San Antonio (Jan. 15, 2004) – Bankole A. Johnson, M.D., Ph.D., a pioneering alcohol and drug addiction researcher at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, has been appointed to serve on the National Advisory Council of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
“I am hopeful that this honor will enable me to serve in shaping research objectives at the national level for NIDA,” said Dr. Johnson, the William and Marguerite S. Wurzbach Distinguished Professor at the Health Science Center. He is a professor in the departments of psychiatry and pharmacology, deputy chair for research in the psychiatry department, chief of the division of alcohol and drug addiction, and director of the Health Science Center’s South Texas Addiction Research and Technology (START) Center.
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson invited and approved the appointment of Dr. Johnson.
Dr. Johnson and his research team made headlines in May 2003 with the finding that topiramate, an anti-seizure drug, proved to be effective at promoting abstinence in alcohol-dependent individuals during a three-month clinical trial. His group also excited the research community in August 2000 with word that ondansetron, an anti-nausea drug used in chemotherapy patients, was highly effective in treating alcoholics with neurochemical abnormalities.