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NIDA Grantee Wins Biological Society Award

Dr. Ming T. TsuangDr. Ming T. Tsuang

Dr. Ming T. Tsuang, a NIDA-supported researcher at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has won the Society of Biological Psychiatry's Gold Medal. Dr. Tsuang received the medal at the Society's annual meeting in Chicago in May for the significant contribution his research in psychiatric genetics has made to the field of biological psychiatry.

Dr. Tsuang's studies of twins, using data from the Vietnam Era Twin Registry compiled by the Department of Defense, have provided much of the evidence for the heritability of drug abuse, says Dr. Rebekah Rasooly of NIDA's Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Research. The research suggests that genetic influences contribute to a common vulnerability for abusing marijuana, sedatives, stimulants, heroin, and psychedelics. Dr. Tsuang currently is investigating the molecular genetics of heroin dependence.

NIDA Employees Honored

Dr. Jaylan Turkkan and Ms. Carol C. Sneeringer. Dr. Turkkan, who heads NIDA's Behavioral Sciences Research Branch, and Ms. Sneeringer, personal secretary to the Scientific Director of NIDA, have received National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director's Awards. The 2 NIDA staffers were among 39 NIH employees honored with individual awards for outstanding service or achievements by Dr. Ruth Kirchstein, acting director of NIH, at a ceremony in June on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland.

Dr. Turkkan was cited for her leadership, creativity, and resourcefulness in developing comprehensive new approaches to the investigation of tobacco use and nicotine addiction. Dr. Turkkan built a large-scale, public-private partnership between NIDA, the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to advance interdisciplinary research to combat tobacco use and nicotine addiction. These efforts led NIDA and NCI to award $70 million in grants that created Trans-disciplinary Tobacco Use Research Centers.

Ms. Sneeringer was recognized for her exceptional performance and contributions to NIDA's Intramural Research Program (IRP). Ms. Sneeringer has successfully carried out a multitude of diverse assignments for the IRP, including preparing sensitive communications; acting as liaison with NIDA's headquarters, public affairs staff, and extramural research program; and advising IRP staff on administrative matters. Ms. Sneeringer also has provided outstanding management, coordination, and support for all aspects of the semiannual meetings of the IRP's Board of Scientific Counselors.

Dr. Peter Delany. Dr. Delany, acting deputy director of NIDA's Division of Epidemiology, Services, and Prevention Research, was awarded the United States Public Health Service's (PHS) Social Worker of the Year Award. Dr. Delany, a member of the PHS's Commissioned Corps, was honored for his leadership in promoting critical public health research and his commitment to public health social work. He received his award from Rear Admiral Kenneth P. Moritsugu, M.D., Deputy Surgeon General of the United States, at the annual meeting of the Commissioned Officers Association in June.

During the last 8 years, Dr. Delany has developed and managed an innovative program of health services research focused on the organization and management of drug abuse treatment and health services and on correctional and other underserved populations. He has expanded the dissemination of health services research findings to researchers, practitioners, and policymakers across the Nation. These efforts have helped improve drug abuse prevention and treatment services in the United States.

Dr. Susan Boyd. A clinical fellow in the Clinical Pharmacology Section of NIDA's Intramural Research Program, Dr. Boyd has received the 1999 Addiction Psychiatry Award for the best scholarly paper written by a physician fellow in addiction. Dr. Boyd's paper, "The relationship between parental history and substance use severity in drug treatment patients," was published in the Winter 1999 issue of the American Journal on Addictions. She currently is participating in research investigating the relationship between cocaine abuse and the mu opiate receptor.

Dr. Boyd received the award at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP) in December 1999. AAAP sponsors the award in collaboration with the American Society of Addiction Medicine and the Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse.