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Spring 2007, Number 12

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Table of Contents


updated clinician's guide

Free CMEs for Course Based on NIAAA’s Clinician’s Guide

Through a partnership between Medscape® and NIAAA, health professionals will soon be able to earn continuing education credits for an online activity based on NIAAA’s Helping Patients Who Drink Too Much: A Clinician’s Guide. Beginning in mid-March, Medscape® will offer the free course, which will provide a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™ for physicians; or, for Nurses, 1.5 nursing contact hours (0.25 contact hours are in the area of pharmacology).

The Clinician’s Guide was written to help primary care and mental health care practitioners identify and care for patients with heavy drinking and alcohol use disorders. The Guide was recently revised with new materials, including an update on medications; a medications management program designed for easy use by health care professionals in nonspecialty settings; and a patient education handout with strategies for cutting down on drinking.

NIAAA will provide a link to the Medscape® course on its Web page dedicated to the Guide and related resources: www.niaaa.nih.gov/guide.

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HBO Project Spotlights Addiction

NIAAA and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) have collaborated with HBO to create an eye-opening documentary, “Addiction,” which is scheduled to air on Thursday, March 15.

The film presents addiction as a treatable brain disease and spotlights the major scientific advances that have helped us to better understand and treat it.

“The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is proud to be part of this effort to educate Americans about the nature of addiction and its devastating consequences,” said NIH Director Dr. Elias A. Zerhouni. “We especially appreciate the opportunity to inform the public about the scientific research that is transforming our understanding and treatment of addictive disorders.”

Medications for treating alcoholism are a focus of the program, including a segment on topiramate, a drug under study by NIH-supported researchers at a clinic in Charlottesville, Virginia. In developing the program, HBO worked with Dr. Mark Willenbring, Director of NIAAA’s Division of Treatment and Recovery Research, and other leaders in the field of alcohol and other drug disorders research. Several NIAAA grantee investigators also were interviewed for the documentary.

“HBO’s Addiction Project offers us the opportunity to directly acquaint viewers with available evidence-based medical and behavioral treatments,” said NIAAA Director Dr. Ting-Kai Li. “This is especially important for disorders that for many years were treated outside the medical mainstream.”

The documentary is part of a broader HBO Addiction Project that includes a series of 13 additional short films. All films will be offered March 15–18 at no charge by participating cable systems and available on numerous digital platforms, including multiplex channels, Pod casts, and Web streams. The Project is being promoted by HBO and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in collaboration with national groups committed to addiction and recovery support, including Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, Faces and Voices of Recovery, and Join Together.

For more information on the events related to the Addiction Project, visit www.addictionaction.org/. To find broadcast dates and times for the documentary, visit HBO’s Web site: HBO.com/addiction.

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Online Supercourse Offers Dr. Li’s Lecture

The Supercourse, a free, online library of lectures, recently added NIAAA Director Dr. Ting-Kai Li’s presentation titled, “Alcohol Use, Abuse, and Alcoholism.” The Supercourse is an open-source global repository of more than 3,000 lectures. Dr. Li’s presentation includes an overview of alcohol use and its relationship to health problems, NIAAA research priorities, and pharmacological and behavioral treatments for alcohol use disorders. To download his lecture, visit http://www.pitt.edu/~super1/lecture/lec25521/index.htm.

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Personnel News

Appointments

Dr. Philippe Marmillot has joined the Extramural Project Review Branch as a scientific review administrator. Dr. Marmillot came to NIAAA from the Veterans Health Administration Medical Center, George Washington University, Washington, DC, where he was a research scientist.

Dr. Svetlana Radaeva has joined the Division of Metabolism and Health Effects (DMHE) as a health scientist administrator with a portfolio covering stem cells and liver diseases. Dr. Radaeva joined DMHE from the Section on Liver Biology in NIAAA’s Laboratory of Physiologic Studies.

Patricia Scullion has joined NIAAA as chief of the Administrative Services Branch, Office of Resource Management. She has worked at NIH for 25 years at both the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). As deputy chief of NIAID’s Intramural Administrative Management Branch, Ms. Scullion was part of a leadership group that developed a strategic plan to implement biodefense initiatives. In 2006, she led an NIAID initiative establishing a competency-based framework to enhance the training, recruitment, retention, and performance management of administrative staff.

Dr. Mariela Shirley has joined the Division of Epidemiology and Prevention Research as a health scientist administrator. Her portfolio covers four primary areas: underage drinking, screening and brief intervention, psychiatric comorbidity, and women’s issues. Dr. Shirley previously was the scientific review administrator for the Adult Psychopathology and Disorders of Aging Study Section of NIH’s Center for Scientific Review.

Staff Departures

Dr. Karen Peterson has left NIAAA to become senior advisor to the director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.

Brenda Sandler retired in September after 24 years at NIH, 8 of them with NIAAA. In 2003 she became chief of the Administrative Services Branch in the Office of Resource Management. She received a 1995 NIH Director’s Award and NIAAA’s Martin K. Trusty Excellence in Management Award in 2004.

Dr. Harold Yahr, social science analyst in the Division of Epidemiology and Prevention Research, retired after more than 30 years at NIAAA. He was branch chief of the Organizational Psychology Branch in the Office of Personnel Management; assistant professor of sociology at the American University in Washington, DC; and research project director in the Center for Urban Studies, City University of New York.

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Dr. Peter Delany
Dr. Peter Delany

Delany Receives Legacy Award

Dr. Peter Delany (left), program director for health services research in the Division of Treatment and Recovery Research, received the first-ever annual Legacy Award from the National Association of Deans and Directors of Schools of Social Work (NADD).

NADD president Katharine Briar-Lawson cited his initiatives to advance social work research in drug abuse through research infrastructure investments and his “work as an inspiring guide, mentor, and critical friend to so many of our faculty and doctoral students.”

Before joining NIAAA in 2005, Dr. Delany served with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.




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surgeon general report cover

National Call to Action on Underage Drinking

In an appeal to change the culture and attitudes toward drinking in America, the Office of the Surgeon General issued a Call to Action To Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking on March 6, 2007. Acting Surgeon General Dr. Kenneth Moritsugu said, “We can no longer ignore what alcohol is doing to our children.”

Developed in collaboration with NIAAA and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the 94-page Call to Action identifies six goals:

  • Foster changes in society that facilitate healthy adolescent development and which help to prevent and reduce underage drinking.

  • Engage parents, schools, communities, all levels of government, all social systems that interface with youth, and youth themselves in a coordinated national effort to prevent and reduce underage drinking and its consequences.

  • Promote an understanding of underage alcohol consumption in the context of human development and maturation that takes into account individual adolescent characteristics as well as environmental, ethnic, cultural, and gender differences.

  • Conduct additional research on adolescent alcohol use and its relationship to development.

  • Work to improve public health surveillance on underage drinking and on population-based risk factors for this behavior.

  • Work to ensure that policies at all levels are consistent with the national goal of preventing and reducing underage alcohol consumption.

NIAAA Director Dr. Ting-Kai Li called the report an important milestone and said NIAAA will continue support for research to provide the scientific foundation for understanding and addressing underage drinking. Dr. Li also thanked the editors of the report, Dr. Vivian Faden and Dr. Patricia Powell from NIAAA, and Stephen Wing from SAMHSA.

A Web site with fact sheets, resources, and the complete Call to Action is online at www.surgeongeneral.gov/topics/underagedrinking/. To order hard copies, call the National Clearinghouse for Drug and Alcohol Information at 1–800–729–6686.

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New Publications

Alcohol Research & Health

29.3 cover

Alcohol and Tobacco: An Update (Vol. 29, No. 3). Alcohol and tobacco are among the top causes of preventable deaths in the United States and often are used together. This journal issue highlights the latest research on alcohol and tobacco, including the prevalence of use and co-use, biological mechanisms and genetic factors behind co-use, and strategies to treat patients with co-occurring alcohol and tobacco addiction. To order, visit the NIAAA Web site (www.niaaa.nih.gov).

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Calendar of Events

NIAAA will participate in or exhibit at the meetings and conferences listed below. For additional information or updates on these events, consult the sponsoring organizations.

March

March 22–26
11th Annual Medical Conference of the National Hispanic Medical Association

San Antonio, Texas
Contact: www.nhmamd.org

april

April is Alcohol Awareness Month.

April 19–21
American College of Physicians/American Society of Internal Medicine (ACP/ASIM) 88th Annual Session

San Diego, California
Contact: www.acponline.org

April 27–29
American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM)

Miami, Florida
Contact: www.asam.org

April 28–May 2
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB)

Washington, DC
Contact: www.faseb.org/meetings

may

May 19–24
American Psychiatric Association (APA) 160th Annual Meeting

San Diego, CA
Contact: www.psych.org

May 24
National Advisory Council on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

5635 Fishers Lane, Conference Center (Terrace Level)
Washington, DC
Contact: Melvin Carter, 301/443-9788; carterm@mail.nih.gov

May 24–27
Association for Psychological Science 19th Annual Convention

Washington, DC
Contact: www.psychologicalscience.org

july

July 7-12
Research Society on Alcoholism
30th Annual Scientific Meeting

Chicago, Illinois
Contact: http://rsoa.org/

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Published by the Office of Research Translation and Communications, NIAAA, NIH, DHHS

NIH Publication No. 06–5346

Web address: http://www.niaaa.nih.gov

E–mail: niaaanewsletter@nih.gov

Editor: Gregory Roa
NIAAA Office of Science Policy and Communications
5635 Fishers Lane, MSC 9304
Bethesda, MD 20892–9304
Phone: 301/443–3860
Fax: 301/480–1726

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