Marek C. Chawarski, Ph.D.
Yale School of Medicine, United States
Vicknasingam B Kasinather, Ph.D.
Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia
Marek Chawarski and Vicknasingam Kasinather are building on previous collaborations between their institutions that began a decade ago and conducted research that prompted the Malaysian government to adopt buprenorphine and methadone to treat opioid addiction. Addressing the recent increase in abuse of amphetamine-type stimulants and the related increase in drug-related HIV infection, Drs. Chawarski and Kasinather conduct cognitive, neuropsychological, and epidemiological assessments of individuals who abuse both amphetamines and opiates in Malaysia, testing the effect of amphetamine treatment medications administered in conjunction with buprenorphine maintenance therapy. They train therapists, drug counselors, and other medical and nonmedical personnel to provide educational drug and HIV risk reduction counseling for patients receiving agonist maintenance, or other pharmacological or drug-free treatments for opiate dependence. Together, they are developing culturally appropriate prevention and treatment interventions for co-occurring opioid and amphetamine dependence and drug-related HIV in Malaysia.
The NIDA International Program presents the 2014 Award of Excellence in International Collaborative Research to Marek Chawarski and Vicknasingam Kasinather.