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Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse and Co-occurring Infections Branch (MCB)

What We Do:

The MCB plans, develops and administers a national and international program of research on medical/clinical/health consequences associated with drugs of abuse (licit [alcohol, tobacco, prescription medications] and illicit [amphetamines, cocaine, inhalants, marijuana, and others]) and their nexus to co-occurring viral and bacterial infections including HIV, hepatitis [B, C, D], tuberculosis, STIs, and others in humans (special studies in women, minorities, children and adolescents and underserved populations. Research may include, but not limited to, studies of the impact of drug addiction on medical/health conditions and the spread of infectious diseases and other conditions that might impact on all physiological or biochemical systems including role of nutrition in drug addiction and infectious diseases; morbidity, co-morbidity and mortality associated with drug use/abuse and/or infections; pathogenesis of drug abuse-associated HIV/AIDS and other co-occurring or opportunistic infectious diseases; medical intervention research concerning consequences of drug use/abuse and infections; pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic interactions between drugs of abuse and antiretroviral drugs; interactions between virus, host, and other factors in vulnerability and resistance to infection; pharmacological, physiological, genetic, and clinical factors in progression of infectious diseases in drug users/abusers; and promotes and supports research training and career development programs in the area of clinical/medical consequences.

Staff Biographies & Research Interests:

  • Jag Khalsa, Ph.D., - Chief
    Manages activities and resources of the Branch, including domestic and international research on medical/health consequences of drug abuse and co-occurring infections including HIV, hepatitis C/B, STDs/STIs, and others. Dr. Khalsa is trained in neuropharmacology, toxicology and epidemiology with a total of 40+ years of experience in many aspects of drug abuse research. This includes research on herbal pharmacology (India), drug development at SmithKline (2 years), environmental toxicology (SRI, 2 years), nutritional toxicology, adverse medical consequences, new drug evaluation (10 years at FDA) and about 19 years at NIDA initiating and administering research including that on medical consequences of drug abuse. He has several publications in the field of pharmacology, toxicology, epidemiology and medicine. He is a recipient of numerous awards of merit from the FDA Commissioner, Director of FDA’s Bureau of Foods, NIDA and professional societies.
  • Guifang Lao, M.D., Ph.D., - Health Scientist Administrator/Program Officer
    Dr. Lao is responsible for developing innovative research program of non-invasive techniques/methodologies for studying the medical consequences of drug abuse and co-occurring infections including HIV, hepatitis C/B, STDs/STIs, and others. Dr. Lao received MD and MS in Biochemistry from China, Ph.D. in Microbiology/Biochemistry from the Cornell University, and postdoctoral training at NINDS/NIH. She also worked in the Department of Radiology at the NIH Clinical Center. Over the past 25+ years, her research interests have been in the areas of clinical medicine, clinical molecular biology, immunology, neuroscience, protein chemistry, and non-invasive techniques of assessing medical consequences. She has several publications in Neuroscience, Molecular and Cell Biology, Biochemistry, and Medicine.

This page was last updated December 31, 2011.

Featured Publication

Featured Publication

Drugs, Brains, and Behavior - The Science of Addiction

As a result of scientific research, we know that addiction is a disease that affects both brain and behavior.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH...Turning Discovery Into Health

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Questions for our staff? E-mail information@nida.nih.gov or call 301-443-1124 (240-221-4007 en español).

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