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Drug dependence researchers to gather in Quebec

A thousand addiction researchers from North America, Europe and Australia will converge on Quebec City, Canada, June 8-13 for the Annual Meeting of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD). Bankole A. Johnson, M.D., Ph.D., Wurzbach Distinguished Professor in the departments of psychiatry and pharmacology at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, is co-chair of the media relations committee for the event, along with Wally Pickworth, Ph.D., of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Scientists will share cutting-edge information on all aspects of the field, including alcoholism treatment, behavior modification, cocaine abuse, heroin addiction and many other topics.

The latest research to be featured will include:

  • In vitro and in vivo measures of immune function after prenatal cocaine exposure, presented by researchers from Georgetown and American universities in Washington, D.C.;
  • A look at how cocaine helps enhance HIV replication in a mouse model, presented by scientists from the UCLA School of Medicine;
  • Impact of drug and alcohol use on hepatitis C treatment outcomes, presented by researchers from the University of California, San Francisco;
  • Injection drug use and crack cocaine smoking as risk factors for HIV infection, from the University of Miami, Fla., School of Medicine;
  • Methadone and birth outcomes, presented by researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University and Johns Hopkins University;
  • Religiousness and alcohol, drug and tobacco use among 10th-grade adolescents, from the University of Denver;
  • A monkey model of cocaine craving and the role of dopamine receptors, presented by researchers from Wake Forest University School of Medicine; and
  • Amphetamine-induced dopamine release, drug wanting and novelty seeking as seen from brain scans in healthy men, presented by scientists from the Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University in Montreal and the University of Alberta in Edmonton.

In another presentation, researchers will describe a clinical trial conducted in Russia. That study evaluated the medication naltrexone for heroin addiction and HIV risk reduction. Scientists from St. Petersburg, Russia, and the University of Pennsylvania will present results of the study.

Dr. Johnson is director of the Southwest Texas Addiction Research and Technology Center (START) at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio. On July 12, START Center researchers will lead panel discussion of their Phase II clinical trial to assess the optimum dosage of the drug isradipine for treatment of cocaine dependence. Health Science Center researchers Drs. Nassima Ait-Daoud, Lynda T. Wells, John D. Roache, T.E. Thornton, Kevin L. Lawson and Bankole A. Johnson were the investigators. The START Center also will unveil a study titled "A human laboratory model to study internal and external stimulus cues in cocaine reinforcement and relapse prevention." Drs. Roache, Johnson, Ait-Daoud, Richard J. Lamb, Joe E. Thornton and William L. Murff Jr. were the investigators.

Contact: Will Sansom