News and Announcements ARchive

Chronic Pain Treatment

Frank J. Vocci
Frank J. Vocci, Ph.D.

Friends Research Institute via Dr. Frank Vocci was recently involved in the development of case-based activity regarding opioid therapy in primary care and chronic pain. Below are descriptions of the activities.

Description of Internet Activity
A Case-Based Approach to the Safe and Effective Use of Opioid Therapy in Primary Care

This CME/CE case activity was developed by Paul Arnstein, RN, PhD, FNP-C, Bill McCarberg, MD, and Mary Lynn McPherson, PharmD and focuses on issues relating to the prescription of opioid analgesics for the management of chronic pain. This activity was designed to meet the educational needs of physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and pharmacists who treat pain and chronic pain patients by providing several unique primary care perspectives. This case-based activity was developed in collaboration with the American Pain Foundation, Friends Research Institute, and in consultation with the NIH's National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Description of Supplement Activity
Protect Your Patients, Protect Your Practice: Practical Risk Assessment in the Structuring of Opioid Therapy in Chronic Pain

The faculty authors of this CME/CE supplement, Perry G. Fine, MD and Russell K. Portenoy, MD, discuss not only how to assess abuse risk in chronic pain patients being considered for opioid therapy, but also how to position opioid therapy in the overall management of chronic pain. This activity has been designed to meet the educational needs of physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and pharmacists who treat pain and chronic pain patients. This activity was developed in collaboration with the American Pain Foundation, Friends Research Institute, and in consultation with the NIH's National Institute on Drug Abuse.

More information can be found at http://www.ChronicPainTX.com.

Corporate Headquarters Relocates

The FRI Corporate Headquarters has moved its office to the Social Research Center site effective November 1, 2009. The new address is 1040 Park Avenue, Suite 103, Baltimore, MD 21201. The phone number is 410-837-3977 and the fax number is 410-752-4218. The main email address remains the same at .

West Coast Administration Office Relocates

Effective December 29, 2009, the West Coast Administrative Office’s new address is 11835 W. Olympic Boulevard, Suite 755E, Los Angeles, CA 90064. Phone and fax numbers remain the same.

FRI Researcher Receives NIH Loan Repayment Award A Second Time

Steven B. Carswell
Steven B. Carswell, Ph.D.

FRI is pleased to announce that Steven B. Carswell, Ph.D., Research Scientist/Vice President, has received an award from the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Loan Repayment Program (LRP). Dr. Carswell’s LRP award is funded through the NIH's National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD) and focuses on health disparities research. The purpose of the Health Disparities Research LRP is to recruit and retain highly qualified health professionals to research careers that focus on minority health or other health disparity issues.

This is the second time that Dr. Carswell has received this award. In exchange for a two-year commitment to a research career with FRI, NIH will repay up to $35,000 per year of Dr. Carswell’s qualified repayable educational debt, pay an additional 39% of the repayments to cover his Federal taxes, and may reimburse state taxes that result from these payments. To qualify for the LRP, the candidate must be a U.S. citizen and have a doctoral degree from an accredited institution. In addition, s/he must conduct health disparities research funded by a domestic nonprofit or U.S. Government entity.

In evaluating the applications, peer review groups comprised of non-NIH scientists are asked to consider the following criteria:

  • Appropriateness of the applicant’s previous training and experience as preparation for a career in health disparities research;
  • Suitability of the applicant’s proposed research activities in the two-year period to foster a career in health disparities research;
  • Assessment of the applicant’s commitment to a research career as reflected by a personal statement of long-term career goals and the plan outlined to achieve those goals;
  • Strength of recommendations attesting to the applicant’s potential for a health disparities research career;
  • Availability of appropriate scientific colleagues to achieve and/or enhance the applicant’s research independence;and
  • Quality and appropriateness of institutional resources and facilities.

FRI would like to congratulate Dr. Carswell for receiving this award a second time. Not only is this a great honor for him but this award will help him continue to pay off loans accumulated during his doctoral education.

CPDD Travel Award

Monique Wilson
Monique Wilson, Dr.P.H.

Dr. Monique E. Wilson was awarded the CPDD Early Career Investigator Award. This is a competitive travel fellowship to attend the 2009 Annual Meeting in Reno/Sparks, Nevada and covers the cost of registration and up to $750 in travel expenses. Dr. Wilson’s presentation was entitled “HIV risk behaviors: Results from a randomized study of methadone maintenance for prisoners” and was presented as a poster at the annual meeting.

NIDA Travel Award

Dr. Wilson received the NIDA Women & Sex/Gender Junior Investigator Travel Award. NIDA awarded special travel awards up to $750 to 27 junior investigators whose CPDD abstracts were accepted for either a poster or oral session at the 2008 Annual Meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Dr. Wilson’s presentation was entitled “Gender differences in HIV risk: Results from a randomized clinical trial.”

FRI Researcher Accepted Into Behavioral and Social Science Volunteer Program

Shannon Gwin Mitchell
Shannon Gwin Mitchell, Ph.D.

FRI is pleased to announce that Shannon Gwin Mitchell, Ph.D., a Research Scientist at the Social Research Center, has been accepted into the Behavioral and Social Science Volunteer Program (BSSV). The BSSV program is a national HIV prevention technical assistance program directed by the American Psychological Association, Office on AIDS. It is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and has established a national network of behavioral and social science volunteers to assist with HIV prevention efforts in their communities. This national network of psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, public health experts, social workers, and others is organized to offer free and ongoing technical assistance to community-based organizations (CBOs), health departments, and HIV-prevention community planning groups (CPGs) that want state-of-the-science prevention for their communities. Dr. Mitchell will attend the BSSV training program in New Orleans in October 2008 and they will cover all of her travel expenses.

FRI would like to congratulate Dr. Mitchell for receiving this invitation award. Not only is this a great honor for her, but this experience should assist in extending FRI's research and expertise in the HIV/AIDS field.

FRI Researcher Receives Loan Repayment Award A Second Time

Michael Gordon
Michael S. Gordon, D.P.A.

FRI is pleased to announce that Michael S. Gordon, D.P.A., a Research Scientist at the Social Research Center, has received an award from the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Loan Repayment Program. This is the second time that Dr. Gordon has received this award. In exchange for a one-year commitment to a research career with FRI, NIH will repay up to $35,000 per year of Dr. Gordon’s qualified repayable educational debt, pay an additional 39% of the repayments to cover his Federal taxes, and may reimburse state taxes that result from these payments. Dr. Gordon’s award is funded through NIH’s Clinical Loan Repayment Program. The purpose of this repayment program is to attract health professionals to careers in clinical research.

To qualify for the Loan Repayment Program, the candidate must be a U.S. citizen and have a doctoral degree from an accredited institution. In addition, s/he must conduct clinical research funded by a domestic nonprofit or U.S. Government entity.

In evaluating the applications, peer review groups comprised of non-NIH scientists are asked to consider the following criteria:

  • Appropriateness of the applicant’s previous training and experience as preparation for a career in clinical research;
  • Suitability of the applicant’s proposed clinical research activities in the two-year period to foster a career in clinical research;
  • Assessment of the applicant’s commitment to a research career as reflected by a personal statement of long-term career goals and the plan outlined to achieve those goals;
  • Strength of recommendations attesting to the applicant’s potential for a clinical research career;
  • Availability of appropriate scientific colleagues to achieve and/or enhance the applicant’s research independence; and
  • Quality and appropriateness of institutional resources and facilities.

FRI would like to congratulate Dr. Gordon for receiving this award a second time. Not only is this a great honor for him but this award will help him continue to pay off loans accumulated during his doctoral education.

Jane Ellen Gannod
Jane Ellen Gannod

Employee Promotion

Jane Ellen Gannod was recently promoted to Payroll Administrator/HR Assistant. Jane was previously the Administrative Assistant for the Corporate Office. Over the 7 years she has been employed with FRI, Jane has demonstrated a wide range of skills, initiative, dependability, and loyalty to the organization. As expected, Jane is excelling in her new position. Congratulations Jane!

 

FRI Researcher Receives Loan Repayment Award

Monique Wilson
Monique Wilson, Dr.P.H.

FRI is pleased to announce that Monique Wilson, Dr.P.H., a Research Scientist at the Social Research Center, has received an award from the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Loan Repayment Program. In exchange for a two-year commitment to a research career with FRI, NIH will repay up to $35,000 per year of Dr. Wilson’s qualified repayable educational debt, pay an additional 39% of the repayments to cover her Federal taxes, and may reimburse state taxes that result from these payments.

Dr. Wilson’s award is funded through NIH’s Health Disparities Research Loan Repayment Program. The purpose of this repayment program is to attract health professionals to careers in health disparities research.

To qualify for the Loan Repayment Program, the candidate must be a U.S. citizen and have a doctoral degree from an accredited institution. In addition, s/he must conduct health disparities research funded by a domestic nonprofit or U.S. Government entity.

In evaluating the applications, peer review groups comprised of non-NIH scientists are asked to consider the following criteria:

  • Appropriateness of the applicant’s previous training and experience as preparation for a career in health disparities;
  • Suitability of the applicant’s proposed clinical research activities in the two-year period to foster a career in health disparities;
  • Assessment of the applicant’s commitment to a research career as reflected by a personal statement of long-term career goals and the plan outlined to achieve those goals;
  • Strength of recommendations attesting to the applicant’s potential for a health disparities research career;
  • Availability of appropriate scientific colleagues to achieve and/or enhance the applicant’s research independence;
  • and Quality and appropriateness of institutional resources and facilities.

FRI would like to congratulate Dr. Wilson for receiving this award. Not only is this a great honor for her, but these awards will help her pay off loans accumulated during her doctoral education.

New Appointment to Board of Directors

FRI is pleased to announce the appointment of Wallace B. Pickworth, Ph.D. to its Board of Directors. Dr. Pickworth is a pharmacologist with over 30 years of preclinical and clinical experience. He has served as the Principal Investigator/Senior Project Director on various projects for the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the private pharmaceutical industry and as a Co-Investigator on extramural grants for the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

He is currently a Research Leader and Substance Abuse Pharmacologist at Battelle Centers for Public Health Research and Evaluation. Dr. Pickworth also worked at the National Institute on Drug Abuse for over 30 years and has vast experience in the field of substance abuse.

Dr. Pickworth brings exceptional experience to FRI’s Board of Directors and will prove to be a tremendous asset to the organization. We look forward to many years of service.

NIDA Travel Award


Shannon Gwin Mitchell, Ph.D.

Dr. Shannon Gwin Mitchell was recently honored with a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Travel Award. This award will allow her to present her research as part of the Early Career Investigators Poster Session that NIDA is co-sponsoring along with the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the American Psychological Association (APA) Divisions 28 (Psychopharmacology and Drug Abuse) and 50 (Addictions) at the 2009 APA Annual Convention. This year’s APA convention will be held in Toronto, Canada, August 6-9. Dr. Mitchell was nominated for the Travel Award by the Center for the Clinical Trials Network at NIDA, which will sponsor her attendance at the conference.

The $750 Travel Award can be used toward reimbursement of the cost of transportation, lodging, meals, and conference registration.

2008 FRI Awards

Eligible nominees for the Daniel Mendelsohn New Investigator Award are new investigators who show future promise, evidenced by energy and enthusiasm in research that addresses prevention, treatment or education activities, and have demonstrated scholarly research potential compatible with the mission of FRI.

Michael GordonMichael S. Gordon, D.P.A., Research Scientist, who began his career at FRI in 1999, was nominated for this award by Timothy W. Kinlock, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist. It was said that, "Dr, Gordon is in the top 1% with regard to professional accomplishments” and also, "[He] is well on course to become a highly successful investigator." Thus, it was with great pleasure that FRI awarded Dr. Gordon with the 2008 Daniel Mendelsohn New Investigator Award.



Eligible nominees for the Mentoring Award are Principal Investigators associated with FRI who encourage, enhance, and teach scientists who are new to the field. The mentor assumes the role of a trusted friend and advisor to the new research.

Robert SchwartzRobert P. Schwartz, M.D., Medical Director/Senior Research Scientist, who began his career at FRI in 2000, was nominated for this award by Shannon Mitchell, Ph.D., Research Scientist; Diana Caldwell, Ph.D., Research Scientist; and Sharon Kelly, Ph.D., Research Scientist. It was said that, "The mentorship process represents a relationship and Dr. Schwartz’s exuberant personality and professional generosity have made that relationship both productive and immensely enjoyable." Thus, it was with great pleasure that FRI awarded Dr. Schwartz with the 2008 Mentoring Award.

Eligible nominees for the Friend of Friends Award are individuals (who may or may not be employees) whose outstanding work has improved the lives of people spiritually, mentally, and physically, and reflect the mission of FRI, or whose work on behalf of FRI supports FRI in the fulfillment of its mission.

Jerome H. JaffeJerome H. Jaffe, M.D., Senior Research Scientist, who became affiliated with FRI in 2001, was nominated for this award by Dr. Robert Schwartz, Medical Director/Senior Research Scientist. Dr. Schwartz nominated Dr. Jaffe based on "…his lifetime achievements and considerable impact on the field of drug addiction treatment” and said that "…it had been an honor to work beside him." Dr. Schwartz also stated that "At Friends, Dr. Jaffe has generously provided his encyclopedic knowledge, insight and creativity to our researchers." Thus, it was with great pleasure that FRI awarded Dr. Jaffe with the 2008 Friend of Friends Award.

Eligible nominees for the FRI Employee Service Award are FRI employees who have had many years of service with FRI, exhibit outstanding work performance as well as dedication and loyalty to FRI, and demonstrate a strong work ethic.

Ms. Carolyn G. Roeth, who began her career at FRI in 1996, was nominated for the FRI Employee Service Award by Manette Mapa, M.S., Clinical Coordinator. It was said that, “With her exceptional work ethic, competence, and professional conduct, Carolyn has provided indispensable support in keeping the front office running smoothly.” Thus, it was with great pleasure that FRI awarded Ms. Carolyn Roeth with the 2008 Employee Service Award.

New President of FRI

Frank J. Vocci
Frank J. Vocci, Ph.D.

FRI is pleased to announce that Dr. Frank Vocci, formerly the Director of the Division of Pharmacotherapies and Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse at the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), has accepted the position of President of FRI. In this position, Dr. Vocci will be responsible for carrying out FRI’s strategic plans and policies, as established by the Board of Directors, and is vested with ultimate operational authority of the organization.

Dr. Vocci is eminently qualified for this undertaking as he has the vision, interpersonal and leadership skills, knowledge, personal network, and management expertise to head FRI, an established, dynamic research institute. He received his B.S. in biological sciences from Loyola College. His graduate studies were concentrated in pharmacology and neuroscience at the University of Maryland at Baltimore. During that time he worked in the Clinical Neurophysiology Laboratory in the Department of Neurology and also volunteered as a staff counselor at the Tuerk House, a residential program for alcohol and drug detoxification. He received post-doctoral training in pharmacology (1977-1978) at the Medical College of Virginia with Drs. William Dewey and Louis Harris. From 1978 to 1989, Dr. Vocci was employed with the Food and Drug Administration in the Drug Abuse Staff in the Division of Neuropharmacological Drug Products. He reviewed drug applications for adequacy of characterization of pharmacology and toxicology, evidence of drug efficacy, and characterization of abuse potential and possible necessity of scheduling of drugs under the Controlled Substances Act. In addition to his duties as an FDA reviewer, Dr. Vocci was also a guest researcher in the Clinical Neurosciences Branch of the National Institute on Mental Health, and an ad hoc consultant to the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the World Health Organization. Since 1989 he has been affiliated with the Medications Development Program at NIDA where he was the Director of the Division of Pharmacotherapies and Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse. In that capacity, he was responsible for overseeing research and development activities in medications development for the treatment of opiate and stimulant abuse and dependence, cannabis dependence, nicotine dependence, and medical consequences of drug abuse. Dr. Vocci has authored or co-authored over 80 articles in the fields of neuropharmacology and substance abuse. In 2001, Dr. Vocci received a Presidential Meritorious Executive Award for his leadership of the treatment research effort at NIDA.

FRI is extremely pleased to welcome Dr. Vocci as its new President and wishes him a prosperous career with the organization.

See article regarding Dr. Vocci’s retirement from NIDA at NIDA in the News.

FRI Staff publish book


Jeannette Johnson, Ph.D.

Jan Gryczynski, M.A.

Click for detailFRI is pleased to announce that Jeannette Johnson, Ph.D., and Jan Gryczynski, M.A., were co-editors on a recently published book entitled "Ethnocultural Perspectives on Disaster and Trauma: Foundations, Issues, and Applications." Beyond their significant contributions to this volume as co-editors, they also contributed to this work by co-authoring two chapters. This unique volume provides important information regarding major minority groups in the United States in order to improve disaster relief efforts, practices, and policies. FRI congratulates Dr. Johnson and Mr. Gryczynski for this important contribution to the literature.

For a detailed view of the front and back cover of this volume, please click on the image.

If you are interested in purchasing this book, please click on this direct link to Amazon.com.