Feature column

From the President’s Desk

President John Roll, PhD reports on the possible merger of NIDA and NIAAA.

By John Roll

I hope you are having an enjoyable summer. With all of the Federal Stimulus money funneling into the research efforts of NIH, I imagine you, like me, have been busy writing and reviewing grants. In fact, I’m on my way to DC as I write this for a review session. One thing I’ve noted as I have been reviewing and collaborating on grants this summer is that the scientific study of addiction is robust and strong.I’ve also been pleased to see the respectful and exciting multidisciplinary efforts that have paired addiction researchers and clinicians with researchers from other fields of inquiry. These collaborations would seem to hold great promise for providing us all with exciting new results that may further advance our field. It has been especially gratifying to me to see the centrality of the work conducted by the early members of Division 28 to establish the utility of a reinforcement based account of drug abuse featured in many of these new efforts. We truly are standing on the shoulders of giants and there are clearly new giants among our members who are charting new territory, which I expect will inform inquiry for decades to come. This year has also been filled with opportunities for us to influence policy matters. Some may shun policy issues but my belief is that we need to take an active role in making sure that, when appropriate, our science influences policy. Clinical policy, after all, dictates the nature of the practice environment into which many of our efforts may eventually be disseminated.One immediate area where we may have the opportunity to impact policy is with the new FDA regulations surrounding tobacco.The Executive Committee isengagedin exploration of how best to participatein the discussions and decisions this new regulation is spawning. We will keep you apprised of relevant information as this unfolds.

As you know, we have also prepared a document on the potential merger of NIDA and NIAAA. The final document will be disseminated to you during July. After surveying the membership and allowing you to respond to several versions of the document we have concluded that we can neither support nor oppose the merger at this time. Instead, we have set forth issues that we believe would need to be addressed if we were to eventually support a merger.

I would like to acknowledge and thank Dr. John Grabowski for his efforts in preparing this document.

The most exciting news is that Convention time is almost upon us. Dr. Sarah Tragesser has done a tremendous job in preparing the program. This is a time- consuming, often thankless job. Sarah has come through for us with flying colors as I think you’ll agree when you peruse the programming which is included in the newsletter. I hope many of you will be able to attend this year’s convention.

I would also like to congratulate the winners of this year’s Divisional Election. Dr. Mark Greenwald has been selected for the position of President-Elect and Dr. Wendy Lynch has been elected Member-at-Large. I know they will make lasting contributions to the Division in their new roles.

Finally, I want to thank each of you for your continued support of Division 28. I understand firsthand how the proliferation of scientific societies and meetings can spread one’s time and resources. I appreciate very much your continued support of what I consider to be one of the most important -Division 28 of the American Psychological Association.

As always please feel free to contact me with any ideas you have about improving the Division. By e-mail or at (509) 324-7223