NIH News Advisory

National Institute on Drug Abuse

Friday, November 30, 2001

Beverly Jackson,
Blair Gately
(301) 443-6245

Dr. Glen Hanson Named Acting Director of NIDA

Glen R. Hanson, D.D.S., Ph.D., today was named the Acting Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse by Ruth Kirschstein, M.D., Acting Director of the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Hanson will assume his duties on December 1, 2001. His appointment follows the resignation of Dr. Alan I. Leshner, who served as NIDA's director since 1994 and is leaving to become the Chief Executive Officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Dr. Hanson is recognized as an expert on psychostimulants. He is particularly known for his work on the neurotoxic properties of Ecstasy (MDMA) and amphetamines, as well as the role of brain peptides in psychiatric and neurological functions. As a researcher, he has been supported by grants from NIDA and the National Institute of Mental Health since the early 1980s and in 1998 received a Senior Scientist Award from NIDA. Dr. Hanson has served on several grant review committees for NIH and on the editorial board of the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. He is a frequent reviewer for most of the major pharmacology and neuroscience journals.

Dr. Hanson joined NIDA in September 2000 as the director of NIDA's Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Research. He is a professor in the University of Utah's Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology and holds a D.D.S. from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Ph.D. from the University of Utah. From 1978 to 1980, Dr. Hanson was a Fellow in the National Institutes of Health Pharmacology Research Associates Training Program.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse is a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIDA supports more than 85 percent of the world's research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction. The Institute carries out a large variety of programs to ensure the rapid dissemination of research information and its implementation in policy and practice. Fact sheets on the health effects of drugs of abuse and other topics can be ordered free of charge in English and Spanish through NIDA Infofax at 1-888-NIH-NIDA (644-6432) or 1-888-TTY-NIDA (889-6432) for the deaf. These fact sheets and further information on NIDA research and other activities can be found on the NIDA home page at