Another legendary figure of substance abuse research has passed away.

Nancy K. Mello was a Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at McLean Hospital. Her work spanned across a broad range of psychoactive and/or addictive substances with a focus on treatment medications in the recent years [PubMed].

According to the Obituary in the Boston Globe:

With her husband, Dr. Jack H. Mendelson, she cofounded the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Center at McLean Hospital in 1974, and they became leading researchers in the field of substance abuse.

“Their findings on loss of control and mood dysfunction as a result of drinking by alcoholics not only revolutionized scientific understanding of alcoholic drinking behavior, it also stimulated a new generation of behavioral and psychological researchers to apply experimental models to the study of alcoholism,” Dr. Roger Weiss, chief of McLean’s division of alcohol and drug abuse, said in a prepared statement.

Dr. Mello, who was director of McLean’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Center and also taught at Harvard Medical School, died Monday, the hospital said. She was 78; other details, such as the cause of death, were not immediately available.

Sink or swim

May 10, 2012

Approximately how much should the PI and postdoc or grad student attend meetings together versus separately?

I think the together part is obvious and should be the majority of the time. The PI is supposed to be introducing the trainee around.

But flying solo can be great for independence.

 

The big shottes *have* to talk to you if the PI isn’t at the meeting. So I’d definitely be okay with a handful of meetings where the trainee is there without the PI.

Making it habitual, however, is MentorMalpractice.

 


As I noted on the repost for Percy L. Julian, Ph.D., earlier this week, I’m swamped this month. So for Black History Month I’m offering up reposts. Today’s installment features a scientist who authored a paper I had occasion to blog a few weeks ago and my email box reports has just been elected to the Board of Directors for the academic society College on Problems of Drug Dependence. This post originally appeared on the Sb blog Feb 2, 2009.


CarlHart.jpgAssociate Professor Carl L. Hart, Ph.D. (PubMed; Department Website; ResearchCrossroads Profile) of the Psychology and Psychiatry Departments of Columbia University conducts research on several drugs of abuse with concentrations on cannabis and methamphetamine. In his studies he uses human subjects to determine many critical aspects of the effects of recreational and abused drugs including acute and lasting toxicities as well as dependence. Dr. Hart is also a contributing member of the New York State Psychiatric Institute Division on Substance Abuse.
In his academic research role, Professor Hart works within the highly respected and very well known Substance Use Research Center of Columbia University where he directs both the Methamphetamine Research Laboratory (Meth R01 Abstract) and the Residential Laboratory. The blurb for this latter will give you a good flavor for the workaday of Dr. Hart’s work:

The residential laboratory, designed for continuous observation of human behavior over extended periods of time, provides a controlled environment with the flexibility to establish a range of behaviors, and the ability to monitor simultaneously many individual and social behavior patterns. This laboratory is equipped with a closed circuit television and audio system encompassing each individual chamber for surveillance and measurement purposes, and to provide continuous monitoring for the participant’s protection. We believe that this relatively naturalistic environment can best meet the challenge of modeling the workplace to predict the interaction between drug use and workplace variables. Because our participants live in our laboratory with minimal outside contact, we are able to evaluate multiple aspects of the effects of drugs on workplace productivity in the same individuals.

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Did I mention I enjoy learning more about the neurobiological and behavioral effects of recreational drugs as well as the development and treatment of addictions?

The College on Problems of Drug Dependence will be holding their annual meeting in Hollywood Florida this upcoming week. I’ve been going through the Itinerary Planner and Program Book to get a preview. There are a few presentations that touch on topics that we’ve blogged about here at the DrugMonkey blog, including

-treating the hyponatremia associated with MDMA-induced medical emergency

vaccination against drug abuse

exercise as a potential therapy for, or antidote against, stimulant drug addiction

-JWH-018 and other synthetic cannabinoid constituents of Spice/K2 and similar “incense” products

-some preclinical studies on mephedrone / 4-methylmethcathinone

-presentations from the DEA on scheduling actions that are in progress

I’m certainly looking forward to seeing a lot of interesting new data over the next week.

CPDDlogo.jpg
I am delighted to report that the College on Problems of Drug Dependence has joined the science blogosphere. The CPDD Community Website is a new effort of the Media Relations Committee and intends to be:

a moderated Blog open to comment by CPDD members and invited contributors.

The email notification I received indicates that the comments and the blog will be open to the public so no worries, they are just planning to moderate* the content.
The initial offerings include:
A comment from the new editor of the College’s journal, Drug and Alcohol Dependence on changes to the journal.
A link-heavy update on the proposed NIDA-NIAAA merger.
A response to the McCain-Coburn attack on drug abuse research included in their mid-summer sneer at ARRA projects.
A general post on the politics of substance abuse research.
And what’s this? Little old us in the blogroll? Awwwww.
Well done, CPDD, well done.
[my CPDD related posts are here]
__
*I’ll work on ’em DearReader, don’t worry.
CPDD.org
CPDD Facebook
Drug and Alcohol Dependence

#cpdd10
#cpdd

The 70th annual meeting of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence will be held in San Juan, Puerto Rico June 14-19. The history page notes:

The College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD), formerly the Committee on Problems of Drug Dependence, has been in existence since 1929 and is the longest standing group in the United States addressing problems of drug dependence and abuse. From 1929 until 1976, the CPDD was associated with the National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council. Since 1976, the organization has functioned as an independent body affiliated with other scientific and professional societies representing various disciplines concerned with problems of drug dependence and abuse. In 1991, the CPDD evolved into a membership organization with the new name of College on Problems of Drug Dependence.CPDD serves as an interface among governmental, industrial and academic communities maintaining liaisons with regulatory and research agencies as well as educational, treatment, and prevention facilities in the drug abuse field. It also functions as a collaborating center of the World Health Organization.

Unsurprisingly, I’ll be attending.

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