NIDA, Inserm Renew Binational Agreement and Focus on Postdoctoral Fellowships at NeuroFrance 2017
NIDA-Inserm Drug Abuse Research Postdoctoral Fellows and officials from both institutes gathered at NeuroFrance 2017. Front row, from left: Fellows Celine Nicolas, Yann Pelloux, and Andrew Scheyer with Mireille Guyader, head of the Inserm-USA office in Washington, DC. Back row, from left: Odette Tomescu-Hatto, head of the Inserm International Relations Office; NIDA International Program Director Steven Gust; and Etienne Hirsch, director of the Inserm Thematic Institute on Neurosciences, Neurology, Cognitive Sciences and Psychiatry.
NIDA and the French Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (Inserm) co-hosted a workshop May 17 during the NeuroFrance 2017 meeting in Bordeaux, France, to renew the NIDA-Inserm Binational Agreement and discuss the jointly sponsored postdoctoral drug abuse research fellowships for U.S. and French scientists. The NIDA-Inserm Postdoctoral Drug Abuse Research Fellowships provide 6 to 12 months of rigorous postdoctoral research training in the United States (for French applicants) or France (for U.S. applicants) and are renewable once. NIDA International Program Director Steven W. Gust, Ph.D., signed the agreement on behalf of NIDA Director Nora Volkow, M.D., and led the U.S. discussions. The NIDA-Inserm Postdoctoral Drug Abuse Research Fellows described their fellowship research experiences:
- Celine Nicolas, Ph.D., whose mentor is NIDA Intramural Research Program Senior Investigator Satoshi Ikemoto, Ph.D.
- Yann Pelloux, Ph.D., who spent his fellowship working with NIDA Intramural Research Program Senior Investigator Yavin Shaham, Ph.D.
- Andrew F. Scheyer, Ph.D., who has been working with former NIDA INVEST Fellow Olivier Manzoni, Ph.D., Institut de neurobiologie de la méditerranée, in Marseille, France.
French speakers in the fellowships meeting included Odette Tomescu-Hatto, Ph.D., director of the Inserm Office for International Relations; Corinne Alberti, M.D., director of the Inserm Thematic Institute on Public Health; Etienne Hirsch, Ph.D., director of the Inserm Thematic Institute on Neurosciences, Cognitive Science, Neurology and Psychiatry; and Mireille Guyader, Ph.D., Inserm representative in the United States. NIDA grantees Benjamin Cravatt, Ph.D., the Scripps Research Institute, and Ken Mackie, M.D., Indiana University, also participated in the fellowships meeting and spoke at the NIDA-Inserm symposium on cannabinoids and cannabis during the NeuroFrance 2017 meeting. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) Director George Koob, Ph.D., chaired the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-Inserm special symposium on reducing the burden of harmful alcohol use. Dr. Gust and NIAAA International Program Officer Peggy Murray participated in a panel discussion on funding mechanisms for public health research during the NIH-Inserm symposium.
NIDA Humphrey Fellows Meet With Uruguay’s Ambassador to the United States
The 2016–2017 NIDA Hubert H. Humphrey Drug Abuse Research Fellows discussed tobacco regulation with Uruguay’s ambassador to the United States, Hon. Carlos Gianelli, and the embassy’s legal advisor, Marianela Bruno, during the officials’ visit to Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in April. Current NIDA Humphrey Fellow Elisa Cabrera invited the pair to discuss her country’s efforts to prevent tobacco use and its legal strategy to make international corporations subject to public health regulations. Ms. Cabrera wrote about the visit on the VCU website
. Front row, from left: Nazish Yousaf, Pakistan; Gulnar Magauina, Kazakhstan; Allison Breland, VCU; Ms. Bruno; Ms. Cabrera; Ambassador Gianelli; and Salman Shahzad, Pakistan. Back row, from left: J. Randy Koch, VCU; Igor Salvatierra, Bolivia; Olajumoke “Jummy” Koyejo, Nigeria; Samuel Cudjoe Hanu, Ghana; and Gilbert Habonimana, Burundi.
Record Number of International Events During National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week 2017
Events coordinated by current and former NIDA Hubert H. Humphrey Drug Abuse Research Fellows contributed to the record number of events held around the world during the 2017 NIDA and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week (NDAFW). There was at least one event in each of the 50 U.S. states and in 17 countries. Participants represented countries of every size and income level, with more than 125 events held in Mexico and more than 50 in Burma (Myanmar). The international health information program supports locally planned and hosted school and community events that provide teens with scientific facts about drugs and alcohol. These local events use NIDA and NIAAA evidence—and free, downloadable materials—to counteract the myths about drugs and alcohol that teens get from the Internet, social media, TV, movies, music, or friends.
In Burma (Myanmar), former NIDA Humphrey Fellow Yu Yu Aung, M.B.B.S., M.P.H., used both social and traditional media to promote 51 school and community programs staffed by youth volunteers and supported by national and regional government agencies, UNICEF, media outlets, and community youth groups. Current NIDA Humphrey Fellow Salman Shahzad, Ph.D., organized 3 days of events in rural Pakistan, including poster contests and lectures. Former NIDA Humphrey Fellow Valeriy Ryabukha, Ukraine, hosted 25 events and trained 50 substance abuse prevention trainers for 25 schools in the city of Chernihiv. In Mexico, former NIDA Humphrey Fellow Mariana Azcárraga, M.D., organized several NDAFW events in Mexico City, including participating in the online Chat Day, where high schools can register to have students submit questions to National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists. The 52 high schools that participated in Chat Day 2017 submitted nearly 10,000 questions to 60 scientists from NIDA, NIAAA, the National Institute of Mental Health, and other NIH Institutes. Other countries that organized NDAFW events included Cayman Islands, Colombia, Ghana, India, Italy, Kenya, Mariana Islands, Nigeria, South Africa, St. Maarten, United Kingdom, and Zimbabwe.
The 2018 event will be held January 22–28, 2018. For more information, see the NDAFW online guide.
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2016–2017 NIDA Humphrey Fellows Complete Their Studies
The 2016–2017 NIDA Hubert H. Humphrey Drug Abuse Fellows celebrated the conclusion of their academic studies during an April 30 ceremony at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). The VCU Humphrey Program Coordinator, J. Randy Koch, Ph.D., welcomed the fellows and guests. Samuel Cudjoe Hanu, M.Sc., Ghana, spoke on behalf of the fellows. Invited speakers included U.S. Department of State Branch Chief for the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program John Sedlins, D.Phil.; VCU College of Humanities and Sciences Dean Montserrat Fuentes, Ph.D.; and Institute of International Education Assistant Director of the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program Amy Nemith.
Updates From Former NIDA Humphrey Fellows
Three former NIDA Hubert H. Humphrey Drug Abuse Fellows have reported on their recent accomplishments in implementing an online substance abuse prevention program in Brazil, organizing a youth leadership conference in Pakistan, and administering a government agency responsible for drug abuse issues in Vietnam.
- Humphrey Fellowship Alumni Impact Award for Prevention Campaign
Former NIDA Hubert H. Humphrey Drug Abuse Research Fellow Claudemir dos Santos (2012–2013, Brazil) received a Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Alumni Impact Award in 2016. He used the grant to develop a web-based substance abuse prevention program. Watch the introductory video here. The Humphrey Alumni Impact Awards, co-funded by the Humphrey Fellowship Program and the Institute of International Education Fulbright Legacy Funds, provide up to $10,000USD to alumni to implement a project in their home country or region.
- Pakistan Youth Congress Trains Future Leaders
Former NIDA Hubert H. Humphrey Drug Abuse Research Fellow Farheen Naveed (2014–2015, Pakistan) chaired the Drug Free Pakistan Foundation Pakistan Youth Congress in January 2017. The annual conference is one of the biggest youth development projects for Pakistani youth aged 18 to 27. More than 300 participants participated in plenary sessions, workshops, and skill development sessions designed to train leaders in project planning and implementation, using technology to promote peace, and developing resilience, self esteem, and communication skills to counteract conflict and violence.
Virginia Commonwealth University Humphrey Program Associate Coordinator Robert Balster, Ph.D., met with former NIDA Humphrey Fellow Duc Cuu Nguyen during a visit to Vietnam.
- Former Humphrey Fellow Now Senior Government Official in Vietnam
Former NIDA Hubert H. Humphrey Drug Abuse Research Fellow Duc Cuu Nguyen (2006–2007, Vietnam), right, is deputy director general of the Department of Science, Education, Culture and Social Affairs in the government of Vietnam. He works on many health issues, including problems of drug abuse and the continuing consequences of Agent Orange exposure during the Vietnam American War. Mr. Duc met with Dr. Robert Balster, one of the Virginia Commonwealth University Humphrey Program coordinators, during Dr. Balster’s recent trip to Vietnam. The two discussed mutual interests in public health topics for their countries, and Mr. Duc credited his participation in the Humphrey Program for helping him rise to his current senior position.
2017 NIDA International Forum
Register On Site!
Did you miss the registration deadline for the 2017 NIDA International Forum? Don’t worry: register onsite beginning at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, June 16. The NIDA International Program and the Canadian Center on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) will cosponsor the meeting. Friday sessions will focus on the Drug Flows Research Consortium, the International Society of Addiction Journal Editors workshop on preparing research for publication, and drug education and training opportunities. The Saturday, June 17, plenary sessions will feature marijuana research issues, the global emergence of kratom, and international perspectives on research into HIV and substance use disorders. A poster session on Monday, June 19, will highlight addiction research conducted around the world.
InWomen’s Group Announces Agenda and Travel Awards, Seeks Additions to Annotated Bibliography
View Agenda and Register Online
The International Women’s and Children’s Health and Gender (InWomen’s) Group has announced the agenda and travel awards for the 10th Annual InWomen’s Conference. The meeting will be held June 16, 2017, in Montréal, Canada, with a special 10th anniversary celebration that evening. InWomen’s presented travel awards to 21 researchers from 11 nations, with a large majority of presenters focusing on global research outside of the United States. The travel awards are funded by donations from individuals and organizations to support new investigators. This year’s panel sessions will focus on prenatal alcohol and cannabis use, and substance use disorder in women and families.
The group, which focuses on substance use among women and children and gender issues from around the world, also is accepting new submissions for its annotated bibliography titled Key Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Articles Focused on Women’s Issues From Around the World. The review committee will consider articles that have a treatment or prevention component and focus on substance use among women, children, youth, and LGBT individuals, or gender differences. Contributors may submit their own or other articles published since May 2016 here.
The InWomen’s Conference is held immediately before the NIDA International Forum and the College on Problems of Drug Dependence Annual Scientific Meeting. The conference fee is $150 for registrants from high- or middle-income countries and $75 for students and registrants from low-income countries.
Regional Conference Addressed Addiction and Mental Health Issues in Africa and the Middle East
The 4th Africa and Middle East Congress on Addiction (AMECA) took place in Monastir, Tunisia, December 1–4, 2016. The conference focused on a wide range of scientific and clinical issues related to trauma, life adversity, addiction, and mental health problems in the region. Training workshops addressed the neuroscience of stress, assessment, treatment, methods and strategies for conducting research in the region, opportunities for collaboration, and research ethics. The Africa Regional Committee and the International Brain Research Organization provided support for the meeting, which was organized by AMECA; the University of Minnesota Khat Research Program; Monastir University, Medical School, and University Hospital; the Arabic Network for Behavioral Medicine; Tunisian National Office of Family and Population; and Order of the Physicians, the Regional Council of the Center. NIDA grantee Mustafa al’Absi, Ph.D., chairs the scientific committee. Dr. al’Absi directs the Khat Research Program and the Duluth Medical Research Institute at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Dr. Sana El Mhamdi, Monastir University, chaired the local organizing committee.