NIH Press Release
National Institute on Drug Abuse

Friday, Nov. 22, 1996

Mona W. Brown
Sheryl Massaro
(301) 443-6245

NIDA Names New Scientific Director

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), one of the National Institutes of Health, has announced the appointment of Barry J. Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D., as Scientific Director and Director of NIDA's Division of Intramural Research. Dr. Hoffer will direct NIDA's intramural research program, based in Baltimore, which includes studies on the causes, consequences, treatment, and prevention of drug abuse and addiction and on the biomedical mechanisms underlying the addictive process.

"Dr. Hoffer is a highly recognized scientist of international repute in the areas of neuropharmacology, neurotransplantation, trophic factors, and developmental neurophysiology," said Dr. Alan I. Leshner, Director of NIDA. "Dr. Hoffer will further the progress of our intramural program as we confront current challenges for drug abuse treatment, such as the need for cocaine treatment medications and the transmission of HIV through drug use," he added.

Prior to his appointment at NIDA, Dr. Hoffer was professor of Pharmacology and Psychiatry at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. He also directed two NIH-funded Centers at the University of Colorado, one for the National Institute Neurological Disorders and Stroke focusing on Parkinson's disease and the other for the National Institute on Aging. Dr. Hoffer has published more than 300 papers in neuropharmacology and developmental biology.

As NIDA's Scientific Director, Dr. Hoffer will be responsible for planning, evaluating, and directing all aspects of NIDA's intramural research. He will also head up programs of multidisciplinary laboratory and clinical research based in the Addiction Research Center (ARC), home for NIDA's Division of Intramural Research. The ARC, started in 1935, is the largest U.S. facility devoted to the study of drug abuse and addiction. The ARC was established to develop and implement treatments for drug addiction and to conduct pioneering studies into the nature of the addictive process. Major research contributions of the ARC include advancing the use of methadone to treat heroin addiction and explaining repeated relapses into drug abuse.

Dr. Hoffer and the DIR are located on the Bayview campus of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore where the DIR operates a state-of-the-art brain imaging center, a 26-bed inpatient treatment research unit, and an 80-slot outpatient treatment research unit.

NIDA is the primary Federal agency conducting and supporting research to increase knowledge and promote effective strategies to deal with the health problems and issues associated with drug abuse and addiction.

To schedule an interview with Dr. Hoffer or to obtain further information on NIDA's intramural research program, call the NIDA Press Office at (301) 443-6245. This release will be posted on the NIDA World Wide Web home page at