Update on the NIAAA/NIDA Merger

March 30, 2011

All the furor over the dismantling of NCRR to establish some new NIH IC to focus on translational whoopdedoo has backgrounded the merger of NIDA and NIAAA into a new Institute on Substance Abuse/Addiction (currently unnamed).

There’s a note in the Federal Register that the National Advisory Councils of NIDA and NIAAA will hold their first joint meeting on April 11, 2011. No mention of what will be on the agenda but the timing suggests that this is not the usual Council meeting for deciding grant funding for the current round, presumably those will still be held individually in May or June as scheduled. There’s less than two weeks to go on this so..

Information will also available on the Institute’s/Center’s home pages: http:///www.silk.nih.gov/silk/niaaa1/about/roster.htm, and http://www.nida.nih.gov/nidahome.html where an agenda and any additional information for the meeting will be posted when available.

Those links are not very useful, so NIDA and NIAAA may be better for monitoring.

And, here’s the Agenda on the NIAAA site after all. Looks like respective Portfolio analysis is on the docket.

No Responses Yet to “Update on the NIAAA/NIDA Merger”

  1. Harry Vermin, Chief Lab Rat Says:

    See http://feedback.nih.gov/index.php/category/suaa/
    for an update on the Substance Abuse Institute just posted today by Collins.


  2. Harry Vermin, Chief Lab Rat Says:

    oops, sorry about that….it was posted by Tabak, not Collins


  3. drugmonkey Says:

    Interesting HV. Takeaway seems to be “gee, this IS a bit more complicated than we thought so we’re going to kick it down the road a couple more months. again”

    idle thought: who in the world came up with the “straw model” term? It just reminds of “straw man” which implies a touch of dis-ingenuity.


  4. PINUS Says:

    I wonder if collins will actually go…I had heard that he has skipped out of the last few NIAAA things he said he would attend.


  5. drugmonkey Says:

    Not surprised at all. He inherited this NIAAA/NIDA mess and he clearly has other fish to fry, re: NCRR and his new Translational whoopdedoo. Or maybe he saw the quagmire that was going to screw with his goal to clear out room for another IC and he made an executive decision that NCRR would be a softer target.

    Any wagers on if he continues to punt this one down the road until his pet project has been accomplished?


  6. pinus Says:

    can he do his NCRR thing if this merger doesn’t happen? If so, I would imagine this will get bogged down in bureacrap…..if not, I can see it getting pushed through.


  7. drugmonkey Says:

    I see these as distinct processes. OTOH, if the NIDA/NIAAA merger doesn’t happen, I think this puts the kibosh on any other Institute mergers that anyone might be contemplating.


  8. Harry Vermin, Chief Lab Rat Says:

    Videocast is open access:


  9. PINUS Says:

    There is comment on the bl0g post by Tabak, worrying about how this would impact tobacco research….and you guessed it…said worrier is an investigator who has funding to study tobacco through NCI.


  10. frank lee Says:

    Hey DM (or any of you tuned in folks out there..) ..something’s always bugged me about tales of a NIDA/NIAAA merger – they’re not in the same place, are they? I’m under the impression that NIDA’s intramural program is in baltimore, and NIAAA’s is in bethesda… is there any clue that a merger of agencies would mean that both intramural programs would be moved to a joint location?


  11. verdeluz Says:

    The merger of these two institutes makes a whole more sense to me than the dissolution of NCRR and the half-hearted attempt at redistributing its programs. In my opinion, discussion on this merger should have happened before the whole NCRR fiasco, after all, the Scientific Management Review Board (the body that was created to review and propose these types of rearrangements) DID propose to consider this merger and DID NOT propose dissolving NCRR (this last part was a decision from Collins). Further, if NIDA and NIAAA merged, there would now be an opportunity to create a new Natl Center on Advancing Translational Science without dissolving NCRR. In essence, I think there’s more rationale to merge NIDA/NIAAA and more thought behind it than for dissolving NCRR.

    As for whether the intramural programs (or for that matter extramural program director offices) would need to be in the same place. I don’t see this as a major issue. NCI has intramural (and extramural) branches in various locations as do several other ICs.


  12. […] Alcoholism has been under the care of an Acting Director for years now as the attempt to merge the NIAAA with NIDA moved along before ultimately being axed by Francis […]


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