For Immediate Release
November 18, 2010
Contact:
NIH Office of Communications
301-496-5787

Statement of NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., on Recommendation to Create a Single Institute for Substance Use, Abuse, and Addiction Research

On Nov. 15, 2010, I received the formal recommendation from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Scientific Management Review Board that NIH create a new Institute focusing on substance use, abuse, and addiction research and related public health initiatives. This Institute would integrate the relevant research portfolios from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), 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.

Substance use, abuse, and addiction research is carried out by many NIH entities besides NIDA and NIAAA. Consequently, I have 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 pull together a task force of experts from within NIH 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.

Clearly, it will take some time to carry out this assessment in a thoughtful, systematic manner. I anticipate that the task force will produce a detailed reorganization plan for my consideration sometime in the summer of 2011.

In the interim, all existing substance use, abuse, and addiction research programs at NIH will continue status quo. It is imperative we keep these important lines of research moving forward with all due speed for the benefit of the nation's health.

The Office of the Director, the central office at NIH, is responsible for setting policy for NIH, which includes 27 Institutes and Centers. This involves planning, managing, and coordinating the programs and activities of all NIH components. The Office of the Director also includes program offices that are responsible for stimulating specific areas of research throughout NIH. Additional information is available at http://www.nih.gov/icd/od.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.nih.gov.

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