NIAAA advisory council meets, new institute director to be named by February

Presentations included an update on the NIAAA medications development program.

By Geoff Mumford

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) held the fall meeting of its advisory council on Sept. 19, 2013. NIAAA Acting Director Kenneth Warren provided what is expected to be his last report as acting director of the institute (PDF, 3.91MB) with the presumption that a permanent director will be named and in place by the next NIAAA advisory council meeting in February of next year. Mark Egli, PhD, provided an update on the NIAAA medications development program (PDF, 612KB).

Several other presentations by non-NIAAA staff were enlightening. Richard Nakamura, PhD, provided an overview of current activities at the Center for Scientific Review (CSR) (PDF, 1.47MB); notably an NIH focus on reported racial bias in the scoring of grants and the CSR’s attempts to investigate and remedy that situation. Robert Eisinger, PhD, provided an overview of strategic planning by the NIH Office of AIDS Research (OAR) (PDF, 1.01MB) and described how NIH Institute AIDS research funding allocations are made by OAR.

Cathy Backinger, PhD, MPH, provided an overview of the FDA-NIH partnership on tobacco regulatory research (PDF, 900KB) funded through the FDA Center of Tobacco Products (CTP). Backinger highlighted a number of upcoming funding opportunities and announced the designation of 14 Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science (TCORS). Psychologists fared well in the TCORS competition with seven of the 14 centers headed by psychologists. The CTP is one of only a few sources of new and growing federal research funding. Supported by tobacco industry user fees, the CTP was funded at $505 million in 2013 and will grow to a sustained maximum funding of $712 million for 2019 and beyond.

For more information on this issue contact Geoff Mumford.