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Fall 2005, Number 8

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Table of Contents


Neurogenetics Workshop

NIAAA is organizing a workshop, “HapMap and the Neurogenetics of Alcoholism,” to be held at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting on November 11, 2005, at the Washington, DC Convention Center, Room 152.

NIAAA Director Dr. Ting-Kai Li will open the program, which will include National Human Genome Research Institute Director Dr. Francis Collins and other leading scientists.

For free registration and a workshop agenda, visit http://www.blsmeetings.net/2482/. The deadline to register is November 4, 2005.

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NIH Moving to Electronic Grant Applications

New Electronic Submission Will Replace Paper Application Form

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is asking its grantees: NIH is ready for electronic submission. Are you?

NIH is planning to transition all competing grant mechanisms from paper to electronic submissions by May 2007. NIH is partnering with Grants.gov, the single access point for grant programs offered by Federal grant-making agencies.

NIH also will require a new form, switching from the PHS 398 to the SF 424 family of research application forms. Outside organizations may need to use new software for electronic submission.

According to NIH Program Officer Megan Columbus, “The transition to electronic receipt will be a huge change for us at NIH as well as for our applicant community.” Helping during the transition are NIH liaisons who will serve as a local resource and first line of support. NIAAA’s contact point is Dr. Lorraine Gunzerath (e-mail: lg72x@nih.gov).

Advance Registration Required

Advance registration is critical for electronic submission. NIH officials recommend registering 2 to 4 weeks in advance of submitting applications. There are separate instructions for applicant organizations and individual investigators.

Institutions—not investigators—must register with Grants.gov, the portal for electronic submissions. For instructions, visit http://grants.gov/GetStarted. Grants.gov also features a Contact Center hotline at 1–800/518–4726.

In addition, both institutions and investigators must register with NIH eRA Commons, NIH’s Electronic Research Administration site. For details visit http://era.nih.gov/ElectronicReceipt/.

NIH offers a toll-free telephone help desk for questions at 1–866/504–9552 (TTY: 301/451–5939), operating weekdays from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST.

The first applications to switch to electronic submission involve small business (SBIR and STTR) grants, which have a receipt date of December 1, 2005. The complete transition schedule for all funding mechanisms is available at http://era.nih.gov/ElectronicReceipt/index.htm.

Officials will announce each transition in advance in the NIH Guide. For now, the message remains: Do not wait, register today!

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NESARC win award

Left to right: NIH Director Dr. Elias Zerhouni with NESARC team leader Dr. Bridget F. Grant, Roger P. Pickering, Dr. S. Patricia Chou, and NIAAA Director Dr. Ting-Kai Li. NESARC team members Drs. Deborah A. Dawson and Frederick S. Stinson (not shown here), also received the group award.

NESARC Team Honored


On July 14, NIAAA’s National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) team received the NIH Director’s Award for “outstanding national leadership.” The award recognizes superior performance directly related to fulfilling the NIH mission.

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Drs. Koocher and Li

Dr. Gerald P. Koocher (right), member of the APA Board of Directors, presented the award to Dr. Li (left) during the APA’s annual convention in Washington, DC, on August 19, 2005.

Dr. Li Receives APA Presidential Citation



NIAAA Director Ting-Kai Li recently received a Presidential Citation from the American Psychological Association (APA). The prestigious award recognizes the contributions of individuals who have worked to improve and advance psychology. According to Dr. Steven Breckler, APA Executive Director for Science, Dr. Li

received the citation because, “As NIAAA Director, Dr. Li’s forward-looking vision and leadership is deeply and widely appreciated by psychological scientists.”

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Dr. Kunos Wins Cannabinoid Research Award

Dr. Kunos receives award

Dr. Mechoulam (left) shakes hands with Dr. Kunos (right) after presenting him with the award.

Dr. George Kunos, Scientific Director for NIAAA, received the 2005 Mechoulam Award from the International Cannabinoid Research Society. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to research on cannabinoids, chemicals—similar to those derived from marijuana—that stimulate the brain’s reward system by binding to cannabinoid–1 (CB–1) receptors.

Dr. Kunos is a leader in the field investigating endocannabinoids—naturally occurring (i.e., endogenous), lipidlike compounds produced by the brain and other tissues. Dr. Kunos’s work with knockout mice demonstrated that endocannabinoids acting on CB–1 receptors mediate the rewarding and pleasurable properties of alcohol, and contribute to alcohol dependency and abuse. NIAAA’s Intramural Research Program is examining whether a medication that blocks CB–1 receptors could potentially help heavy drinkers overcome their craving for alcohol.

The society presented the award to Dr. Kunos during its annual symposium in Clearwater, Florida, in June. The award is named after Raphael Mechoulam, an Israeli medicinal chemist renowned for discovering endocannabinoids and, earlier, for identifying delta–9–tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) as the psychoactive principle of marijuana.

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Personnel News

Appointments

Michie Hesselbrock, Ph.D., has joined NIAAA on her sabbatical leave from the University of Connecticut for the fall 2005 academic semester. She will work with NIAAA’s Health Sciences Education Branch on the social work education initiative and collaborative activities with Asian American substance abuse advocacy organizations.

Robin Kawazoe

Robin Kawazoe

Robin Kawazoe has joined NIAAA as Senior Advisor to the Director. Before coming to NIAAA, Ms. Kawazoe was Director of the Office of Science Policy and Planning in the Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a position she had held since December 1996. Prior to that position, she served as Deputy and then Acting Director of the Office of Science Policy and Communications for the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which she first joined in 1988 as Special Assistant to the Deputy Director. She came to NIDA from the Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration.

Harold Perl, Ph.D., has left NIAAA to take a position at NIDA as senior team leader for behavioral research dissemination and training in the Center for the Clinical Trials Network. Dr. Perl worked at NIAAA for almost 16 years and was Chief of the Health Services Branch before the 2003 NIAAA reorganization. His area of expertise included screening and brief intervention and expanding alcoholism treatment beyond specialty settings.

 


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Three States Join Collaboration to Address Rural Underage Drinking

Three States have joined an ongoing collaboration between NIAAA and the Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to address underage drinking in rural communities. California, Oregon, and Washington are the latest States to take part in the Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws (EUDL) Discretionary Program: Rural Communities Initiative.

Through this special collaboration, NIAAA grantee researchers will form partnerships with State and local officials selected for the EUDL grants. The NIAAA-funded researchers will assist in evaluating programming that aims to reduce the underage drinking problem in small towns and rural areas.

The new States represent an expansion of the NIAAA-OJJDP collaboration, which began in 2004. NIAAA researchers already are working in more than a dozen rural communities in Illinois, Nevada, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania through this initiative. Each State receives a 3-year EUDL grant administered by OJJDP.

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NIAAA Updates Clinician's Guide

NIAAA has released Helping Patients Who Drink Too Much: A Clinician’s Guide, a new resource to help primary care and mental health care practitioners identify and care for patients with heavy drinking and alcohol use disorders.

clinician's guide

The 2005 Guide simplifies the alcohol screening process to a single question about heavy drinking days. NIAAA Director Dr. Ting-Kai Li said, “The single screening question helps overcome a barrier that may have kept many practitioners from identifying and helping people who drink harmfully.” The Guide then offers step-by-step guidance for assessing alcohol use disorders, conducting brief interventions, and managing patient care.

In addition the Guide features the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) in English and Spanish, and a new section on medications.

To order a free copy, visit www.niaaa.nih.gov or call NIAAA at 301/443-3860.

 

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New Publications

Alcohol Alert

Alcohol Alert Number 65 provides a detailed look at screening people for alcohol abuse and alcoholism, including screening for alcohol problems in a variety of different settings—from primary care offices and prenatal care clinics to college campuses, emergency rooms, and within the criminal justice system. Alcohol Alert Number 66 describes the advantages and challenges of conducting interventions in these same settings.

To subscribe to the Alcohol Alert, visit the NIAAA Web site (www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications), or contact NIAAA at 301/443–3860, or write to: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Publications Distribution Center, P.O. Box 10686, Rockville, MD 20849–0686.

“Fall Semester—A Time for Parents to Revisit Discussions About College Drinking” is the latest in a series of Web-based fact sheets on underage drinking prevention. This one-page bulletin gives parents tips for talking with their college-bound students about alcohol. It summarizes current research, provides recent statistics on college-age drinking, and gives parents resources for more information—all presented in an easy-to-follow format. The fact sheet may be accessed via the NIAAA college drinking Web site (www.collegedrinkingprevention.gov/Parents/collegefactsheet.aspx).

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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

October 27–29
ASAM State of the Art in Addiction Medicine Course
Washington, DC
American Society of Addiction Medicine

Dr. Linda Spear Linda Spear


Contact: www.asam.org

november

November 3
Mark Keller Honorary Lecture
“Adolescence: Neurobehavioral Characteristics, Differential Alcohol Sensitivities and Intake”
Bethesda, MD
Linda Spear, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychology, State University of New York at Binghamton
Contact: Nancy Colladay, NIAAA, 301/443–4733; www.niaaa.nih.gov/newsevents/conferences

November 11
HapMap and the Neurogenetics of Alcoholism—NIAAA Workshop at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting
Convention Center, Room 152
Washington, DC
Contact: http://www.blsmeetings.net/2482/

November 12–16
Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting
Washington, DC
Contact: http://web.sfn.org/am2005

November 12–15
American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) 56th Annual Meeting
San Francisco, CA
Contact: www.aasld.org

November 17–18
NIAAA Steering Committee on Underage Drinking Research and Prevention
Bethesda, MD
Contact: www.niaaa.nih.gov/newsevents/conferences

december

December 1–3
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Convention
Nashville, TN
Contact: Jason Lazarow, NIAAA, 301/435-8043

December 11–14
American Public Health Association Annual Meeting
Philadelphia, PA
Contact: www.apha.org/meetings/

february

February 2, 2006
National Advisory Council on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Rockville, MD
Contact: Ida Nestorio, NIAAA, 301/443–4376; inestori@mail.nih.gov

February 14–16, 2006
CADCA National Leadership Forum
Washington, DC
Contact: http://cadca.org

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

NIH Publication No. 05–5346

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

E–mail: niaaanewsletter@nih.gov

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

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