$1.8 Million in Awards for Research Into School-Based Drug-Abuse Prevention and the Concept of Human Dignity as Employed in Health Policy Debates
NEW YORK (Jan. 16, 2008) — Two major federal grants have been awarded to Public Health faculty at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.
Dr. Kenneth W. Griffin is the recipient of a three-year $1.6 million NIH grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) for research into the long-term effects of a school-based drug-abuse prevention program previously delivered to urban minority youth attending New York City middle schools. The study will focus on a sample of approximately 3,500 young adults, ages 21 to 23, who participated in a randomized prevention trial during their early teens. In addition to testing the long-term effects of the prevention program on alcohol, tobacco and illicit drug use among the participants as young adults, the study will test whether the effects generalize to a variety of sexual risk behaviors.
Dr. Griffin is associate professor of public health in the Division of Prevention and Health Behavior, Department of Public Health, Weill Cornell Medical College.
Dr. Inmaculada de Melo-Martín is the recipient of a two-year $150,000 National Science Foundation Grant (NSF) for innovative research examining the ways in which the concept of human dignity is used in current debates about contentious biotechnologies such as embryonic stem cell research, human genetic enhancement and the creation of human-nonhuman chimeras. It will provide the first systematic assessment of what several influential scholars and recent national and international science policy documents mean when they say that these technologies threaten human dignity. Thus, the research can play a role in improving dialogue between the sciences and the humanities, and between the sciences and society.
Dr. de Melo-Martín is associate professor of public health in the Division of Medical Ethics, Department of Public Health, Weill Cornell Medical College.
"These awards represent important acknowledgments of the societal value of Dr. Griffin's and Dr. de Melo-Martín's work," says Dr. Alvin I. Mushlin, the Nanette Laitman Professor and Chairman of the Department of Public Health at Weill Cornell. "They are also examples of the diversity in public health research being conducted in the Department."
Weill Cornell Medical College
Weill Cornell Medical College — Cornell University's Medical School located in New York City — is committed to excellence in research, teaching, patient care and the advancement of the art and science of medicine, locally, nationally and globally. Weill Cornell, which is a principal academic affiliate of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, offers an innovative curriculum that integrates the teaching of basic and clinical sciences, problem-based learning, office-based preceptorships, and primary care and doctoring courses. Physicians and scientists of Weill Cornell Medical College are engaged in cutting-edge research in such areas as stem cells, genetics and gene therapy, geriatrics, neuroscience, structural biology, cardiovascular medicine, infectious disease, obesity, cancer, psychiatry and public health — and continue to delve ever deeper into the molecular basis of disease in an effort to unlock the mysteries behind the human body and the malfunctions that result in serious medical disorders. The Medical College — in its commitment to global health and education — has a strong presence in such places as Qatar, Tanzania, Haiti, Brazil, Austria and Turkey. With the historic Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, the Medical School is the first in the U.S. to offer its M.D. degree overseas. Weill Cornell is the birthplace of many medical advances — from the development of the Pap test for cervical cancer to the synthesis of penicillin, the first successful embryo-biopsy pregnancy and birth in the U.S., the first clinical trial for gene therapy for Parkinson's disease, the first indication of bone marrow's critical role in tumor growth, and, most recently, the world's first successful use of deep brain stimulation to treat a minimally-conscious brain-injured patient. For more information, www.med.cornell.edu.