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Director's Report to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse
February, 2002

Staff Highlights

Staff Honors and Awards

Dr. Frank Vocci, Director, DTR&D, was awarded a 2001 Presidential Rank Award (Meritorious Executive) for his leadership activities in the Division of Treatment Research and Development. President George W. Bush spoke to the Awardees on October 15, 2001 at a ceremony titled: “Dedicated to Serving America” at Constitution Hall.

Dr. Lula Beatty,
Chief, Special Populations Office, was appointed by the governor of Maryland to the state's Women's Health Promotion Council in September 2001.

Dr. Toni Shippenberg, IRP, was awarded the “Grass Lectureship in Neuroscience” by the American Society of Neuroscience.

Dr. Cesario V. Borlongan, IRP, received the NIH 2002 Fellows Award for Research Excellence (FARE) in recognition of his outstanding scientific research in general neuroscience.

Staff Changes

Wilson Compton, M.D., M.P.E., has been appointed Director of NIDA’s Division of Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Research. He will join NIDA full-time in March 2002. Dr. Compton is currently Director of Barnes-Jewish Hospital Chemical Dependency Services, Director of the Master of Psychiatric Epidemiology Program at Washington University School of Medicine, and Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Comptom obtained his Doctorate of Medicine from Washington University in 1986 and a subsequent M.P.E. in Psychiatric Epidemiology. After completing an internship and chief residency in psychiatry at Barnes and Allied Hospitals, he joined Washington University School of Medicine faculty in 1990, where he has been active in the academic, training, research and clinical programs.

David Shurtleff, Ph.D., Deputy Director for Program, Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Research (DNBR), was named the Division’s Acting Director in December 2001. Before becoming Deputy Director, Dr. Shurtleff served as a Health Scientist Administrator in the Behavioral Sciences Research Branch within DNBR where he supported extramural research in the basic behavioral sciences, including research in the cognitive sciences, behavioral economics, decision theory and human and animal models of impulsivity, risk taking and other aspects of drug addiction. Before coming to NIDA, Dr. Shurtleff was a Research Psychologist at the Naval Medical Research Institute in Bethesda, MD. While with the Navy he conducted basic behavioral, electrophysiological, cognitive and field research on a variety of issues related to cognitive performance, environmental stress, and peripheral neuropathy.

Jonathan D. Pollock, Ph.D. has been appointed as the Chief of the Genetics and Molecular Neurobiology Branch of the Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Research (DNBR). Dr. Pollock joined NIDA in 1996 as a program director in the Basic Neurobiology and Biological Sciences Research Branch. In December 2000, he became the Acting Chief for DNBR’s Genetics and Molecular Neurobiology Branch.

Mary E. Abreu, Ph.D. was recruited to the Center for Clinical Trials Network in October 2001. Dr. Abreu received her Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. After completing postdoctoral training in neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, she joined a pharmaceutical company where she led a discovery research program focused on identifying novel pharmacotherapies for psychiatric and neurologic diseases. Subsequently, Mary was with the Medications Development Division of NIDA where she served for 2 years as a health scientist administrator in the Pharmacology & Toxicology Branch. In 1997, Mary left NIDA for a large pharmaceutical company to gain expertise in the conduct and management of all aspects of pharmocotherapy clinical trials.

Ling Chin, M.D., M.P.H. joined the CCTN in November 2001. Dr. Chin received her medical degree from the George Washington University Medical Center in 1986. She was trained in Primary Care Internal Medicine at Francis Scott Key Medical Center in Baltimore, MD, and completed her residency in Preventive Medicine at Johns Hopkins. She is board certified in Preventive Medicine, and is a Fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine. She was at NIDA from 1990 to 1994, in the Division of Epidemiology and Prevention Research. She was at FDA, in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), from 1994 till November, 2001, involved with switching drugs from prescription to over the counter status, including the development of label comprehension and actual use trial design and methodology.

Ms. Jessica Clements recently joined the Division of Treatment Research and Development. She will work with the Medications Discovery and Toxicology and Chemistry and Pharmaceutics Branches.

Christine Colvis, Ph.D. recently joined NIDA as a program director in the Genetics and Molecular Neurobiology Branch of the Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Research. Dr. Colvis did her graduate work in the laboratory of Dr. Ted Acott at the Casey Eye Institute, Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, Oregon. Her research there focused on the kinetics and thermodynamics of matrix metalloproteinase-3 and its role in an aqueous humor outflow model system. As a research fellow under Dr. Donita Garland at the National Eye Institute, Christine studied proteomics of human lens and cataract. Christine is interested in proteins and proteomics of neurons and neural tissue as it relates to drug abuse and addiction. She is a member of the newly formed Proteomics Interest Group (ProtIG) at the NIH and also sits on the steering committee for that group.

Aria Davis Crump, Sc.D., joined NIDA’s Division of Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Research on September 10, 2001. She received a Doctor of Science from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in Behavioral Sciences and Health Education. Prior to coming to NIDA, Dr. Crump completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Prevention Research Branch at NICHD and served as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public and Community Health, University of Maryland at College Park. Her program areas at NIDA include family-based prevention research, substance use prevention in ethnic minority communities, persuasive communications research, and drug abuse training programs.

Ms. Indira Hills joined the Regulatory Affairs Branch of the Division of Treatment Research and Development in November 2001. Ms. Hills was formerly with the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration.

Shakeh Jackie Kaftarian, Ph.D., joined NIDA’s Division of Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Research in September 2001. Formerly with SAMHSA, Dr. Kaftarian is a health psychologist and an adjunct Research Professor at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Department of Psychiatry. At NIDA she has responsibility for the development of the prevention research services area of DESPR, the management of the school and community-based prevention research grants, and has an interest in the expansion of the international substance abuse prevention activities of DESPR.

Janet Levy, Ph.D., joined the CCTN as a statistician in November 2001. She received her doctorate in educational psychology and research from the University of Kansas, with an emphasis in psychometrics and statistics. She was the data analyst and statistician for the Ralph L. Smith Research Center at the University of Kansas Medical Center, supporting basic research in human development. For the last six years, Dr. Levy has been managing and developing mathematical models to predict a variety of consumer behaviors for large banks and telecommunication companies

Yu “Woody” Lin, Ph.D., joined the Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Research at NIDA as a Health Science Administrator in October 2001. His research experience includes neuropharmacological studies with central dopaminergic, muscarinic, glutamatergic, purinergic and opioid systems and their relationship to drug abuse, neurotoxicity and cell injury. He has broad training in using in vivo, ex vivo and in vitro disease models and behavioral tests for pain and neurological deficits. Dr. Lin’s recent research included the functional fluorescence “real-time imaging” assessment of ionic dynamics and the electrophysiological analysis of neuronal activities. Before coming to NIDA, Dr. Lin worked in the New York State Health Department as a Research Affiliate scientist and in the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research as a Research Associate scientist. Dr. Lin has also been trained in mainland China as a physician. His research in China concerned mechanisms of endogenous opioid systems and their translation into acupuncture therapy.

Brian Marquis joined OSPC in January 2002 as the Information Center Manager for the Public Information and Liaison Branch. Prior to joining OSPC, Mr. Marquis worked at the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse and as a contractor at NHLBI. He has a B.S. in Family Studies from University of Maryland and he is currently working on completing his M.B.A.

Sara Rosario joined OSPC in September 2001 as Writer-Editor for the Public Information and Liaison Branch. Prior to September, Ms. Rosario spent a year as a communications intern at NIDA, through the H.A.C.U. program, while completing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Communication at the University of Puerto Rico.

Paul Wakim, Ph.D., joined the CCTN as a mathematical statistician in December 2001. He received an M.A. in Statistics in 1980, an M.S. in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research in 1982 and a Ph.D. in Statistics in 1983 from the University of California at Berkeley. He has 19 years of technical consulting experience providing a wide range of statistical services to both internal and external clients. From 1984 to 1993, he taught evening courses in mathematics and statistics at the University of Maryland University College at College Park.

Dale Weiss joined OSPC in October 2001 as a Program Analyst for NIDA’s International Program. Prior to joining OSPC, Ms. Weiss worked in NIDA’s Contract Management Branch as a Contracting Officer for 13 years. Prior to joining NIDA, Ms. Weiss worked at the Department of Commerce, and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Cecelia McNamara, Ph.D. joined the Behavioral Treatment Development Branch, DTR&D in October 2001 as a Health Scientist Administrator. She manages a portfolio of grants that includes behavioral therapy and psychotherapy studies of adult drug abusers, dual diagnosis, and criminal justice populations and will be developing a research portfolio concerned with studying behavioral therapy training and supervision, and ways to use information technology to deliver and improve behavioral treatments. She previously worked in NIDA’s Clinical Trials Network.

Ivan D. Montoya, M.D., M.P.H., Medical Officer, transferred from the Clinical Trials Network to the DTR&D’s Medications Research Grants Branch in October 2001. Dr. Montoya’s previous experience includes seven years as clinical investigator in the Intramural Research Program of NIDA, and four years in academia.

Catherine Law has left NIDA to accept a writer-editor position in the Office of Communications at the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. She had been with NIDA since July 2000 as a writer-editor in OSPC's Science Policy Branch.

Susan L. David, M.P.H. retired from NIDA after 34 years of federal service. At NIDA she served as Chief of the Public Information Branch in the Office of Science Policy and Communication and, most recently, as the Deputy Branch Chief in the Prevention Research Branch in the Division of Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Research. In the latter capacity she managed the evaluation contract for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy’s National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign and developed and managed a portfolio on persuasive communications.

Ms. Celeste Proctor of the Division of Treatment Research and Development retired on September 30, 2001 after 30 years in Federal Service.

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