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NIDA Director Nora Volkow to Speak on Opioid Crisis Nov. 27

NIDA Director Nora Volkow to Speak on Opioid Crisis Nov. 27


CINCINNATI—Nora Volkow, MD, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), will be the keynote speaker at a public symposium, "Tackling the Ohio Opioid Crisis: Harnessing the Power of Science to Break the Cycle,” on Monday, Nov. 27, from 1 to 5 p.m., presented by the University of Cincinnati (UC) and UC Health.

The symposium will be held at the UC College of Medicine’s Kresge Auditorium, 231 Albert Sabin Way, on the medical campus and will feature perspectives on the opioid crisis from across Ohio, including presentations from researchers and clinicians discussing some of the latest research on opioid use disorder as well as pinpointing areas where further research is needed. 

The event is sponsored by the Center for Clinical and Translational Science and Training (CCTST) and the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network Ohio Valley Node. 

Volkow’s keynote, "Medication-Assisted Therapies: Tackling the Opioid-Overdose Epidemic,” will begin at 1:30 p.m.  As director of NIDA since 2003, Volkow’s work has been instrumental in demonstrating that drug addiction is a disease of the human brain. A research psychiatrist and scientist, Volkow pioneered the use of brain imaging to investigate the toxic effects and addictive properties of abusable drugs. Her studies have documented changes in the dopamine system affecting, among others, the functions of frontal brain regions involved with motivation, drive and pleasure in addiction. She has also made important contributions to the neurobiology of obesity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and aging.

Other symposium presenters include Tracy Plouck, director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, who will present Ohio perspectives on the opioid epidemic, as well as Lisa Roberts, of the Portsmouth City Health Department, presenting innovative approaches in Scioto County. Additionally, co-chairs of the UC/ UC Health Opioid Task Force will talk briefly about efforts addressing the opioid crisis across the university and the health care system in the areas of clinical research, education, practice and treatment. 

The event is free and open to the public. To RSVP, register here.

Agenda is as follows:

1 p.m.              Welcome and Introductory Remarks 
William Ball, MD, senior vice president for health affairs,
                            Christian R. Holmes Professor and Dean, College of Medicine
Neville Pinto, PhD, president, University of Cincinnati
Rick Lofgren, MD, president and CEO, UC Health

1:10 p.m. The Opioid Epidemic: Perspectives From Congress

1:15 p.m. The Opioid Epidemic: Perspectives From Ohio 
Tracy Plouck, director
Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services

1:25 p.m.The Opioid Epidemic: Perspectives From Southwest Ohio
Denise Driehaus, Hamilton County Commissioner

1:35 p.m. Medication-Assisted Therapies: Tackling the Opioid-Overdose Epidemic 
Nora Volkow, MD, director 
National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health

2:20 p.m.         Break

2:30 p.m.         UC Academic Health Center/UC Health Opioid Taskforce
Melissa DelBello, MD, Dr. Stanley and Mickey Kaplan Professor and Chair,
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience
Neil MacKinnon, PhD, dean, James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy

2:35 p.m.       Addressing Evidence Gaps: University of Cincinnati Science Responders
  • Theresa Winhusen, PhD, professor and vice chair,
    Division of Addiction Sciences, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience 
  • Christine Wilder, MD, assistant professor and medical director,
    Division of Addiction Sciences, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience;
  • Scott Wexelblatt, MD, associate professor,
    Department of Pediatrics and physician, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center;
  • Jennifer Brown, PhD, associate professor,
    Division of Addiction Sciences, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience;
  • George Smulian, MD, professor and director,
    Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine;
  • Michael Lyons, MD, associate professor,
    Department of Emergency Medicine.

4 p.m.         Innovative Models to Address the Opioid Epidemic: Scioto County
    Lisa Roberts, RN, Portsmouth City Health Department

4:30 p.m.   Interactive Discussion and Closing Remarks

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