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


NIDA sponsored Blending Clinical Practice & Research at the Grand Hyatt, New York, March 14-15, 2002. Attended by 800 participants, this conference provided an opportunity for clinicians and researchers to examine the latest findings about drug abuse and addiction and their application to clinical practice. Conference participants also had the opportunity to help determine additional areas related to drug addiction treatment. In addition to the conference, NIDA also held a science writer's seminar the afternoon of March 14, 2002 at the Grand Hyatt. The seminar offered members of the media the opportunity to meet some of the experts that presented at the Blending meeting, and to get first-hand information about the latest in substance abuse research and other related topics.

The Entertainment Industries Council, Inc. (EIC), the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse annually partner up to present the syndicated television show, PRISM Awards™, for outstanding efforts in the accurate depiction of drug, alcohol and tobacco use and addiction in film, television, interactive media, and comic book entertainment. Established in 1997, the PRISM Awards honor creative contributions that are not only powerfully entertaining, but also proactively address substance abuse and addiction. This year the event took place on May 9, 2002. Dr. Glen Hanson, Acting Director, NIDA, presented one of the awards. Also in attendance were Dr. Timothy P. Condon, Associate Director, NIDA, Dr. Jack Stein, Deputy Director, OSPC, and Ms. Beverly Jackson, Branch Chief, Public Information and Liaison Branch, OSPC. The event will be broadcast over 100 stations nationwide in August 2002.

In Chapel Hill, NC on May 21, 2002, NIDA sponsored the North Carolina Parent Corps Pilot Program Evaluation Meeting. Co-hosted by the North Carolina Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services, this meeting provided consultation with prevention scientists to develop an evaluation strategy for the National Parent Corps. The Parent Corps is a new Presidential initiative to recruit, train, and support parent leaders to mobilize parents to become involved in drug prevention efforts in their local communities. The program will begin pilot testing in North Carolina soon.

NIDA's Center on AIDS and Other Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse (CAMCODA) held a Working Meeting on Strategies to Improve the Replicability, Sustainability, and Durability of HIV Prevention Interventions for Drug Users, on May 6-7, 2002, in Chevy Chase, Maryland. The meeting brought together experts in the field of HIV prevention to exchange information on their current research on interventions to prevent HIV and other infectious diseases among drug users, their sexual partners, and other at- risk populations. Its focus was on strategies to improve the replicability, sustainability, and durability of interventions, and to address gaps and future directions in HIV prevention research in drug users and other populations at risk. Helen Cesari and Elizabeth Lambert of CAMCODA organized the Working Meeting, which was chaired by Wendee Wechsberg, Ph.D., of the Research Triangle Institute. Mr. Richard Millstein and Dr. Henry Francis presented remarks.

NIDA sponsored a Special Events Program at the Society for Research on Adolescence Biennial Meeting in New Orleans, LA, April 11 - 14, 2002. This program included two components. The first is the "Career Opportunities Program," which featured a Mentoring Program, a poster and discussion hour focusing on child and adolescent research support at NIDA, and a NIDA Exhibit Booth. The second component, a scientific symposium titled "Building Bridges Between Adolescent Research and Substance Abuse Research: Challenges and Opportunities," included five speakers. Members of the Child and Adolescent Workgroup that participated in the planning of the events and/or represented NIDA at the conference include Drs. Jessica Campbell, Kevin Conway, Aria Crump, Kathleen Etz, Teresa Levitin, Rachel Schiffman, and Vince Smeriglio.

On April 27, 2002 at the American Society of Addiction Medicine's (ASAM) 33rd Medical Scientific Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, a day-long Symposium entitled "HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, and Addiction: Perspectives on Treatment and Prevention", was jointly sponsored by the NIDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and ASAM. The Symposium organizers were Drs. Dorynne Czechowicz, Henry Francis, Jag Khalsa (NIDA), Dr. T. Stephen Jones (CDC), and Drs. Lawrence Brown, Marc Gourevitch, David Ostrow, and Mel Pohl (ASAM). The Symposium addressed the latest science-based information on effective approaches for the treatment of drug and alcohol users with these infectious diseases. Patients living with HIV and hepatitis C discussed clinical issues from their own experiences. A panel discussion followed the presentations, with attention focused on integrating screening, prevention, and treatment for hepatitis and HIV with addiction treatment.

On February 27, 2002, NIDA Acting Director, Dr. Glen R. Hanson and other NIDA senior staff briefed White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director, John P. Walters and several of his senior staff members on NIDA's research programs. Following introductory remarks and an overview of NIDA by Dr. Hanson, NIDA Office and Center Directors, Dr. David Shurtleff (DNBR), Dr. Frank Vocci (DTR&D), Dr. Betty Tai (CCTN), Mr. Richard A. Millstein (DESPR), Dr. Henry "Skip" Francis (CAMCODA), and Dr. Barry Hoffer (IRP) described highlights of ongoing and planned reseach from their respective programs.

NIDA's Behavioral Sciences Working Group is continuing efforts to recruit and retain new investigators into the fold of drug abuse investigation in basic, epidemiological, prevention and treatment research. As part of these ongoing outreach efforts, the workgroup sponsored three pilgrimages to regional meetings that are well attended by behavioral and social scientists from smaller universities and colleges in the U.S. Workgroup members conducted grants writing workshops and discussed research interests relevant to NIDA's programmatic mission at the following venues: Western Psychological Association Annual Meeting, Irvine, CA, April 12-14 (Drs. Melissa Racioppo, DTR&D and Marina Volkov, OEA), 14th Annual Indian Health Service Research Conference, Albuquerque, NM, April 29-May 1 (Drs. Kathy Etz, DESPR and Joe Frascella, DTR&D), and Midwestern Psychological Association Annual Meeting, May 1-4 (Drs. Paul Schnur, DNBR, Kathy Etz, DESPR and Mark Green, OEA).

On February 25-26, 2002, NIDA sponsored a workshop on "Lapse and Relapse: The Chronic Recurring Nature of Drug Addiction" in Rockville, MD. This workshop brought together leading researchers from various areas of drug abuse research and researchers studying other chronic, relapsing disorders or conditions, to identify common scientific challenges and opportunities for better understanding the neurobiological, behavioral, emotional and cognitive dimensions of relapse to addiction. The goal of the workshop was to identify gaps and opportunities in drug abuse relapse that need to be explored in order to better understand and prevent drug abuse relapse. Each participant had the opportunity to summarize their major research findings and to share their current thinking on the issue of relapse. Subsequent workshop discussion focused on the nature of lapse and relapse across neuropsychiatric disorders, clinical findings in relapse, as well as data from preclinical models of drug abuse relapse. The workshop format allowed for an extensive discussion about the current state of the field and a lively exchange of ideas on future research directions. Participants included: G. Alan Marlatt, Ph.D., University of Washington; Michael S. Robbins, Ph.D., University of Miami; James C. Coyne, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania; Nora D. Volkow, M.D., Brookhaven National Laboratory; Wayne Drevets, M.D., National Institute of Mental Health; Jeffery N. Wilkins, M.D., UCLA School of Medicine; Timothy B. Baker, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin; Janet Polivy, Ph.D., University of Toronto; Katie Witkiewitz, M.A., University of Washington; Scott Lukas, Ph.D., McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School; Peter Kalivas, Ph.D., Medical University of South Carolina; Yavin Shaham, Ph.D., National Institute on Drug Abuse; Michael Sayette, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh; and Varda Shoham, Ph.D., University of Arizona.

NIDA was a co-sponsor of the American Psychological Association conference, Enhancing Outcomes in Women's Health, February 21-23, 2002, in Washington, DC. NIDA's Women and Gender Research Group organized and chaired three symposia: "The convergence of Drug Abuse, Sex, and Violence," "Gender Issues in Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment Interventions," (chaired by Dr. Cora Lee Wetherington, DNBR and NIDA's Women and Gender Research Coordinator, and organized by Adele Roman, DNBR and NIDA's Deputy Women and Gender Research Coordinator), and "Intervention Approaches with Women in Diverse Populations at Risk for Drug Abuse."

Staff of the Division of Treatment Research and Development hosted Dr. Arvid Carlsson, 2001 Nobel Laureate in Medicine, on April 5, 2002 to discuss pharmacological approaches to the treatment of stimulant dependence.

Jag Khalsa, Ph.D., CAMCODA, and Joseph Frascella, Ph.D., DTR&D, of NIDA collaborated with David Stoff, Ph.D. of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and Andrew Monjan, Ph.D. of the National Institute on Aging (NIA) in organizing a workshop entitled Mental Health Research Issues in HIV Infection and Aging, held April 22-23, 2002. A group of NIMH, NIA and NIDA-funded (e.g., Drs. Jeanne Bell, Thomas Ernst, Igor Grant, and Charles Hinkin) clinicians/scientists presented outstanding research findings on issues of HIV, and co-morbid conditions such as neurocognitive and neurobehavioral impairment, mental disorders, Parkinson's and Alzheimer and other neurodegenerative diseases, and drug abuse-and HIV-related complications among older (50+) adults. Due to the fact that by the year 2030, there might be about 70 million older people in the US, it was recommended that the NIH consider supporting basic, epidemiologic, clinical, and interventions research in this rapidly growing population. A summary will appear on the NIDA/NIMH/NIA websites soon. A publication in a professional journal is being considered.

On May 2-3, 2002, Lan-Hsiang Wang, Ph.D. of the NHLBI and Jag H. Khalsa, Ph.D., of CAMCODA, NIDA conducted a meeting on Cardiovascular Complications of HIV (and substance abuse [cocaine, alcohol]). A group of well-recognized clinicians/scientists (funded by NHLBI and NIDA co-sponsored RFAs) presented data from their ongoing studies on etiology and underlying pathophysiology of cardiovascular complications of HIV/AIDS, and substance abuse (cocaine, alcohol). This was a follow-up to an earlier meeting /Meetings/CardioMtg.html that appeared on NIDA website. The participants of this follow-up meeting also made a number of recommendations for future research. A brief summary, agenda and a list of participants will appear on the NIDA website.

A National CTN Steering Committee Meeting was held January 28-30, 2002, in Charleston, South Carolina. Dr. Glen Hanson, Acting Director of NIDA, presented at the meeting. The Police Chief of Charleston, SC, also addressed the group. The meeting focused on: Lead Investigator updates on protocol progress, the Gender Group Snapshot, and the presentation of health services research grantee proposals for using the CTN as a platform for research.

A National CTN Steering Committee Meeting was held March 13, 2002, in New York City. During this meeting, the reorganization of the CTN infrastructure was approved and protocol progress was reviewed.

The CTN Data and Safety Monitoring Board met February 13-14, 2002 and April 15, 2002 in Bethesda, MD. The Board reviewed the current trials for safety and scientific integrity. The meetings addressed: 1) reports on all Serious Adverse Events; 2) the trials' progress; 3) review of a new protocol; and 4) discussion of current issues.

The CTN Criminal Justice System Interest Group conducted a meeting on February 27-28, 2002, in Bethesda, MD. The meeting focused on: reviewing current treatment research status, exploring opportunities/needs for court involved patients, identifying possible research concepts, and detecting protocol implementation barriers and solutions.

Mr. Richard A. Millstein, NIDA Deputy Director, met with Dr. Ford Kuromoto, National Director, Ms. Emilie Dearing, Vice Chairperson, and Dr. Frank Wong, Member of the Board of Directors, National Asian Pacific American Families Against Substance Abuse, on NIDA's Asian/Pacific Islander Work Group recommendations, April 10, 2002, Bethesda, MD.

Mr. Millstein presented to the Okura Mental Health Leadership Fellows on drug abuse research and career opportunities, April 16, 2002, Bethesda MD.

Dr. Timothy P. Condon, Associate Director, NIDA, presented "Drug Abuse and Addiction: What's New on the Research Scene" at the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry K-12 Annual Retreat on Seabrook Island, SC on March 8, 2002.

Dr. Timothy P. Condon presented "Advances in Drug Abuse and Addiction Research: Implications for Prevention and Treatment" at the California Association of Alcohol & Drug Program Executive (CAADPE) Conference: "Forging Partnership Celebrating 13 Years" in Sacramento, CA on March 12, 2002.

Dr. Timothy P. Condon presented "National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Update: Recent Advances in Drug Addiction and Co-occurring Disorders Research", at the Plenary Session of the Co-occurring Disorders Conference in Yakima, WA on April 4, 2002.

Drs. Timothy P. Condon, Associate Director, NIDA, and Jack Stein, Deputy Director, OSPC, presented "Blending Research and Practice: Opportunities for Collaboration" at the Addiction Technology Transfer Centers Strategic Planning Meeting in Silver Spring, MD on April 15, 2002.

On April 25, 2002, Dr. Timothy P. Condon provided a National Overview of Drug Abuse at the invitation of the Milton Marks "Little Hoover" Commission on California State Government Organization and Economy, in Sacramento, CA. The Commission, an independent oversight agency that holds hearings on various topics of concern to the State, invited Dr. Condon to testify on the scope of drug abuse throughout the country and on what recent advances in science tell us about drug abuse and addiction. This testimony will contribute to the Commission's analysis of how the State administers its drug abuse treatment programs.

Dr. Timothy P. Condon presented the Keynote Address at the Chief Resident Immersion Training (CRIT) Program of Clinical Addiction Research and Education in Cape Cod, MA, on May 15, 2002.

Dr. Jack Stein, Deputy Director, OSPC, provided an update on NIDA activities at the Fourth Annual Targeted Capacity Expansion Grantee Meeting in Washington, DC on January 24, 2002.

Dr. Jack Stein conducted a workshop entitled "Raves, Risks, and Research: Update on Club Drugs" at the 13th Annual Maryland Student Assistance Program Professionals Association Conference in Ellicott City, MD on February 4, 2002.

Dr. Cathrine Sasek, Science Policy Branch, OSPC, gave a presentation on prescription drug abuse on March 11, 2002, to an audience of senior citizens. The presentation was part of the Brain Awareness Week activities.

Dr. Donald Vereen, Acting Chief, Special Populations Office, made a presentation entitled, "The Science of Addiction" at Southern University's 8th Annual Career day in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on March 6, 2002.

Dr. Donald Vereen moderated a panel entitled, "New Developments in Drug Abuse Research with Ethnic Minorities at the Lonnie Mitchell National HBCU Substance Abuse Conference in Baltimore, Maryland on April 3, 2002.

Dr. Donald Vereen made a presentation entitled, "Research Issues on Prescription Drug Abuse" at the Lonnie Mitchell National HBCU Substance Abuse Conference in Baltimore, Maryland on April 4, 2002.

Dr. Donald Vereen made a presentation entitled, "Update on Research for HIV Prevention and Care Among Intravenous Drug Using Populations", to the Population Council's Horizons Program in Washington, DC on April 10, 2002.

In March 2002, Ana Anders, Senior Advisor on Special Populations, co-chaired a planning meeting in Los Angeles for the Latino Behavioral Health Institute annual conference, which will take place in September 2002.

Ana Anders, along with staff from NIMH, participated in the National Hispanic Science Network steering committee meeting at the University of Miami in March 2002.

Ana Anders participated in the 8th National Conference of the National Asian Pacific American Families Against Substance Abuse (NAPAFASA) in Washington, DC on March 10 -12, 2002.

On March 7, 2002, Dr. Betty Tai, Director, CCTN, participated in an Institute of Medicine Clinical Research Roundtable. The workshop consisted of two panel discussions: 1) implementation of clinical research results into practice, and 2) opportunities and challenges in conducting clinical research.

On March 14, 2002, Dr. Betty Tai, Director, CCTN, gave a presentation on the Clinical Trials Network at the NIDA Blending Conference in New York City, NY. Nearly 1,000 attendees were at that conference.

Drs. Joe Frascella, Steven Grant, and Frank Vocci attended two briefings at ONDCP on March 8 and 13, 2002 on the applications of neuroimaging to further understand the treatment of substance abuse.

Drs. Ahmed Elkashef and Frank Vocci spoke at the 4TH Annual Hawaii Conference on Addictions on May 9, 2002. The conference was titled: Methamphetamine: All about Ice. Their presentations were related to clinical and neurobiological approaches to the treatment of methamphetamine dependence, respectively.

Dr. Cece McNamara, DTR&D, presented a talk entitled "Minority Drug Abuse Treatment" at the Lonnie E. Mitchell HBCU National Substance Abuse Conference.

Dr. Steven Grant, DTR&D, gave a talk entitled "Cognitive Neuroscience of Craving" at the NIDA conference on "Blending Clinical Practice and Research in New York City, March 14-15, 2002. Dr. Grant spoke during the symposium on "Craving, Addiction and the Brain".

Drs. Steven Grant, of DTR&D, and David Shurtleff of DNBR represented NIDA at the annual meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society in San Francisco, CA on April 13 - 16, 2002.

Dr. Joseph Frascella, DTR&D, attended the NSATTC Systems Change and Technology Transfer Symposium held in Albany, New York and gave a talk entitled "The Clinical Neurobiology of Addiction: How What We're Learning Will Impact the Field", April 7-8, 2002.

Drs. Joseph Frascella, DTR&D, and Paul Schnur, DNBR attended the 9th Annual Undergraduate and Graduate Science Research Symposium as participants and scientific judges on the campus of Morgan State University. This research symposium is a forum for the presentation of research by students from area HBCUs and was held in Baltimore, MD, April 18, 2002.

Dr. Joseph Frascella along with Dr. Kathleen Etz, DESPR, attended the Indian Health Service's 14th Annual Research Conference, where they conducted a workshop on grant writing and research opportunities for Native American researchers. The conference was held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, April 29-May 1, 2002.

Dr. Jerry Frankenheim, DNBR, presented "MDMA (Ecstasy) and Methamphetamine: What the Research Is Telling Us," at the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Substance Abuse, in Baltimore, April 8, 2002.

Dr. Dave Thomas, DNBR, presented "Funding Opportunities at the National Institute of Drug Abuse and the National Institutes of Health for Virtual Reality-Based Treatment Research" at the Medicine Meets Virtual Reality meeting held January 23-26, 2002 in Newport Beach, California.

Drs. Dave Thomas, DNBR, Marina Volkov, OEA, Cindy Miner, OSPC, Charles DesBordes, OEA, Angela Martinelli, OSPC, and Cathrine Sasek, OSPC, participated in Brain Awareness Week activities for middle school students at the National Museum of Health and Medicine on March 13 and 14, 2002. Several hundred students participated in the NIDA game "Who Wants to Be a NIDA Neuroscientist." Each student received a packet of NIDA publications, bookmarks, art cards, and key chains.

Dr. Cora Lee Wetherington, DNBR and NIDA's Women & Gender Research Coordinator, gave an invited talk "Gender-Related Issues in Drug Abuse" in the Gender Issues Workshop held at the NIDA conference Blending Clinical Practice & Research: Forging Partnerships to Enhance Drug Addiction Treatment, New York City, NY, March 14-15, 2002.

Dr. Cora Lee Wetherington, DNBR and NIDA's Women & Gender Research Coordinator, gave an invited talk, "Gender Differences Issues in Drug Abuse." 24th Annual Substance Abuse Librarians and Information Specialists Conference. Washington, DC, April 16-20, 2002.

Dr. Cora Lee Wetherington, DNBR and NIDA's Women & Gender Research Coordinator, gave an invited talk, "Gender Differences in Vulnerability to Addiction" in the symposium, "The Clinical Implications of Gender for Addiction" at the Annual Medical-Scientific Conference of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. Atlanta, GA, April 25, 2002.

Dr. Minda Lynch, DNBR, addressed the Neurochemistry Club International Neurochemistry Winter Conference on April 6, 2002, in Solden, Austria, where she described NIDA's efforts to stimulate and support drug abuse research worldwide and highlighted programs of support for training and encouraging collaborations involving European investigators.

At the 17th biennial meeting of the Conference on Human Development, which was held in Charlotte, NC in April 2002, Dr. Teresa Levitin, Director, OEA, and a colleague from the NICHD led an invited discussion on "Research Grants Programs in Developmental Psychology".

Dr. Levitin, OEA, joined with other members of the Child and Adolescent Workgroup to plan a number of events at the ninth biennial meeting in April of the Society for Research on Adolescence, including a poster session, discussion hour, and symposium.

Dr. Mark Green, Chief, Clinical, Epidemiological, and Applied Sciences Review Branch, OEA, has been collaborating with the NIH National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD) to provide guidance on NIH extramural support. He participated in technical assistance workshops hosted by the NCMHD on Feb 11-12, 2002, in Dallas, TX and on March 4-5, 2002, in Seattle, WA.

Dr. Teresa Levitin, Director, OEA, served as an evaluator of projects for the INTEL High School Science Talent Search for the 2002 awards.

NIDA Deputy Director, Richard A. Millstein and members of the Prevention Research Branch at NIDA, including Drs. Elizabeth Robertson, Jackie Kaftarian, and Eve Reider, met with members of the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP), including Ruth Sanchez-Way, Elaine Parry, Paul Brounstein, and Alvira Stern. The meeting was held on February 22, 2002 at CSAP in Bethesda and the purpose of the meeting was to discuss the possibility of NIDA/CSAP collaboration in joint activities and projects in order to accelerate research and improve practice of substance abuse prevention services and systems.

Dr. Shakeh J. Kaftarian, PRB, DESPR, was invited to serve on CDC's expert panel for Evaluation of Prevention Projects Conducted by Community-based Organizations convened in Atlanta, Georgia on April 15-16, 2002.

Dr. Shakeh J. Kaftarian, PRB, DESPR, presented the three components of NIDA's National Prevention Research Initiative and their research translation goals to the Prevention Research Coordinating Committee of NIH and to the representatives of the Office of Extramural Prevention Research of CDC on February 12, 2002.

Dr. Shakeh J. Kaftarian, PRB, DESPR, presented the three components of NIDA's National Prevention Research Initiative to the State Incentive Grantees of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration at the Needs Assessment Conference in Baltimore on February 5, 2002.

Drs. Elizabeth Robertson and Shakeh J. Kaftarian of PRB, DESPR represented NIDA at the inaugural Translational Research Committee meeting of NIH, convened by NIH's Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research on March 20, 2002.

Drs. Peter Delany, Elizabeth Robertson and Shakeh J. Kaftarian, DESPR, met with representatives of the Casey Family Programs Foundation on March 6, 2002 for the purpose of establishing a partnership and collaborative research activities between NIDA and Casey.

Drs. Aria Crump and Eve Reider, DESPR, prepared and presented a paper at the Lonnie E. Mitchell HBCU Conference in Baltimore, Maryland on April 3, 2002. The paper was entitled "Drug Abuse Prevention with Ethnic Minorities."

Ms. Moira O'Brien, DESPR, represented NIDA at the NIH Office of AIDS Research Fiscal Year 2004 Planning Workshop for Natural History and Epidemiology, Bethesda, MD, February 5, 2002.

Arnold Mills, DESPR, participated in the Dr. Lonnie E. Mitchell National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Substance Abuse Conference held in Baltimore, MD April 1-5, 2002. As part of a panel on new developments in drug abuse research with ethnic minorities, he made a presentation on the influence of social and cultural factors on drug use.

Dr. Thomas Hilton, DESPR, presented an overview of health services research projects in the NIDA Clinical Trials Network to the CTN steering committee at their meeting in Charleston, SC, January 30, 2002.

Dr. Thomas Hilton chaired and presented a panel with Dr. Karen Sirocco (CSR) on NIDA's SBIR program at the annual meeting of the Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship- St. Louis, MO, March 5-9, 2002.

Dr. Jerry Flanzer, DESPR, was a featured speaker (adolescent drug abuse treatment and services) at the Society of Adolescent Medicine's annual conference. He also co-led a workshop on grant writing at this same conference with Dr. James Hill of the University of Iowa. Boston, March 2002.

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