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Summer 2006, Number 10

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Table of Contents


Update on Electronic Grants

 

NIH has moved the target date for electronic submission of R01 grant applications from October 2006 to February 2007. Officials announced the change following input from the first rounds of electronic submissions.

 

For details about the transition to electronic grants, visit http://era.nih.gov/ElectronicReceipt/

 

Dr. Lorraine Gunzerath of NIAAA will hold a session, “The NIH Electronic Submission Process and the SF424,” at the RSA’s 2006 Scientific Meeting on June 27. For details see the RSA’s meeting schedule at www.rsoa.org.

 

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Developing a New Five-Year Strategic Plan

Advisory Council Endorses Dynamic Blueprint

 

Dr. Kenneth Warren, NIAAA Associate Director for Basic Research, presented the Institute’s Strategic Plan at the June 8 meeting of the National Advisory Council on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

 

Although Dr. Warren had shared the development of the plan at earlier Council sessions, this marked the first opportunity to present the document in its entirety and to incorporate the public comments that have been received since NIAAA posted the plan on its Web site last spring.

Dr. Warren noted two outstanding features about the new plan: It frames research that will address alcohol across the human lifespan, and it is meant to be a dynamic document which will receive yearly updates.

The lifespan perspective emphasizes how the emergence and progression of drinking behavior over an individual’s lifetime are intertwined with and influence changes—changes in biology, psychology, and in exposure to social and environmental inputs—and vice versa.

Incorporating this perspective will enable NIAAA to address the prevention and treatment of alcohol-related problems in a manner appropriate to each stage of life, said Dr. Warren. Certain key opportunities transcend the lifespan: metabolism, gene–environment interactions, epigenetics, neurobiology, and diagnosis of alcohol use disorders.

“This plan is more than a catalogue of the Institute’s needs,” said NIAAA Director Dr. Ting-Kai Li. “Instead, the focus is on research opportunities that may arise from new concepts, knowledge, or advances in technology. This plan will help position us to utilize such advances to address important problems related to alcohol and health,” he said.

Dr. Warren said input garnered during the public comment period already is being incorporated into a revised version of the Strategic Plan. For example, as a result of public feedback, NIAAA staff are developing a new section on early-to-middle childhood.

 

The Council voted unanimously to endorse the Strategic Plan. The decision capped several months of work by Institute staff, whom Dr. Warren thanked for their efforts on the project.

 

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NIAAA’s Deputy Director Calhoun Retires

Dr. Calhoun

Dr. Faye Calhoun

 

 

After a career spanning nearly four decades, Dr. Faye Calhoun, NIAAA Deputy Director, retired on April 29, 2006. She served 39 years as a scientist and administrator in the Federal government, including 11 years with NIAAA.

 

Dr. Calhoun joined the Institute in 1995 as Associate Director for Collaborative Research. In 2003 she became Deputy Director, serving as a key advisor to NIAAA Director Dr. Ting-Kai Li. Dr. Li said, “One of the things that has made Dr. Calhoun so valuable to NIAAA is her ability to draw on decades of experience with Federal science programs to shape Institute initiatives and enlist the collaboration of other agencies and organizations.”

Throughout her tenure, Dr. Calhoun fostered partnerships with both government and nonprofit organizations in the United States and abroad. She chaired the Interagency Coordinating Committee on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (ICCFAS), and oversaw a broad portfolio of projects. These included a multidisciplinary international program for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders; National Alcohol Screening Day; the Malt Liquor Research Initiative; the Health Disparities Initiative; and the Alcohol and HIV/AIDS Program.

Dr. Li described Dr. Calhoun as “an articulate spokesperson” to the scientific community, Congress, and public audiences. “Her devotion to the issues surrounding alcohol and health has done much to engage others in our community,” said Dr. Li. When asked about her role as a spokesperson, Dr. Calhoun commented, “Translating research results into news that can be used and understood has been my goal in giving presentations to outside associations.”

Dr. Calhoun received numerous awards throughout her career, including the 2005 Heart Award from NAADAC, the Association of Addiction Professionals; the 2005 and 1991 DHHS Secretary’s Awards; the 2001 Seixas Award from the Research Society on Alcoholism; the 1998 and 1994 NIH Director’s Awards; and the 1994 Public Health Service Superior Service Award.

Dr. Calhoun said she is looking forward to retirement and is excited about spending time at her homes in Washington, DC, and Durham, NC. She plans to stay involved in alcohol research and wants to learn to speak Spanish. She said she will “miss the people the most and their random acts of kindness.” She added, “I found some of the best people that I’ve ever worked with in my career at the NIAAA; they are very dedicated, open, and supportive of new ideas and ways of working together.”

—Janelle Everett

 

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Personnel News

 

Robin Kawazoe was named Acting Deputy Director following Dr. Faye Calhoun’s retirement. Ms. Kawazoe joined NIAAA in 2005 as Senior Advisor to the Director. Prior to coming to NIAAA, she was Director of the Office of Science Policy and Planning in the Office of the Director, NIH.

 

Dr. Ricardo Brown was appointed as the NIAAA Minority Health and Health Disparities Coordinator, providing leadership, assistance, and guidance to NIAAA staff on the coordination, planning, execution, and evaluation of all extramural activities related to minority health and health disparities research. In this capacity, he will report to the Associate Director for Clinical and Translational Research. Dr. Brown also will continue to serve as health science administrator in the Division of Metabolism and Health Effects.

Dr. Mark Goldman, NIAAA Associate Director, left NIAAA in May to return full time to his post as Distinguished Research Professor and Director of the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Research Institute at the University of South Florida (USF). In 2003 Dr. Goldman joined NIAAA as an advisor on the integration of biological and behavioral science, assisting the NIAAA Director in the Institute’s reorganization into new divisions and transdisciplinary research teams. He served as coleader of the Interdisciplinary Team on Underage Drinking Research.

Carmen Richardson retired in May after 17 years with NIAAA, during which she served in several roles, including budget and planning officer; health programs analyst; and, as part of a trans-NIH position, as a member and chair of the NIH Administrative Training Committee.

Dr. Wenxing Zha has joined the Division of Epidemiology and Prevention Research, where she will be involved with secondary data analysis of multiple surveys and will serve as project officer for technically complex methodological grants.

 

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NIAAA Reorganizes the Office of the Director

 

This spring, NIAAA Director Dr. Ting-Kai Li announced a reorganization of the Institute’s Office of the Director. Effective April 16, the Office of Scientific Affairs and the Office of Research Translation and Communications (ORTC) were consolidated into a new Office of Science Policy and Communications (OSPC). Dr. Li will be its acting director pending the appointment of a permanent director.

Within the new office, Dr. Karen Peterson will be director of the Science Policy Branch and Diane Miller will remain director of the Communications and Public Liaison Branch. Several projects of the former Health Sciences Education Branch, such as the rapid response college drinking research grants program, have been transferred to other NIAAA divisions and offices.

As part of the restructuring, Dr. Kenneth Warren, director of the former Office of Scientific Affairs for 22 years, was named Associate Director for Basic Research. In this new position he is responsible for strategic planning; overseeing the Extramural Advisory Board and the Research Strategies Committee; serving as liaison with NIH for planning activities and basic science projects under the NIH Roadmap; and providing leadership for NIAAA’s Fetal Alcohol Syndrome activities.

Dr. Howard Moss was named Associate Director for Clinical and Translational Research. He is responsible for building NIAAA’s translational research program; serving as a liaison between the Institute’s extramural and intramural research programs; coordinating activities related to the interdisciplinary and clinical research initiatives under the NIH Roadmap; and chairing the NIAAA International Research Coordinating Committee. He is assisted by Margaret Murray, who was appointed Senior Advisor for Social Science Research.

In other changes, Robin Kawazoe was named Acting Deputy Director upon Dr. Faye Calhoun’s retirement in April. NIAAA Executive Officer Stephen Long was appointed Associate Director for Administration. He continues to direct the Office of Resource Manage­ment, which was expanded to include a new Ethics and Management Analysis Branch. Lastly, the management of the National Advisory Council on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism was transferred to the Office of Extramural Activities.

A revised organization chart appears online at http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/AboutNIAAA/OrganizationalInformation/OrganizationalChart.htm.

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New Publications

The Clinician's Guide in Spanish

Spanish Guide

NIAAA has published a Spanish translation of its Clinician’s Guide, entitled Ayudando a Pacientes Que Beben en Exceso – Guía Para Profesionales de la Salud. A team of Spanish-speaking communications specialists partnered with medical and community health providers to adapt the original Guide and the Pocket Guide.

NIAAA unveiled the translated Guide at the May 20–25 annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association. The Spanish translation can be ordered from the address below or downloaded from the NIAAA Web site’s publications section.

Slideshow on the Clinician's Guide

NIAAA has developed a PowerPoint slideshow designed to familiarize audiences with the organization and content of the Clinician’s Guide. The animated presentation takes viewers step-by-step through the Guide, show­casing helpful charts, medications data, frequently asked questions, and other resources. Presenters can download the free slideshow from the NIAAA Web site.

Alcohol Research & Health

29.2 cover

Health Services Research (Vol. 29, No. 1). This journal issue examines the challenges researchers and clinicians face when translating research findings into practice. Articles describe how research is helping to inform treatment of special populations such as adolescents, women, and racial/ethnic minorities. Other articles examine the value of accurate performance measures for evaluating research findings, the costs and benefits of treatment, and approaches—such as brief interventions and the use of computerized systems—that may help to manage those costs.

To order:

New Feature

Beginning with Alcohol Research & Health, Vol. 28, No. 3, and Alcohol Alert, No. 67, each reference cited in these publications now features a direct link to the original source article if it is included on PubMed or another government agency or similar Web site.

Readers online simply click the added link to be taken directly to the abstract of the original source article. PMID numbers (or PubMed Unique Identifiers) also are provided in the printed versions to allow easy access of PubMed records.

For NIAAA publications and other resources, visit the NIAAA Web site (www.niaaa.nih.gov) or write to: NIAAA, Publications Distribution Center, P.O. Box 10686, Rockville, MD 20849–0686.

CADCA and NIAAA Publish Practical Theorist on Underage Drinking

NIAAA collaborated with Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) on a new publication in their Practical Theorist series entitled “Using Science to Combat Underage Drinking.” The 24-page booklet highlights the latest scientific research on underage drinking and offers practical strategies that can be used to prevent and reduce alcohol use among teens. This is the sixth edition of the Practical Theorist, which translates scientific research into practical, easy-to-use information. This resource is available on CADCA’s online store at www.cadca.org.

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Remembering Henri Begleiter

The NIAAA community is mourning the death of a preeminent researcher and colleague, Dr. Henri Begleiter, Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology, SUNY Downstate Medical Center at Brooklyn, who died April 6, 2006. He spearheaded the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA), an initiative he led since its inception in 1989.

His laboratory’s ground-breaking research revealed that specific neurophysiological traits in alcoholics already were present in their children prior to any exposure to alcohol and other drugs. Dr. Begleiter’s research changed the field to view neural hyperexcitability as a predisposing factor leading to the development of alcoholism and related disorders, and helped to launch a systematic search for the genes underlying this predisposition.

Dr. Begleiter received many distinguished awards, including the RSA Research Excellence and Service Awards; the international James B. Isaacson and E.M. Jellinek Awards; and the 1999 Mark Keller Award, presented by NIAAA in recognition of his stellar research contributions.

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New Funding Opportunities

NIAAA recently announced two new funding opportunities:

Alcohol Use Disorders: Treatment, Services Research, and Recovery (PA-06-258): NIAAA invites applications to support research on behavioral and pharmacological treatment for alcohol use disorders (AUDs); organizational, financial, and management factors that facilitate or inhibit the delivery of services for alcohol use disorders; and the phenomenon of recovery from AUDs. View the complete announcement with contact information online at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-06-258.html.

Developmental/Exploratory Alcohol Research Centers (RFA-AA-07-001): With this RFA, NIAAA invites applicants to use the NIH planning grant (P20) mechanism. Its purpose is to permit groups of researchers to initiate and develop a cohesive, interdisciplinary team focused on a significant alcohol research theme. View the complete announcement with contact information online at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-AA-07-001.html.

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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.

June

June 20–25
American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)

Grapevine, TX
Contact: www.aanp.org

June 23–26
National PTAs Annual Convention (PTA)

Phoenix, AZ
Contact: www.pta.org

June 24–28
Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA)

Baltimore, MD
Contact: www.rsoa.org

July

July 9–12
State Associations of Addiction Services (SAAS)

Chicago, IL
Contact: www.saasnet.org

July 12–14
National Conference on Women, Addiction and Recovery: News You Can Use

Contact: http://conferences.jbs.biz/womensconference/

August

August 10–13
American Psychological Association (APA)
114th Annual Convention

New Orleans, LA
Contact: www.apa.org

August 24–27
Underage Drinking Enforcement Training Center’s
7th Annual National Leadership Conference

Baltimore, MD
Contact: http://www.dgimeetings.com/nlc/index.htm

September

September 21
National Advisory Council on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Rockville, MD
Contact: Melvin Carter, 301/443–9788; carterm@mail.nih.gov

September 28–October 1
National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC)

Burbank, CA
Contact: www.naadac.org

October

October 14–18
Society for Neuroscience (SfN)

Atlanta, GA
Contact: www.sfn.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: groa@mail.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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