NIDA Selects Three INVEST-CTN Fellows

March 1, 2010

NIDA has selected researchers from Australia, Chile, and India as INVEST-Clinical Trials Network (CTN) Fellows for 2010–2011:

  • Suzanne Nielsen, Ph.D., BPharm, senior research fellow and senior pharmacist at Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre, Fitzroy, Australia, will work with Walter L. Ling, M.D., University of California, Los Angeles. She will spend her fellowship gaining experience in conducting clinical trials in community-based settings and learning new research methodologies and analytical skills. Dr. Nielsen will conduct secondary analysis of CTN data to study gender differences and variations in drug use and HIV-related risk behavior outcomes for buprenorphine treatment of heroin versus prescription opioid dependence.
  • Felipe Vallejo Reyes, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist at the Universidad Católica de Valparasíso, Chile, will work with Eugene C. Somoza, M.D., Ph.D., University of Cincinnati. He will spend his fellowship evaluating the cognitive impairment of cocaine abusers in different stages of recovery, using the autobiographical episode interview to determine how a patient’s length of abstinence correlates with the ability to remember past episodes and recount them in a complex linguistic narrative, which has been shown to be highly sensitive to the effect of neuropsychological impairment even in mildly impaired subjects. Dr. Vallejo also will participate in the design, implementation, and analysis of several clinical trials underway at the Ohio Valley CTN Node to learn critical aspects of each phase of the studies.
  • Meera Vaswani, Ph.D., a professor at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, will work with Wade Berrettini, M.D., Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania. She will use her fellowship to learn methodologies in genotyping, linkage disequilibrium, and pharmacogenetic data analysis. Dr. Vaswani will use these skills to explore candidate genes in opioid-addicted subjects to better understand the role of the mu-opioid receptor in opioid addiction, possibly opening new avenues for treatment and helping to identify which patients are likely to benefit from agonist therapies.