Summer 2011 • Issue 23


Update on SUAA Workgroup

On June 9, 2011, NIH Principal Deputy Director Dr. Lawrence Tabak presented an update on the activities of the Substance, Use, Abuse, and Addiction (SUAA) Task Force to NIAAA’s National Advisory Council on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The SUAA Task Force had recommended on November 16, 2010, that NIH create a new Institute focusing on substance use, abuse, and addiction research, and that the relevant research portfolios from NIAAA, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), and other NIH Institutes be integrated into this new Institute.

At the meeting of the National Advisory Council on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism on June 9, Dr. Tabak announced that the timeline for the reorganization of NIH’s addiction-related research activities would be delayed. Under the new timeline, the NIH addictions institute (tentatively referred to as the National Institute of Substance Use and Addiction Disorders) would be included in NIH’s fiscal year 2014 budget request to the President, with the new Institute beginning operations in October 2013. Under the previous timeline, the Institute would have begun operations in October 2012. Delaying the implementation of the new Institute allows for the SUAA Task Force, the NIDA/NIAAA intramural programs, and Institute leadership to complete a portfolio analysis of all relevant grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, and intramural research projects, as well as for development of a final Portfolio Integration Plan. In addition, the SUAA Task Force will develop a Scientific Strategic Plan that will include input from stakeholders. In fall 2012, the SUAA Task Force will release these two plans for public comment before making final recommendations to the NIH Director in December 2012. The NIH feedback site includes information and updates about the timeframe for the reorganization.