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Four New Mexico State professors finish first Leshner fellowship

Four New Mexico State University professors from the College of Health and Social Services recently completed the first Alan I. Leshner Post-Doctorate Fellowship program developed to help junior faculty improve research skills and better understand the National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant process.

lowship program was established this summer by Affiliated Systems Corp. of Houston headed by Isaac Montoya, a New Mexico State graduate. New Mexico State faculty participating were nursing professor Wanda Borges, health science professor Sue Forester-Cox and social work professors Lisa Dalton and Felipe Peralta.

"This has been a really challenging program for the faculty. It's like grant-writing boot camp," said Jeffrey Brandon, dean of the College of Health and Social Services.

Brandon said this is a new model for NIH fellowships. It is the first time a NIH fellowship program has been contracted out to a research think tank, he said.

During the fellowship, the faculty members met senior investigators who shared experiences and mentored them in successful research techniques. They also completed a grant application for submission to NIH.

Affiliated Systems named the fellowship after Alan I. Leshner, who served as the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse from 1994 to 2001. Leshner initiated the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network, which enabled the rapid testing of a wide range of science-based drug abuse treatment therapies, medications and their combined use across a range of patient populations, treatment settings and community environments. He also increased NIDA's work in health information education and dissemination, ensuring that knowledge generated through institute-supported research was accessible to the drug abuse and addiction field and the general public.

Julie M. Hughes
Aug. 7, 2002