NIH director announces reorganization of substance use, abuse and addiction research
On November 18, NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins announced that he would proceed with the reorganization of substance use, abuse and addiction research at the NIH by creating a single Institute that would include the research portfolios of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). The reorganization will be managed by NIH Deputy Directory, Dr. Lawrence Tabak, and the Director of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMSD), Dr. Stephen Katz, in the form of a task force comprised of other NIH staff.
While no details were released as to an implementation timeline, Dr. Collins said he expected a detailed plan from the task force by the summer of 2011. Science GRO staff worked in collaboration with a number of other scientific organizations to draft a letter (PDF, 187 KB) to Dr. Collins offering assistance as the reorganization moves forward. Dr. Collins planned to hold an information sharing meeting with the staffs of NIDA and NIAAA on the morning of December 1 and it is expected that the next public discussion of the reorganization will take place at the meeting of the Advisory Committee to the Director on December 9, 2010.