NIDA International Forum Focuses on Marijuana Policies, Interventions, and Research Needs
Scenes from the 2017 NIDA International Forum, from top left: Plenary session speakers Amy Porath, CCSA, NIDA International Program Director Steve Gust, and Doug Beirness, CCSA; CPDD International Committee Chair Clyde McCoy presents an award from the committee to Dr. Gust; and Dr. Gust with Charlotte Sessions, U.S. Department of State, and Riva Setiawan, ISSUP.
More than 200 participants from 46 nations attended the 22nd Annual National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) International Forum, held June 16–19, 2017, in Montréal, Canada. International Program Director Steven W. Gust, Ph.D., chaired the meeting, which was cosponsored by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA). A joint NIDA International Forum/College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) poster session featured presentations on international research conducted by 140 scientists from the United States and 42 other countries. Plenary sessions addressed drug-related HIV/AIDS; kratom use; and marijuana policies, interventions, and research needs. Breakout sessions focused on preparing international research for publication, education and training opportunities, and conducting drug flows research using smartphone research applications to collect data that meet common core research standards.
Welcoming participants to Canada, CCSA Executive Director Rita Notarandrea described her organization’s efforts to provide evidence for coordinated Canadian action on substance use issues, particularly cannabis policy decisions and drugged driving regulation. She reported that the economic and social cost of collisions attributed to cannabis use was more than $1 billion CND in 2012. Dr. Notarandrea described CCSA partnerships with NIDA, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and university, government, and civic organizations in British Columbia. CPDD International Committee Chair Clyde McCoy, M.D., University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, reported that the committee’s survey of fellowship utilization found genuine interest in international research collaboration. The biggest barrier to international research fellowships seems to be a lack of applicants, not an institutional or researcher bias against international collaboration. Dr. McCoy surprised Dr. Gust with an award from the CPDD International Committee in appreciation of his more than 30 years of service at NIDA, 18 of them as director of the NIDA International Program. Dr. McCoy also introduced the 2017 CPDD International Traveling Fellow, Effat Merghati Khoei, Ph.D., Iran, and her research visit host, Bruna Brands, Ph.D., Health Canada.
More details about the 2017 NIDA International Forum are available online:
Inserm Funds Joint Cannabis Research Program With University of Indiana and Former NIDA INVEST Fellow
Inserm has funded a joint research program between Olivier Manzoni, Ph.D., director of research at the Inserm Institut de Neurobiologie de la Méditerranée, and Ken Mackie, M.D., professor of psychological and brain sciences, Indiana University. Dr. Manzoni was a 1997 NIDA INVEST Fellow and the mentor for NIDA-Inserm Fellow Andrew Scheyer, Ph.D. Dr. Mackie has several NIDA grants investigating the cannabinoid system. The two have collaborated for several years—sharing resources, reagents, and techniques—and jointly authored peer-reviewed research articles. The French-U.S. team hopes to define new structural, molecular, and functional synaptic substrates of the sex-specific effects of adolescent cannabis use on behavior. They plan experiments to (1) characterize the normal development of the endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS) in the mesocortico-limbic system of male and female rodents; (2) establish the sex and age-specific molecular and anatomical substrates of ECS development and how they are affected by adolescent exposure to Δ9-THC; and (3) determine the sex-specific behavioral and synaptic consequences of THC exposure during critical periods of adolescence. In addition, the team plans student and postdoctoral research exchanges.
CPDD International Committee Presents Award for Best Poster at International Research Poster Session
Judges congratulate Petal Peterson Williams, South Africa, for her award for the Best International Research Poster at the joint NIDA International Forum/CPDD International Research Poster Session. Pictured from left are Renee Goodwin, Columbia University; Clyde McCoy, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; Dr. Williams; Steven W. Gust, NIDA International Program; and Linda Cottler, University of Florida.
Petal Peterson Williams received the 2017 College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) International Committee Award for Best International Research Poster for her presentation, “Predictors of Risk of Illicit Drug Use During Pregnancy Among Women Attending Midwife Obstetric Units in the Cape Metropole, South Africa.” She will receive 3 nights’ accommodation at the CPDD conference hotel in her choice of 2018 or 2019. The two semifinalists were Mohammad Muslim of Indonesia for his poster, “HPTN 074: Spatial Accessibility to ART Care Among People Who Inject Drugs in Jakarta,” and Bronwyn Myers of South Africa for her presentation, “HIV Prevalence and Linkage to Care Among Trauma-Exposed Substance-Using Women in Cape Town, South Africa.” The CPDD International Committee created the award to encourage scientists from low- and middle-income countries to 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. Suzanne Nielsen, Ph.D., University of New South Wales, Australia, chaired the poster contest subcommittee, soliciting entries, accepting PDF entries, and compiling judges’ evaluations. The subcommittee received 13 entries from 8 low- or middle-income countries, with 2 entries each from researchers in Egypt, Indonesia, Russia, and South Africa.
CPDD International Committee Award Supports Researcher Attending NIDA International Forum and CPDD Meetings
Dr. Bruna Brands, left, hosted CPDD International Committee Traveling Fellow Dr. Effat Merghati Khoei, Iran, for a research visit at the University of Toronto.
Former NIDA INVEST/CTN Fellow Effat Merghati Khoei, Ph.D., Iran, received the 2017 College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) International Committee Travel Award. NIDA, the University of Miami, and 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 research institution. Dr. Merghati Khoei visited Bruna Brands, Ph.D., director of the University of Toronto Collaborative Program in Addiction Studies and senior science advisor to Health Canada. Dr. Merghati Khoei’s work focuses on gender issues in addiction. During her research visit, she learned about Canadian behavioral and medical addiction treatment programs 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.
Save the Date! 2018 NIDA International Forum
Abstract Submission and Travel Award Application Deadline: January 8, 2018
Abstracts and travel award applications for the 2018 NIDA International Forum will be due January 8, 2018. The online abstract submission system will open in early November 2017.
InWomen’s Group Celebrates 10th Anniversary
Members of the InWomen’s planning committee celebrate the 10th anniversary of the conference. Conference Chair Wendee Wechsberg holds a photo album commemorating the event.
The International Women’s and Children’s Health and Gender (InWomen’s) Group held its 10th Annual InWomen’s Conference on June 16, 2017, in Montréal, Canada. More than 85 researchers from 18 countries discussed research findings on the intersections of gender, substance use, and treatment. Thema Bryant-Davis, Ph.D., Pepperdine University, was the keynote speaker. Two panel discussions focused on prenatal alcohol and cannabis use and substance use disorders in women and families. Presentations are available on the InWomen’s Wiki site. Small-group discussions focused on co-occurring mental health conditions in primary care settings; neonatal outcomes with cannabis, opioids, and other drug use; stigma, discrimination, and other factors influencing women’s access to treatment; LGBTQ factors associated with drug use and recovery; substance use, HIV, intimate partner violence, and sex trafficking; gender and culturally sensitive substance use disorder treatment approaches for indigenous populations; and the next decade of substance use research focused on women and families. Nearly 50 researchers presented posters during the meeting. The 2017 Best Poster Award was presented to Natasha Ludwig-Barron for her poster, “Double Vulnerability: A Qualitative Analysis of Experiences of Partner Violence and Barriers to Help-Seeking Among Stimulant-Using Women With Disabilities.” InWomen’s presented travel awards to 19 researchers from 9 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. The meeting ended with a special 10th Anniversary Celebration. The InWomen’s Conference is held immediately before the NIDA International Forum and the College on Problems of Drug Dependence Annual Scientific Meeting, and evolved from breakout sessions at the NIDA International Forum. The next InWomen’s Conference will be held in 2019.
SPR Meeting Features NIDA International Poster Session
NIDA Deputy Director Wilson Compton, left, and Society for Prevention Research (SPR) President Richard F. Catalano welcomed participants to the 10th Annual NIDA International Poster Session at the 2017 SPR meeting.
The 10th Annual NIDA International Poster Session opened the 2017 annual conference of the Society for Prevention Research (SPR), held in Washington, DC. SPR President Richard F. Catalano, Jr., Ph.D., University of Washington, and NIDA Deputy Director Wilson Compton, M.D., M.P.E., welcomed presenters and participants. The international posters highlighted drug and alcohol abuse prevention research featuring U.S. collaborations with prevention researchers from other nations. NIDA provided travel awards to seven researchers: Clarisse Moreira Alo, Arthur de Oliveira Correa, Sheila Giardini Murta, and Luis G. A. Vinha, Brazil; Fabio Bautista-Pérez, El Salvador; Lisa Wegner, South Africa; and Valeriy V. Ryabukha, Ukraine. The poster session was held May 30.
Getting an Early Start, Kenyan NGO Hosts NDAFW Education Program; International Organizations Invited To Register Events for 2018
More than 250 Kenyan high school students used NIDA “Shatter the Myths” booklets to learn the scientific facts about drug and alcohol use during the Kenyan Living Clean Society’s National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week events.
The Kenyan Living Clean Society, a nongovernmental organization (NGO), hosted a drug and alcohol education program on August 1, 2017, which drew on National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week (NDAFW) materials. More than 250 high school students used the “Shatter the Myths” booklets to learn the scientific facts about drug and alcohol use. NIDA and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) invite international substance abuse professionals to host events during the NIDA/NIAAA NDAFW, January 22–28, 2018. 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 from friends. In 2017, drug abuse professionals in 16 nations, many of them former NIDA Hubert H. Humphrey Drug Abuse Research Fellows, held events in conjunction with NDAFW. The first international Chat Day was held in 2017, where a high school in Mexico City joined high schools throughout the United States in submitting online questions about substance abuse to NIDA and NIAAA experts. Other international events included community programs with youth volunteers, school programs, poster contests, lectures, and trainings for health care professionals. For more information, see the NDAFW online guide.
AMECA Symposium Examines Links Between Psychological Trauma, Early Life Adversity, and Addiction
A symposium organized by the Africa and the Middle East Congress on Addiction (AMECA) focused on the impact of exposure to psychological trauma and early life adversity on addictive and related mental health disorders. The symposium also reported on the role of social environmental factors in promoting resiliency and brain plasticity. The meeting was held in Entebbe, Uganda, on June 14, 2017, in collaboration with the Society for Neuroscience in Africa. Mustafa al’Absi, Ph.D., University of Minnesota, chairs the AMECA steering committee and organized the meeting with Sana Mhamdi, M.D., M.P.H., University of Monastir, Tunisia. Presenters included experts from Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Uganda; University of Konstanz, Germany; and Linnaeus University, Sweden. Presenters reviewed recent research programs in Africa and the Middle East examining exposure to the psychological trauma and hardships related to natural disasters, wars, and early life adversities that increases risk for mental and addictive disorders. Presenters also examined behavioral and psychological manifestations of exposure to psychological trauma and early life adversity; discussed clinical and preclinical data; reviewed social, behavioral, and neurobiological factors that promote resiliency; and introduced a proposed model for social and environmental enrichment to help promote resiliency. The symposium is part of a series of scientific functions AMECA is organizing. Additional symposia are being organized in collaboration with the International Society for Addiction Medicine Annual Meeting, which will be held October 26–29, 2017, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
NIDA Selects Four Postdoctoral Fellows
NIDA has awarded postdoctoral fellowships to scientists from France, Spain, and Thailand. The NIDA-supported fellows will work with mentors who are NIDA grantees at the mentors’ institutions in the United States. The fellows are:
NIDA-Inserm Postdoctoral Drug Abuse Research Fellows
- Marine Azevedo Da Silva, Ph.D., a postdoctoral research fellow at the Inserm Pierre Louis Institute for Epidemiology and Public Health in Paris, will spend her fellowship working with Silvia Martins, M.D., Ph.D., Columbia University. At Inserm, Dr. Da Silva has explored the association between the trajectories of socioeconomic status, psychosocial work factors, organizational change, and suicide mortality risk in the électricité de France-Gaz de France (GAZEL) cohort study. At Columbia, she will use data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health to (1) compare changes in marijuana and/or tobacco use, abuse, and dependence in individuals living in states that legalized recreational marijuana (Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington) with contemporaneous changes in states that have not passed recreational marijuana laws; (2) compare pre- and post-legalization changes in marijuana and tobacco use, abuse, and dependence within the states that legalized recreational marijuana; and (3) identify specific effects of recreational marijuana laws on changes in marijuana and tobacco use, abuse, and dependence according to sociodemographic characteristics.
- Anissa Barra, a Ph.D. candidate at the Inserm Institut de Neurobiologie de la Méditerranée, will spend her fellowship working with Yasmin Hurd, Ph.D., Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Ms. Barra is expected to receive her doctorate in December 2017 when she completes a longitudinal study on synaptic transmission and behavior in rats exposed to cannabis. Her Inserm doctoral supervisor mentor is former NIDA INVEST Fellow Olivier Manzoni, who is now director of the Inserm laboratory in Marseille. In New York, Ms. Barra will study the effects of cannabinoid exposure during prenatal and postnatal lactation developmental periods on the transcriptome, epigenetic modifications, and synaptic plasticity in adulthood. She hopes to identify pathway-specific alterations in the striatum related to developmental exposure to THC and cannabidiol.
INVEST Drug Abuse Research Fellows
- Judit Tirado-Muñoz, Ph.D., a postdoctoral researcher at Institut Hospital del Mar d’Investigacions Mèdiques (IMIM) in Spain, has been selected for an INVEST fellowship with Daniel Werb, Ph.D., University of California San Diego. She will conduct a secondary analysis of data from the multi-country, mixed-methods PReventing Injecting by Modifying Existing Responses (PRIMER) study to investigate (1) the potential role of intimate partner violence (IPV) in increasing the risk that people who inject drugs (PWID) initiate others into drug injecting; (2) the potential role of psychiatric comorbidities in heightening the risk that PWID initiate others into drug injecting; (3) whether the association between IPV and injection initiation is mediated by psychiatric comorbidities and, conversely, whether the association between psychiatric comorbidities and injection initiation is mediated by IPV victimization; and (4) how IPV and psychiatric comorbidities influence individual pathways to, and socio-structural context for, entry into injection drug use.
- Darika Saingam, Ph.D., a researcher at the Thai Substance Abuse Academic Network and Centre for Alcohol Studies, Prince of Songkla University, will spend her fellowship with Edward W. Boyer, Ph.D., M.D., Harvard Medical School. Dr. Saingam will conduct a secondary data analysis of (1) the relationship among the use of kratom, alcohol, tobacco, and other substances by regular kratom users; (2) health status of kratom users in southern Thailand; and (3) patterns of kratom use as a substitute for alcohol and other narcotic drugs.
NIDA Humphrey Fellows Begin Studies
Twelve 2017–2018 NIDA Hubert H. Humphrey Drug Abuse Research Fellows from 11 countries have begun their studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. The fellows are:
- Ayesha AlHosani (United Arab Emirates) Ms. AlHosani holds a clinical diploma in psychology from UAE University. She is a health educator at the National Rehabilitation Centre where she runs community campaigns in health education, prevention, and promotion and manages a school-based drug prevention program. As part of earning credentials from the U.S. Department of State-supported International Center for Credentialing and Education of Addiction Professionals, Ms. AlHosani conducted an assessment of adolescents and a qualitative study about factors influencing substance abuse among UAE women. In 2017, Ms. AlHosani joined the Abdulaziz bin Humaid Leadership Program. She is interested in learning about the challenges that different countries face within the substance abuse field and in evidence-based prevention programs that can be adapted for implementation in her country.
- Rabia Hanif (Pakistan) Dr. Hanif is a senior psychologist at the New Horizons Care Center, which provides free treatment and rehabilitation to patients suffering from substance use disorders. She manages the agency’s internship program; conducts patient intakes, screenings, and assessments; provides counseling; and prepares patients’ treatment plans. Dr. Hanif is a United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)-certified national trainer and has served as a national consultant for a UNODC drug awareness campaign. For 3 years, she served as an associate director for the Pakistan Chapter of the International Society of Substance Use Professionals. Dr. Hanif has conducted awareness camps, seminars, and workshops designed to provide knowledge about addiction and reduce the stigma associated with drug abuse. Dr. Hanif also serves as a counselor and motivational speaker for SOS Children’s Village-Karachi. She earned a master’s degree in psychology and a master’s of philosophy in clinical psychology from the University of Karachi. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in psychology, with a specialty in drug addiction. Her goal during the fellowship is to learn new evidence-based treatment approaches that she can incorporate into her practice.
- Chen Shmilo, L.L.M. (Israel) Mr. Shmilo is the director of public policy for the Israeli Medical Association (IMA), where he advises the organization on legal and political issues and advocates for public health policies such as tobacco-free zones and health care accessibility. He is also the coordinator of an IMA task team promoting women in medicine and the IMA public health forum. His career began as a parliamentary advisor to the chairwoman of the largest opposition faction in the 19th Knesset. He initiated and led the Open Democracy Forum to promote governmental transparency and improved legislative processes in Israel. During his Humphrey Fellowship, Mr. Shmilo seeks to gain additional knowledge in public health policy and understand the impacts of health inequalities. He aspires to improve his skills in public speaking, project management, and evidence-based decision-making.
- Martin Agwogie, Ph.D., M.B.A. (Nigeria)
Since 1996, Dr. Agwogie has worked at the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency where he organizes drug abuse prevention programs, psychosocial treatment and rehabilitation of persons with substance use disorders, and collation and analysis of drug treatment data. He also coordinates the agency’s Multi-Media Drug Control Initiative. He is a UNODC-certified Master Trainer on Treatnet and a Universal Treatment Curriculum (UTC) national trainer. Dr. Agwogie is a member of the Nigerian Technical Working Group on Drug Use survey and a member of the International Society of Substance Use Professionals. He holds a doctorate in educational psychology from Ahmadu Bello University, a postgraduate diploma in hospital management from University of Lagos, and, a master’s degree in business administration and human resource management from the National Open University of Nigeria. During his Humphrey Fellowship, Dr. Agwogie seeks to acquire more psychosocial skills for effective drug dependency treatment and relapse prevention as well as improve his knowledge about public health approaches to drug addiction, evidence-based drug abuse prevention, treatment and drug demand reduction policies.
- Shatha Alanbar (Saudi Arabia) Ms. Alanbar is a speech-language pathologist specializing in adult neurogenic speech and language disorders at King Abdelaziz Medical City (National Guard Hospital), which is a main trauma hospital in Saudi Arabia. In addition to her clinical work, Ms. Alanbar advocates for people with aphasia, supports prevention efforts for trauma-induced speech-language disorders, develops support groups for individuals with speech-language problems, develops Arabic diagnostic and assessment tools, educates nurses in speech-language and swallowing pathologies, and promotes safe driving campaigns. Ms. Alanbar is joining the Humphrey Fellowship to improve her clinical and research skills in the speech-language pathology field for use in Saudi Arabia.
- Shibendu Bhattacharjee, M.S. (India) Mr. Bhattacharjee works with children at risk for substance abuse or legal involvement as program manager for the Society for Promotion of Youth and Masses (SPYM) Juvenile Drug De-Addiction Centre. With his team, he has developed standard operating procedures and a pedagogy, which includes an innovative curriculum. One of his most noteworthy achievements has been the development of an on-the-ground facilitator’s training program that is the only one of its kind in India. The SPYM program has received national awards for innovation and research in substance abuse and was named the best childcare institution in India. During his Humphrey Fellowship, Mr. Bhattacharjee hopes to strengthen his knowledge of addiction program best practices, strengthen skills in research and evaluation, and design a countrywide program to train and mentor other human service and education professionals covering substance use prevention, treatment, client rehabilitation, and client re-integration into society.
- Svetla Borisova, M.D. (Bulgaria) Dr. Borisova is a psychiatrist in the addictions unit of Varna University Hospital. She provides services for patients with substance use disorders, focusing on detox therapy and treatment of psychiatric comorbidities. She also provides counseling and leads sessions with patients and their families. During her Humphrey Fellowship, Dr. Borisova hopes to gain professional and academic experience through coursework and research in prevention and treatment of substance use disorders. Her interests include pharmacotherapy and cognitive therapies. She has a special interest in the neurobiological basis of different types of addiction and would like to gain experience in conducting neurocognitive assessments and using neuroimaging methods such as functional magnetic resonance imaging, diffusion tensor imaging, and magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Dr. Borisova seeks to improve the management of substance use disorders, not only in the hospital where she works, but also throughout the city of Varna and the country of Bulgaria. Therefore, she would like to learn more about evidence-based substance abuse prevention and treatment programs and their implementation at the community level.
- Zaira Zambelli Taveira, D.D.S., M.P.H. (Brazil) Dr. Taveira has 13 years of dental experience, including 10 working in indigenous health care. In 2012, she earned a master’s in public health at the University of Brasilia, where she studied telemedicine for indigenous peoples. Dr. Taveira is a social policy analyst in the Special Secretariat of Indigenous Health within Brazil’s Ministry of Health. She provides leadership for 33 professionals who assist her in supporting 23 multidisciplinary teams (250 medical professionals) that provide primary health care to 36,866 people in 202 tribes. With her teams, she monitors and evaluates health care actions for child and maternal health, tuberculosis and leprosy control, HIV/AIDS programs, vaccination programs, food and nutritional surveillance, oral health, mental health, health education, and more. As a Humphrey Fellow, Dr. Taveira wants to advance her knowledge related to indigenous health policy and its management. Her special interests are in control programs, health promotion, and chronic disease prevention. She hopes that her studies in the United States and partnerships with Brazilian programs will help her to design effective and holistic community-oriented programs to reduce mortality and morbidity in indigenous populations in Brazil.
- Zau Ring, M.B.B.S. (Burma [Myanmar]) The People’s Republic of China and the Burma (Myanmar) Ministry of Health have both certified Dr. Zau in malaria control and malaria field management. As a government medical officer, Dr. Zau has been assigned to a state general hospital, a drug dependency treatment hospital, and two remote township health departments where he led both clinical care and public health activities. Since 2011, he has led prevention and control activities for malaria and dengue hemorrhagic fever on the Kachin Statewide Vector Borne Diseases Control Team. He also served as a World Health Organization malaria field project coordinator in 2013–2014. During his Humphrey Fellowship, Dr. Zau hopes to analyze public health policy approaches to delivering universal health coverage and health equity. He wants to develop and institute the most appropriate public health policies and systems, given his country’s limited resources. He also wants to know how to reduce narcotic and psychotropic substance abuse and to manage emergency response and resettlement for conflict-affected people.
- André Kiepper, M.P.H. (Brazil) Mr. Kiepper is a health manager and institutional development analyst at the Ministry of Health Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, where he is a member of the Institutional Program Working Group on Crack, Alcohol and Other Drugs. Throughout 2014, Mr. Kiepper led four national electronic petitions to the federal senate related to drug problems. This resulted in eight public hearings and a legislative proposal, submitted to the Commission on Human Rights and Participative Legislation, to reform Brazilian drug policy. From 2008 to 2012, Mr. Kiepper worked at the Rio de Janeiro Transit Department, where he gained experience on a sobriety checkpoint program. During his fellowship, he will focus on the impacts of drug reform policies and the cross-cultural perspectives that influence both Brazilian and American health care systems.
- Tran Hoang Huyen Tram, M.S. (Vietnam) Ms. Tram is deputy director of the department of science and technology and social debating advisor at the Haiphong Union of Science and Technology Associations, where she contributes to addiction policy matters and advocates for addiction treatment. In 2015, Ms. Tram served on a pilot project on medication-assisted recovery support services, which has since expanded to other cities in Vietnam. She is a national master trainer for the Universal Treatment Curriculum sponsored by the International Centre for Credentialing and Education of Addiction Professionals. Ms. Tram’s goals are to improve drug abuse control, holistic health care policy, and health systems. During the Humphrey Fellowship Program, she plans to learn about public and private health care systems, including system financing and human resources management.
- Alireza Bayat (Iran) works for the Iranian National Center of Addiction Studies (INCAS) and has worked closely with the Sexual Health Group at the Tehran University of Medical Sciences to research and coordinate the delivery of sexual health services for vulnerable groups, especially drug users and LGBT individuals. He has overseen substance abuse training, counseling, and program coordination in the sexual health group and has developed and implemented a community-based skill-building approach to reduce sexual risk behaviors for men and women with substance abuse disorders. Mr. Bayat also has experience in HIV/AIDS prevention. Mr. Bayat’s objective is to increase the quality of life related to sexuality in his country.
NIDA Awards Tuition Waivers for Two Researchers Attending Dutch Summer Institute on Alcohol, Drugs, and Addiction
The NIDA International Program provided full-tuition scholarships to researchers from Arizona State University (ASU) and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) to participate in the 2017 Dutch Summer Institute on Alcohol, Drugs, and Addiction. Jenna Rudo-Stern, a Ph.D. candidate at ASU, researches, implements, and trains others in the use of a family-focused, youth drug abuse prevention program, the Family Check-Up. She hopes to focus her research career on identifying and addressing barriers to implementing evidence-based programs for promoting public health. Joanna Sells is a Ph.D. candidate at USUSH, where she conducts National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism research on using mobile devices to develop cognitive-based treatments to prevent and reduce substance misuse. She researched and analyzed factors in the current U.S. opioid epidemic at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and teaches a USUSH medical school course on the politics of developing publicly funded harm reduction strategies. The multidisciplinary summer training program in addiction research was held July 9–21, 2017, at the University of Amsterdam. Participants included graduate and postdoctoral students, physicians, outreach workers, and program administrators. They 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. Kristen G. Anderson, Ph.D., Reed College, is academic director of the Dutch Summer Institute. The deadline for 2018 applications is April 15, 2018. More information is available here.