University of Amsterdam Honors NIDA Director
NIDA Director Nora D. Volkow, M.D., received an honorary doctorate from the University of Amsterdam (UvA) as part of the university’s 386th birthday celebration on January 8, 2018. Dr. Volkow was honored for her “pioneering work in demonstrating that drug addiction is a treatable disease of the brain.” Wim van den Brink, M.D., Ph.D., UvA professor of clinical epidemiology, presented the degree. Dr. Volkow also participated in a January 9 public symposium on addiction as a brain disease. Dr. Volkow debated whether addiction is a brain disease or learned behavior with Marc Lewis, Ph.D., of Radboud University in The Netherlands. The two then joined a discussion panel of experts. Dr. van den Brink chaired the symposium, which was organized by the UvA Amsterdam Brain and Cognition Centre.
Fogarty International Center Announces Funding Opportunity for Health Professional Research Education Programs in Africa
Letter of Intent Due: February 28, 2018
Application Deadline: March 28, 2018
The National Institutes of Health Fogarty International Center has announced an R25 grant program, the Health-Professional Education Partnership Initiative (HEPI). The program is designed to improve biomedical, behavioral or clinical research, and health care service training in the countries of Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Creative educational activities should focus primarily on courses for skills development, research experiences, mentoring activities, curriculum or methods development, and outreach. Applicants are required to develop partnerships with at least one additional health professional institution within their country, and are encouraged to partner with other African, U.S., or international institutions as well as other schools or departments within their own institutions. For more information about the HEPI program and the funding opportunity announcement RFA-TW-17-001, click here.
Save the Date! 2018 NIDA International Forum
Abstract Submission and Travel Award Application Deadline: Extended to January 29, 2018
The deadline for abstract submissions and travel award applications for the 2018 NIDA International Forum has been extended to January 29, 2018. Online registration for the meeting opens February 26, 2018.
Register Now! Don’t Miss Drug and Alcohol Facts Week, January 22–28, 2018
Substance abuse professionals around the world are invited to host drug and alcohol education programs as part of National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week (NDAFW), which will be held January 22–28, 2018. NIDA and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) cosponsor the international health information program that supports locally planned and hosted school and community events to 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. International schools are also invited to participate in Chat Day, where students in registered high schools may submit online questions about substance abuse to NIDA and NIAAA experts. Other international events include community programs with youth volunteers, school programs, poster contests, lectures, and trainings for health care professionals. For more information, see the NDAFW online guide.
NIDA Humphrey Fellows Participate in ISSUP Meeting
NIDA Humphrey Fellows who participated in ISSUP-3 include, from left: Ayesha Svetla Borisova, Bulgaria; Shibendu Bhattacharjee, India; Tran Hoang Huyen Tram, Vietnam; Martin Agwogie, Nigeria; Rabia Hanif, Pakistan; and André Kiepper, Brazil.
NIDA Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows from Virginia Commonwealth University participated in the Third Annual Meeting of the International Society of Substance Use Professionals (ISSUP). More than 3,000 participants attended the meeting for drug treatment and prevention professionals. ISSUP-3 was cosponsored by Centros de Integración Juvenil (CIJ) and the World Association on Dual Disorders in conjunction with the 19th International Congress on Addictions, which was held December 6–8, 2017, in Cancun, Mexico. During the meetings, several organizations offered training courses, including the African Union, Colombo Plan, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission, Mexico’s Comisión Nacional contra las Adicciones (CONADIC), Pan-American Health Organization, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the U.S. Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, and World Health Organization.
EMCDDA Honors NIDA-Supported Research at Lisbon Addictions Conference
An article written by NIDA grantees and a former NIDA International Fellow received the 2017 European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) Scientific Award. The award honors peer-reviewed publications that enhance understanding of the European drug problem through innovative, high-quality research. The authors presented the paper during the Second European Conference on Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies, which was held October 24–26, 2017, in Lisbon, Portugal. The Lancet article elucidates the links between incarceration and transmission of HIV, hepatitis C, and tuberculosis in Eastern Europe and Central Asian countries. The authors’ models predict that between 28% and 55% of all new HIV infections and 75% of incident tuberculosis cases over the next 15 years will be attributable to heightened HIV transmission risk among currently or previously incarcerated people who inject drugs in the region. NIDA grantee Frederick L. Altice, Yale University, was the lead author. Coauthors include former NIDA INVEST/CTN and Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow Sergei Dvoriak, Ukrainian Institute on Public Health Policy, and NIDA grantees Faye S. Taxman, George Mason University; Nabila El-Bassel, Columbia University; Natasha Martin, University of California, San Diego; and Robert Booth, University of Colorado. The article, titled “The Perfect Storm: Incarceration and the High-Risk Environment Perpetuating Transmission of HIV, Hepatitis C Virus, and Tuberculosis in Eastern Europe and Central Asia,” appeared in the September 17, 2016, issue of Lancet, volume 388, issue 10050, pages 1228–48.
During the conference, NIDA Health Scientist Administrator Moira O’Brien, Division of Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Research, chaired a session on the role of the opioid addiction epidemic on nonmedical use of prescription drugs and the emergence of novel synthetic opioids. Several former NIDA fellows spoke during conference sessions. Former NIDA Humphrey Fellow Jallal Toufiq, M.D., director of the Moroccan National Observatory on Drugs and Addiction, discussed science policy during the plenary session and also spoke during a session on the legal, social, and economic factors that affect prevalence of alcohol, tobacco, and drug use among school-aged children in the Mediterranean region. Former NIDA U.S.–Mexico Drug Abuse Prevention Fellow Annick Borquez spoke in two sessions about HIV incidence and prevalence in Mexico. One presentation focused on the impact of Mexican drug law reforms; the second, on the impact of providing HIV treatment and opioid agonist therapy in prison. Former NIDA INVEST Fellow Jan Klimas, Ireland, discussed a systematic review and meta-analysis of alcohol withdrawal among adults and presented a poster on the British Columbia University addiction clinician scientist research fellowship. Former NIDA Humphrey Fellow Roman Gabrhelik, Czech Republic, reviewed data about stimulant use in five European Union countries and presented a poster on a systematic review of Internet addiction prevention interventions. Former NIDA Humphrey Fellow Tomas Zabransky, Czech Republic, discussed developments in drug policy. Former NIDA Distinguished International Scientist Irma Kirtadze, Georgia, presented a poster on a cost-benefit analysis of medication-assisted treatment and needle syringe programs. Former NIDA INVEST/Clinical Trials Network Fellow Effat Merghati Khoei, Iran, presented a poster about a clinical trial of group therapy for people receiving methadone maintenance treatment.
NIDA Cosponsors International Symposium on Drugged Driving at EMCDDA
NIDA International Program Director Steven W. Gust, Ph.D., co-chaired the Third International Symposium on Drug-Impaired Driving, which was held in Lisbon, Portugal, on October 23, 2017. The prevalence of drug-impaired driving has begun to rival that of alcohol-impaired driving in some parts of the world, resulting in a greater focus on the ability to detect drug-impaired drivers using roadside screening tools and efforts to establish “per se” limits for drug use. The session brought together key stakeholders who have advanced the field to share the latest developments in drug screening, testing, and detection; review regulatory models; present new research; and identify knowledge gaps. Dr. Gust also chaired a session on the implications of cannabis policy changes on impaired driving. U.S. speakers at the symposium included Richard Compton, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; Darrin Grondel, Washington State Traffic Safety Commission and secretary of the Governors Highway Safety Commission; and Glenn Davis, Colorado Department of Transportation. The symposium was a collaborative effort between the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA), the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), the New Zealand Drug Foundation, and the NIDA International Program. It was held immediately prior to the Second European Conference on Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies.
NIDA Supports ISAM Conference
NIDA staff and former fellows spoke during the International Society of Addiction Medicine (ISAM) Annual Conference, which was held October 26–29, 2017, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Ivan Montoya, M.P.H., M.D., acting director of the NIDA Division of Therapeutics and Medical Consequences, spoke at a plenary session on new frontiers in addiction and on a panel about opioid use disorder treatment. NIDA International Program Director Steven W. Gust, Ph.D., chaired a session describing international opportunities supported by NIDA. Several former NIDA fellows also spoke. Former NIDA INVEST Fellow Jan Klimas, Ireland, discussed preliminary results and publication impact of the British Columbia University addiction clinician scientist research fellowship. Former NIDA Humphrey Fellow Adrian Abagiu, Romania, reported on the prevalence of HIV and hepatitis B and C among drug users participating in Bucharest harm reduction programs. Former NIDA Humphrey Fellow Omar El Shahawy, Egypt, discussed cigarette and hookah smoking among pregnant women. Former NIDA Humphrey Fellow Hoang Huy Vu, Vietnam, spoke during a panel about opportunities to strengthen addiction medicine. NIDA and the World Psychiatric Association cosponsored the ISAM meeting. NIDA and the United Arab Republic National Rehabilitation Centre provided travel support for some participants.
Field Guide to Drug Demand Reduction Program Development Now Online
The second edition of guidelines for developing substance abuse prevention and treatment programs is available online through the International Society of Substance Use Professionals website. The U.S. Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs publishes the guide annually to help U.S. Embassy personnel and the global community of drug demand reduction experts develop and implement evidence-based programs around the world. The guide includes international examples of successful programs, including some developed by NIDA grantees. For more information about the guide, click here.
NIDA Humphrey Fellows Meet U.S. and International Experts
U.S. and international experts discussed substance abuse issues with Hubert H. Humphrey Drug Abuse Research Fellows. Front row, from left: Ayesha Al Hosani, United Arab Emirates; Nita Lalla Roncone, U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy; Rabia Hanif, Pakistan; and Nick Pichay, Philippines. Back row, from left: Marya Hynes, Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission; J. Randy Koch, VCU; Brian Morales, U.S. Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs; Martin Agwogie, Nigeria; Shibendu Bhattacharjee, India; Svetla Borisova, Bulgaria; and André Kiepper, Brazil.
NIDA Hubert H. Humphrey Drug Abuse Research Fellows met with U.S. and international experts in drug abuse during the U.S. Department of State Global Leadership Forum. Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Humphrey Fellowship Program Coordinator J. Randy Koch organized the November 2, 2017, special session in collaboration with the NIDA International Program. Speakers included Nita Lalla Roncone, U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy; Brian Morales, U.S. Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs; Maristela Monteiro, M.D., Ph.D., Pan American Health Organization; and Marya Hynes, Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission, Organization of American States. After brief, formal presentations, the speakers met with the fellows for small group discussions.
NIDA Officials Brief Early Career Investigators at SfN
NIDA officials provided advice on fellowships and grant opportunities to support early career investigators during the 2017 Society for Neuroscience (SfN) Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. Michele Rankin, Ph.D., Office of Research Training, discussed how to find research funding priorities and funding opportunities supported by Institutes and Centers of the National Institutes of Health. Susan McGuire, Ph.D., Scientific Review Branch, explained the role of program officers and scientific review officers and summarized the application and scientific review processes. NIDA staff members then met with participants for small group discussions focused on training opportunities for international, predoctoral, and postdoctoral researchers, and grants for junior investigators, including transition awards, mentored career development awards, and independent research awards. NIDA International Program Director Steven W. Gust, Ph.D., was among the NIDA staff who participated. NIDA Division of Neuroscience and Behavior speakers included Beth Babecki, M.A.; Mary Kautz, Ph.D.; Roger Sorensen, Ph.D.; Yu (Woody) Lin, Ph.D., M.D.; and Amy Lossie, Ph.D.
Apply Now for NIDA Tuition Waivers To Attend Dutch Summer Institute on Addiction
Deadline: March 1, 2018
The NIDA International Program will provide two full-tuition scholarships to U.S. researchers or graduate students working in the United States and accepted for the 2018 Dutch Summer Institute on Addiction. The 2-week, multidisciplinary summer training program in addiction research will be held July 1–13, 2018, at the University of Amsterdam. Participants will include graduate and postdoctoral students, physicians, outreach workers, and program administrators. They join 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 NIDA tuition waiver applications is March 1, 2018. More information is available here.