National Families in Action Creates A Science Advisory Board
Atlanta, Ga.— National Families in Action's (NFIA) mission is to protect children from addictive drugs by shining light on science, not spin. To help NFIA fulfill its mission, the organization has brought together a Science Advisory Board upon which sit world renowned scientists in the addiction field. “We are thrilled to have such distinguished scientists join us in our educational effort,” says Sue Rusche, NFIA’s president and CEO. “We’re especially honored to have Michael Kuhar, PhD, Candler Professor of Neuropharmacology at Emory University, chair the Science Advisory Board.” Among many things, Dr. Kuhar discovered the mechanism by which cocaine causes addiction.” He has recruited the following scientists onto the board:
Wilson M. Compton, MD, MPE, deputy director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). This agency, one of the National Institutes of Health, supports most of the world’s research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction. Dr. Compton works with the director to provide scientific leadership of NIDA’s research portfolio. He is an expert in effective prevention and treatment services.
Mahmoud A. Elsohly, PhD, is a pharmacologist known for his work on marijuana. He is professor of pharmaceutics in the school of pharmacy at the University of Mississippi where he directs the Marijuana Project which grows pharmaceutical-grade marijuana for research. He is an expert in the processing, testing, and detection of drugs of abuse.
Marilyn A. Huestis, PhD, recently retired as chief of chemistry and drug metabolism at NIDA’s Intramural Research Program, remains highly active in the field. She is a senior fellow at the Lambert Center for the Study of Medicinal Cannabis and Hemp at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pa.; consultant to the US Department of Transportation; and serves on the scientific advisory board of Smart Approaches to Marijuana. She is known for her research on how marijuana use affects driving and how exposure to parents’ marijuana use affects the developing fetus, breast-feeding newborns, and young children, as well as the new psychoactive substances.
Ryan G. Vandrey, PhD, is associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. His research focuses on the behavioral pharmacology of marijuana in adult research volunteers, clinical trials, web-based survey research, and patients using marijuana or cannabinoids for therapeutic purposes.
“There is so much misinformation out there,” says Dr. Kuhar. “We are glad to help.”
A grant from the Annie E. Casey Foundation made it possible for NFIA to establish the Science Advisory Board to help develop educational tools about addictive drugs.