Unified Federal Addiction Institute Considered

NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., said a review board's recommendation makes scientific sense and would enhance NIH's mission. A plan to accomplish it could be ready in mid-2011.

The National Institutes of Health's director, Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., said a task force is being formed to assess how a new institute could be created that combines the substance use, abuse, and addiction research and related public health initiatives several are doing now. Collins said he received this recommendation from the NIH Scientific Management Review Board on Nov. 15, and it would require integrating research portfolios from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and other NIH institutes and centers.

"The formation of a single, new Institute devoted to such research makes scientific sense and would enhance NIH's efforts to address the substance abuse and addiction problems that take such a terrible toll on our society," Collins said. His statement was distributed in an NIH news release.

He said he has asked NIH Principal Deputy Director Lawrence A. Tabak, D.D.S., Ph.D., and National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Director Stephen I. Katz, M.D., Ph.D., to assemble the task force of NIH experts "to look carefully across all of NIH's 27 Institutes and Centers to determine where substance use, abuse, and addiction research programs currently exist and make recommendations about what programs should be moved into the proposed new Institute. In addition, the task force will survey NIDA and NIAAA for programs that are not related to substance use, abuse, and addiction research and make recommendations about where such programs will go. Final recommendations to the NIH Director will be informed by consultation with relevant stakeholders."

He said a detailed reorganization plan could be ready by summer 2011.

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