Summer 2009 • Issue 18

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The Act is intended to stimulate the U.S. economy, create and preserve jobs, and address long-neglected challenges. The Recovery Act provides $10.4 billion to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), available through September 2010, with the bulk to be awarded in FY 2009.

Recovery Act Seal

Of the ARRA funds allocated to the NIH, NIAAA will grant nearly $114 million to stimulate advances in the alcohol research field. Grants of ARRA funds will be peer reviewed and will be used to extend the payline to fund additional highly meritorious R01 and R21 applications from previous application cycles. Additionally, funds will be available for applications in response to new opportunities, including Challenge Grants, “Grand Opportunities” (GO) Grants, Competitive and Administrative Supplements, and select P30 grants for new faculty. All applications awarded must be fully compliant with ARRA guidelines. (Reporting requirements for ARRA are more extensive than for traditional funding.) In addition, ARRA funds cannot be co-mingled with non-ARRA funds. More...

Rethinking Drinking Offers Tools to Assess and Change Risky Drinking Habits

Rethinking Drinking Cover

In March, NIAAA launched the fully interactive Web site and supporting booklet, Rethinking Drinking, to help people recognize and reduce their risk for alcohol problems. These new NIAAA resources offer evidence-based information about risky drinking patterns, the signs of an alcohol problem, and strategies for cutting down or quitting drinking. The Web site ( also provides tools, such as calculators that can be personalized by the user, to estimate the alcohol content in common cocktails and beverage containers.

According to an NIAAA survey of 43,000 U.S. adults, about 3 in 10 people drink at levels that increase their risk for alcoholism; liver disease; and many other physical, mental health, and social problems. Some of these people already have alcohol-related problems, and it’s safest for them to quit. More...

NIAAA Director Presents to NIH SMRB

On April 27 and 28, the NIH Scientific Management Review Board (SMRB) held its first meeting since being authorized by the NIH Reform Act of 2006 and signed into law in January 2007. The NIH Reform Act provides certain organizational authorities to HHS and NIH officials regarding NIH institutes and centers and the Office of the Director. The purpose of the SMRB is to advise HHS and NIH officials on the use of those organizational authorities. More...

Jack Mendelson Honorary Lecture Series

Dr. Jack Mendelson

On April 28, NIAAA honored the extraordinary career of the late Dr. Jack Mendelson with the first in a series of planned lectures in his memory. Lecturer Dr. Marc A. Schuckit, Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California San Diego Medical School, presented Recent Findings from a 25-year Longitudinal Study of Genetic and Environmental Contributors to Alcoholism. More...


HHS Leadership Confirmed

Kathleen Sebelius

On April 28, Kathleen Sebelius was sworn in as the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). NIH (of which NIAAA is a component) is one of several agencies that make up HHS, the principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans by providing effective health and human services. More...


The NIAAA Newsletter is published by the Communications and Public Liaison Branch, OSPC, NIAAA, NIH, DHHS
NIH Publication No. 09–5346; Web address:


Editor: Jo-Ann Kriebel
NIAAA Office of Science Policy and Communications
5635 Fishers Lane, MSC 9304
Bethesda, MD 20892–9304
Phone: 301/443–3860; Fax: 301/480–1726