship. Her fellowship mentor is Natasha K. Martin, D.Phil., University of California, San Diego.
NIDA Supports Two Participants in Dutch Summer Institute on Alcohol, Drugs, and Addiction
The NIDA International Program provided full tuition scholarships to researchers from California and Maryland to participate in the 2015 Dutch Summer Institute on Alcohol, Drugs, and Addiction. Michael Lebsack-Coleman is a Ph.D. candidate at Claremont Graduate University, working to develop a brief intervention based on the theory of planned behavior targeting adolescents using alcohol and marijuana. He has worked on drug abuse research projects at the Tarzana Treatment Center, University of California, Los Angeles, and Loyola Marymount University. Andrew Ninnemann is a therapist and Ph.D. candidate at the University of Maryland, where he is studying risk factors for the initiation and progression of cigarette smoking and the use of novel psychoactive substances. He also has worked on substance abuse research projects at Brown University. The multidisciplinary summer training program in addiction research was held July 5–17, 2015, at the University of Amsterdam. Graduate and postdoctoral students joined addiction professionals to learn about the intersection of policy models, prevention, and evidence-based treatment and ways to bridge the gap between research and practice. Dennis McCarty, Ph.D., Oregon Health & Science University, is academic director of the Dutch Summer Institute.
CICAD Issues Report on Drug Use Trends in the Americas
A new report issued by the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) at the Organization of American States found wide differences in drug use patterns among countries, high levels of drug use among adolescents, very low levels of perceived risks for drug use, and easy access to drugs. Use of heroin and new psychoactive substances are increasing throughout the region. The Report on Drug Use in the Americas 2015 compiles reports submitted by member states based on research conducted by the region’s National Observatories on Drugs and the Latin American drug research network Red Latinamericano de Investigaciones en Drogas (REDLA). The report is available online here.
University of Adelaide Offers Free Online Course About Addiction Treatment
The University of Adelaide has created a free, 5-week online course that explains the biological basis of chronic drug use and addiction and describes treatment options such as pharmacotherapy, psychosocial interventions, and life skills. The course, which begins October 8, 2015, is designed for health care professionals and policymakers, particularly those in low- or middle-income countries. More information is available here.