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NIDA Researcher Wins Endowed Chair at Yale

Dr. Edward H. Kaplan

Dr. Edward H. Kaplan, a NIDA-funded investigator, professor of public health at the Yale University Medical School, and professor of management sciences at the Yale School of Management, has been awarded an endowed chair at Yale in New Haven, Connecticut. Dr. Kaplan is the new William N. and Marie A. Beach Professor of Management Sciences. As an expert in operations research and statistics, Dr. Kaplan has developed novel methods for evaluating HIV intervention programs. With his colleagues in New Haven, Dr. Kaplan carried out the first federally funded evaluation of a municipal needle exchange program for injection drug users and demonstrated its effectiveness.

"Dr. Kaplan has a principal role in the most comprehensive project currently developing cutting-edge methods to evaluate the public health impact and cost-effectiveness of HIV/AIDS interventions," says Dr. Peter Hartsock of NIDA's Center on AIDS and Other Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse. NIDA's grant to the Societal Institute of the Mathematical Sciences supports research sites at Yale, Stanford University, and University of California, San Francisco to study interventions that range from behavior modification to biomedical interventions. According to Dr. Hartsock, "Dr. Kaplan's work is classic and has set the gold standard for such evaluation."

Dr. Kaplan has been recognized for his application of mathematical and statistical modeling to the study of HIV prevention. In 1992, he received the Franz Edelman Management Science Achievement Award and in 1993, the Lanchester Prize, an annual award from the Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences for the best contribution in operations research published in the English language.

Heating Solutions Used in Drug Injection May Inactivate HIV

A NIDA-funded study has found that heating drug solutions containing HIV to 65 degrees centigrade (149 degrees Fahrenheit) may inactivate the virus. Heating drug solutions for at least 15 seconds can achieve this temperature and may reduce the potential for HIV transmission among injecting drug users (IDUs) who share the solution, the study indicates.

The study, led by Dr. Michael Clatts of National Development and Research Institutes in New York City, first observed injection equipment and practices used by out-of-treatment IDUs in New York City and Denver when they prepared drug solutions for shared injection. Laboratory studies conducted by Dr. Robert Heimer of Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut, then found that HIV in cookers-typically spoons or bottle caps in which drugs are mixed with water and heated before injection-was inactivated once the temperature reached 65 degrees centigrade. Thin bottle-cap cookers reached this temperature fastest, the researchers say.

These findings indicate that HIV prevention strategies should convey the message to IDUs that heating drug solutions for at least 15 seconds can reduce the spread of HIV, the researchers conclude. The study appeared in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.

NIDA to Sponsor Mini-Conference on Drug Abuse at APA Meeting

NIDA Director Dr. Alan I. Leshner will deliver one of eight lectures on vulnerability to drug abuse at this year's convention of the American Psychological Association (APA). The convention will be held in Washington, D.C., August 4-8, 2000. NIDA and APA are cosponsoring the lectures as part of APA's Focus on Science, which will take place on the meeting's first 3 days.

The eight invited speakers will explore the roles of genetic, individual, family, environmental, and developmental factors in vulnerability to drug abuse. Dr. Leshner's lecture will examine vulnerability to drug abuse and addiction as a biobehavioral issue.

Locations and schedules for the lectures are posted on NIDA's Web site, www.drugabuse.gov. In addition to the lectures, NIDA also will host a Career Development Workshop on the day preceding the conference for junior scientists who are interested in drug abuse and addiction research.