NIDA sponsors frontiers in addiction research mini-convention

October 15, 2004

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institutes of Health, will sponsor a NIDA mini-convention, Frontiers in Addiction Research, on Friday, October 22, 2004, in conjunction with the 34th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (SfN), at the San Diego Convention Center.

Frontiers in Addiction Research will bring together outstanding scientists from a wide array of research disciplines to share advances and discuss future directions in the neuroscience of drug abuse and addiction. The symposium, which coincides with NIDA's 30th anniversary, includes 20 speakers and 72 poster presentations, will run from 8:00 a.m. to 9:15 p.m.

"NIDA-supported research forms an integral part of the field of neuroscience," says NIDA Director Dr. Nora D. Volkow. "Over the past 30 years, thousands of NIDA-supported scientists have helped replace myths about drug abuse with scientific understanding of the true nature of drug addiction. Many of the discoveries discussed at this meeting hold great promise for treating and preventing drug abuse, addiction, and their health and social consequences." Oral presentations will be in Room 30; posters can be viewed in Room 29. The schedule is:

8:00 a.m. to 8:10 a.m. - Introductory remarks from Dr. Timothy P. Condon, NIDA Deputy Director.

8:10 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. - Behavioral Neuroscience of Nicotine Addiction. The topic areas of this session highlight a range of research, including motivationally positive and negative aspects of nicotine, identifying the nicotine receptor in the human brain, and dopamine-based and nondopamine reward pathways. The NIDA co-chairs are Dr. William Corrigall and Dr. Paul Schnur.

10:30 a.m. to 12:35 p.m. - Creative Directions in Imaging. Functional biomedical imaging modalities have evolved into powerful tools in drug-abuse research. This session will present examples of imaging research that are now possible. The NIDA co-chairs are Dr. Thomas Aigner, Dr. Steven Grant, and Dr. Nathan Appel.

12:35 p.m. to 2:35 p.m. - Young Investigators Poster Session. Speakers from the symposium and NIDA staff will be present. The NIDA chair is Dr. Susan Volman.

2:35 p.m. to 4:40 p.m. - Mechanisms of Brain Resiliency and Repair. Information presented here will relate neural injuries induced by drug abuse to the innate power of cells in the central nervous system to repair themselves and regenerate connections. Presentations also will address interventions to enhance repair and neuronal plasticity. The NIDA co-chairs are Dr. Jerry Frankenheim, Dr. Nancy Pilotte, Dr. Geraline Lin, and Dr. Yu ("Woody") Lin.

4:55 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. - The Role of Glutamate in Drug Addiction. This session will review how mechanisms associated with this chemical messenger in the brain contribute to and interact with other neurobiological processes and substrates to influence various aspects of drug abuse and addiction. The NIDA co-chairs are Dr. David Shurtleff and Dr. Minda Lynch.

7:30 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. - Networking session (in room 29).

8:15 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. - Keynote Speaker: Jacob P. Waletzky Award Recipient. The Jacob P. Waletzky Memorial Award for Innovative Research in Drug Abuse and Alcoholism was established in memory of writer Jacob Waletzky, who died at age 29 of cocaine-induced cardiac arrhythmia after relapsing to cocaine use. Waletzky's parents, psychiatrists active in drug abuse treatment, formed a memorial foundation that established the $25,000 award. The goal of the Waletzky Award is to encourage innovative research into the neurobiology of drug addiction and alcoholism. This year's recipient will be announced at this event. The NIDA chair is NIDA Deputy Director Dr. Timothy P. Condon.

For more information on this NIDA event, call Michelle Person or Blair Gately in the NIDA Press Office at 301-443-6245.

The Society for Neuroscience press room will be open Saturday, October 23 to Wednesday, October 27, from 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. It will be located in Room 15A of the San Diego Convention Center.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse is a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIDA supports more than 85 percent of the world's research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction. The Institute carries out a large variety of programs to ensure the rapid dissemination of research information and its implementation in policy and practice. Fact sheets on the health effects of drugs of abuse and information on NIDA research and other activities can be found on the NIDA home page at

NIH/National Institute on Drug Abuse

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