Neuroscience at NIDA: series of satellite symposia will highlight current neuroscience research during annual Society for Neuroscience meeting

November 02, 2000

Symposia to focus on NIDA neuroscience directions, release of neurotransmitters from synaptic terminals, cross-sensitization between drugs, and minority scholars research and funding opportunities

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is sponsoring a series of satellite symposia at Society for Neuroscience 2000, to be held throughout the society's annual meeting in New Orleans on November 4 - 9, 2000. The symposia will highlight the latest in NIDA neuroscience research, NIDA research directions, and opportunities for minority research scholars at the agency.

Symposia will include NIDA Neuroscience: Current Status and Future Directions, Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of Synaptic Vesicle Trafficking, Cross-sensitization Between Drugs: A Behavioral and Neural Basis for "Gateway", and Minority Scholars: Research and Funding Opportunities at the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

"NIDA is pleased to be able to offer information about its neuroscience research to members of the neuroscience community in attendance at the conference, " said NIDA Director, Dr. Alan I. Leshner. "In addition to providing updates on the status and future directions of NIDA neuroscience, we will discuss cutting edge neurological research. We also will be sponsoring a forum highlighting mechanisms by which minority scholars can pursue biomedical careers and training in drug abuse research at their primary or host academic institutions," he added.

NIDA Neuroscience: Current Status and Future Directions will include presentations by representatives from NIDA divisions and offices on the present status of neuroscience research at the agency, as well as its future focus.

Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of Synaptic Vesicle Trafficking will bring together top researchers from around the country to discuss the latest research results regarding key players in the process of trafficking, docking, and releasing neurotransmitters from synaptic terminals  the primary means by which neurons communicate with each other. The key players in this process, recently identified by scientists, include syntaxins, synapsins, synaptotagmins, SNAP-25, VAMP, clathrin, dynamin, AP-2, AP-3, and ARF.

Cross-sensitization Between Drugs: A Behavioral and Neural Basis for "Gateway" will bring together experts in the fields of psychiatry, psychology, and physiology to discuss whether prior experience with a single drug enhances the behavioral, reinforcing, or subjective characteristics of a second drug (cross-sensitization). Sensitization is the progressively enhanced behavioral and neural activation that results from repeated exposure to a single dose of a drug. Cross-sensitization may be linked to an individual's increased vulnerability to drugs over time. Presenters will cover clinical features of cross-sensitization between classes of abused drugs and will discuss clinical and preclinical data on cross-sensitization mechanisms at both the cellular and molecular levels.

Minority Scholars: Research and Funding Opportunities at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, co-sponsored by Xavier University, will highlight opportunities available to minority scholars who want to pursue biomedical careers and training in drug abuse research at their primary or host academic institutions. Research accomplishments of prior fellows will be highlighted.
A list of symposia participants is attached. For more information on each symposium, contact the NIDA Press Office at 301-443-6245.


NIDA Neuroscience: Current Status and Future Directions
Saturday, November 4, 6-7:30 pm in Morial Convention Center, rooms 288-290

Representatives from NIDA Divisions and Offices:
Neuroscience and Behavior Research
Treatment Research and Development
Epidemiology, Services, and Prevention Research
Center on AIDS and Other Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse
Extramural Affairs (review)
Science Policy and Communications
Special Populations
Intramural Research & Training

Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of Synaptic Vesicle Trafficking
Tuesday, November 7, 6:30-9 pm at Marriott Hotel, Gallery 3 Ballroom

Regis Kelley, Ph.D. University of California, San Francisco
Phyllis Hanson, MD, Ph.D. Washington University
Sandra Bajjalieh University of Washington
Gad Peleg, Ph.D. Stanford University
Mani Ramaswami, Ph.D. University of Arizona

Cross-sensitization Between Drugs: A Behavioral and Neural Basis for "Gateway"
Saturday, November 4, 1-5 pm in Morial Convention Center, room 291-392

Harriet de Wit, Ph.D. Department of Psychiatry, University of Chicago
Marilyn Carroll, Ph.D. Department of Psychiatry University of Minnesota
Susan Schenk, Ph.D. Department of Psychiatry Texas A&M University
Paul Vezina, Ph.D. Department of Psychiatry University of Chicago
Peter Kalivas, Ph.D. Department of Physiology Medical University of South Carolina
David Segal, Ph.D. Department of Psychiatry UCSD School of Medicine

Minority Scholars: Research and Funding Opportunities at the National Institute on Drug Abuse
Monday, November 6, 5:30-8:30 pm at Xavier University, Norman C. Francis Bdg, 1 Drexel Drive, New Orleans

Deidre Labat, Ph.D. Vice President for Academic Affairs Xavier University at Louisiana
Allyn Howlett, Ph.D. Director, Center for Drug Abuse NC Central University
James E. Zadina, Ph.D. Director of Pharmacology Tulane University School of Medicine
Peter Winsauer, Ph.D. Associate Professor Louisiana State University
David Mason, Ph.D. Pharmacologist Environmental Protection Agency
Carl Goodman, Ph.D. Associate Professor Florida A&M University

Poster Presentations: Trainees and Young Trainees

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 other topics can be ordered free of charge in English and Spanish by calling NIDA Infofax at 1-888-NIH-NIDA (644-6432) or 1-888-TTY-NIDA (889-6432) for the deaf. These fact sheets and further 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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