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NIDA announces 2010 Addiction Science Award winners at Intel ISEF
Date:5/14/2010

A project using cutting edge computer modeling to identify potential new medications for nicotine addiction won first place distinction at the annual Addiction Science Awards at this year's Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) --- the world's largest science competition for high school students. The Intel ISEF Addiction Science Awards were presented at an awards ceremony last night in San Jose, Calif., by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, and Friends of NIDA, a coalition that supports NIDA's mission.

First place distinction for the special Addiction Science Awards went to Ameya Ashish Deshmukh, a 16-year-old junior at Upper Arlington High School in Upper Arlington, Ohio. His winning project was titled "Rational Drug Design Methods for the Identification of a Novel Negative Allosteric Modulator of a4b2 Nicotinic Receptors." Because identifying a molecule that will effectively bind to nicotine receptors can be like finding a needle in a haystack, Mr. Deshmukh used what is known as rational drug design. He first selected candidate molecules based on previous research. He then used computerized molecular models to narrow the list of potential compounds. Finally, he tested these on human cells to identify which compounds show promise for treating nicotine addiction.

"Our first place winner realized the potential of rational drug design to address the need for more effective medications for treating nicotine addiction," said NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow. "The result of this project, if developed further, has the potential to dramatically improve our smoking cessation strategies."

Second place distinction in the Addiction Science Awards went to "Improving ADHD Treatment: A Comparison of Stimulant Medication Treatment for Children with ADHD, Computerized Cognitive Training of Attention and Working Memory, and the Combination of the Two." Seventeen-year-old Kevin Mic
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Contact: Jeff Levine
media@nida.nih.gov
301-443-6245
NIH/National Institute on Drug Abuse
Source:Eurekalert

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