NIDA Humphrey Fellow Testifies Before UNGASS Panel
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, left, welcomes NIDA Hubert H. Humphrey Drug Abuse Research Fellow Asia Ashraf, Pakistan, to the Informal Interactive Stakeholder Consultation on the World Drug Problem.
NIDA Hubert H. Humphrey Drug Abuse Research Fellow Asia Ashraf, Pakistan, spoke during the opening session of the United Nations Informal Interactive Stakeholder Consultation held before the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS). Calling her topic “a rather neglected area of drug abuse in many parts of the world,” Ms. Ashraf described how drug use among women is rising and underreported. She cited a United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime estimate that 22% of Pakistani drug users are women, and described how the lack of expertise and female-friendly services combine with concerns about social stigma, family reputation, marital risk, and cultural constraints to deprive women of evidence-based treatment for addiction. Ms. Ashraf added that she is using her NIDA Hubert H. Humphrey Drug Abuse Research Fellowship to gain knowledge and skills to treat female drug users, and announced that her organization will establish a separate female drug treatment facility in Pakistan. She challenged UNGASS participants to accept the global responsibility of preventing and treating drug abuse. Ms. Ashraf is director of rehabilitation and head of the Psychology Department at the Sunny Trust International Addiction Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre in Islamabad.
Videocasts Available for the NIH Marijuana and Cannabinoids Neuroscience Research Summit
Marijuana and Cannabinoids: A Neuroscience Research Summit was convened by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to focus on the neurological and psychiatric effects of marijuana, other cannabinoids, and the endocannabinoid system. Both the adverse and the potential therapeutic effects of the cannabinoid system were discussed. The goal of this summit was to make evidence-based information available to inform practice and policy, particularly important at this time given the rapidly shifting landscape regarding the recreational and medicinal use of marijuana. The March 22–23, 2016, meeting was sponsored by several NIH Institutes, including NIDA, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. For more information about the Summit and to access the agenda, please visit: http://apps1.seiservices.com/nih/mj/2016/Default.aspx.
If you did not have a chance to participate or would like to watch Marijuana and Cannabinoids: A Neuroscience Research Summit again, you can do so by viewing the archived videos:
Day 1: https://videocast.nih.gov/summary.asp?Live=18464&bhcp=1
Day 2: https://videocast.nih.gov/summary.asp?Live=18468&bhcp=1.
Iranian Co-Editor Calls Neuroscience Publication “Tangible Output” of NIDA International Program
More than 120 contributors from 14 nations have published two volumes in Progress in Brain Research (2016, volumes 223 and 224) that review the neuroscience of addiction. The reports emphasize how neuroscience methods and interventions can be used in clinical practice and identify research gaps and clinical practice needs. The project was co-edited by Martin Paulus, M.D., Laureate Institute for Brain Research in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Hamed Ekhtiari, M.D., Ph.D., Iranian National Center for Addiction Studies in Tehran. Dr. Ekhtiari calls the work “a tangible output of the NIDA International Program … that brings mutual understanding, collaborations, and respect between U.S. scientists and the international community of addiction medicine.” NIDA staff members who contributed to the volumes include Director Nora D. Volkow, M.D., and Intramural Research Program staff Jean Lud Cadet, Daniele Caprioli, Lorenzo Leggio, Vani Pariyadath, Yavin Shaham, and Elliot A. Stein.
CPDD International Committee Awards Support Researchers Attending NIDA International Forum and CPDD Meetings
Researchers from Iran and Peru have been selected to receive the 2016 CPDD International Committee Travel Awards. NIDA, the World Health Organization, the University of Miami, and the College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) support the award for drug abuse-related public health researchers from low- or middle-income countries to participate in the NIDA International Forum, the CPDD Annual Scientific Meeting, and associated research training activities. As part of the award, NIDA and University of Miami funds support a research visit to a U.S.-based research institution. The 2016 awardees are:
- Former NIDA INVEST/CTN Fellow Effat Merghati Khoei, Ph.D., Iran, will visit Richard Rawson, Ph.D., Integrated Substance Abuse Program, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Dr. Merghati Khoei’s work focuses on gender issues in addiction. During her research visit, she will learn about behavioral and medical addiction treatment programs offered at UCLA and program development and evaluation. She hopes to develop cross-cultural comparative studies of treatment interventions. Dr. Merghati Khoei directs the sexual health clinic at the Iranian National Centre of Addiction in Tehran.
- Javier Ponce Terashima, M.D., Peru, will visit Dr. James Sorenson, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Dr. Ponce Terashima will learn about the NIDA Clinical Trials Network and participate in the summer intensive session of the UCSF Learning for Early Careers in Addiction and Diversity Program. He also will continue collaborating with Drs. Dennis McCarty and John Muench at Oregon Health & Science University on developing a cannabis use registry. Dr. Ponce Terashima is the founder and executive director of the International Center for Advanced Research and Applied Science in Lima.
Brazilian Researchers Establish Forum, CPDD Travel Award
Silvia Bassani Schuch, M.D., Brazil, has been awarded the first James Inciardi Award for Young Investigators.
The James Inciardi Award for Young Investigators provides air travel to the NIDA International Forum and College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) meetings for a young investigator from the Center for Drug and Alcohol Research at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Silvia Bassani Schuch, M.D., has received the first award for her NIDA International Forum poster presentation, “Accumbens volumes are reduced among crack cocaine users.” Carl G. Leukefeld, University of Kentucky, chaired the 2016 selection committee. The award was established in 2015 through an annual donation from Dr. Catia Olivier Mello and the Brazilian center’s director, 1993–1994 NIDA Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow Flavio Pechansky, M.D., Ph.D. Drs. Mello and Pechansky created the award in memory of the late James A. Inciardi, University of Delaware. “Dr. Inciardi was the main catalyst of the center along 18 years of intense collaboration,” said Dr. Pechansky. “The award is a tribute to the spirit of encouragement of Prof. Inciardi—in particular to young talents—and aims at stimulating young investigators of our center to develop their professional careers through contact with one of the main world events in the field—CPDD and its satellite meetings.”
2016 NIDA International Forum Online Registration Closes May 2
La Quinta Hotel
Online Meeting Registration Closes May 2, 2016 (onsite registration will be available)
Visa Letters Issued February 29–May 16, 2016
Following new procedures, the meeting registration site for the 2016 NIDA International Forum will open February 29, after travel award notifications are sent. The change in procedures means that applicants will know before they register for the meeting whether their abstract has been accepted for poster presentation and if they have been selected to receive a travel award. For participants who require a formal letter of invitation to the 2016 meeting in order to obtain a U.S. visa, the NIDA International Program will issue the letters only between February 29 and May 16, 2016. Requests will require 7 business days to process.
Register Online for InWomen’s 2016 Conference
Friday, June 10, 2016, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (Pacific Time)
La Quinta Hotel, Palm Springs, California
For more information, contact InWomen’s Chair Wendee Wechsberg, Ph.D., at firstname.lastname@example.org.*
Online registration is open for the 2016 International Women’s and Children’s Health and Gender Group (InWomen’s) conference. The meeting will feature panel discussions, a poster session, and discussion tables. The two panel discussion topics are: (1) Common Global Themes on Stigmatization and Victimization of Women Substance Users Through a Culturally Relevant Lens; and (2) Young Women, Adolescents, and Transgender Individuals. Participants may choose from discussion tables on eight topics focused on gender and substance abuse issues in violence, structural interventions, HIV, professional development, implementation, the LGBTQ community, pregnant women, prescription opiate use, and modified tobacco use. The conference fee is $150 for registrants from high- or middle-income countries and $75 for students and registrants from low-income countries.