News Release

Friday, November 10, 2006

The National Institute on Drug Abuse Announces Summer Internship Opportunities

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is offering summer research training opportunities at their facility in Baltimore, Maryland. Students who are accepted to the program will work side-by-side with some of the world’s leading scientists, in an environment devoted exclusively to cutting-edge biomedical research.

NIDA’s mission is to better understand drug abuse and addiction — to investigate the causes and consequences of this disease and develop new and more effective prevention and treatment interventions. NIDA’s Intramural Research Program (IRP) includes numerous basic research laboratories, a brain imaging facility, and an outpatient treatment clinic. Examples of research projects include: drug-seeking behavior in rats, smoking cessation, genomic studies for nicotine dependence, and the effects of methamphetamine and cocaine on the brain.

“Over the years, hundreds of students have participated in NIDA’s summer programs, many of whom have gone on to graduate and medical school,” said Stephen J. Heishman, Associate Director for Education and Training at the IRP and coordinator of the NIH Summer Internship Program. “This program gives students the opportunity to be involved in research at a level that most do not experience in their high school or undergraduate courses. In addition to their research projects, students attend seminars designed to inform them about the various facets of drug abuse research and participate in a poster session at the conclusion of the internship in which they present their findings to NIH scientists. As a result, students find this summer research program to be an incredible learning experience.”

“Our interns participate in research that focuses on behavioral neuroscience, clinical pharmacology and therapeutics, neuropsychiatry, and neuroimaging,” said Jean Lud Cadet, Chief of NIDA’s Molecular Neuropsychiatry Branch and Co-Chair of the Minority Research Training Program (MRTP) at the NIDA-IRP. “The students who have participated in the past have been young bright people who are hungry for knowledge,” he added.

The Summer 2007 Internship Programs are for students 16 years of age or older who are enrolled at least half-time in high school, have finished high school, or are attending an accredited U.S. college or university. All internships pay monthly stipends based upon education levels, but housing costs are not provided. To be eligible, candidates must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Like many of the research training programs at the NIH, the Summer Internship Programs are very selective. NIDA is particularly interested in recruiting students who are from disadvantaged backgrounds and from ethnic groups whose participation in science has been traditionally limited. Prospective candidates should apply electronically via the Internet — the application deadline is March 1. For more information, go to Information about the MRTP can be obtained from Christie Brannock at

Reporters: To schedule an interview with past participants of the summer internship program or with NIDA researchers, please call Dorie Hightower at 301-496-1545 or the main NIDA press office at 301-443-6245.

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 most 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 information on NIDA research and other activities can be found on the NIDA home page at

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

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