The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health is one of the premier centres for research related to substance use and addiction. This research began more than 50 years ago with the Addiction Research Foundation (ARF), an organization that contributed significantly to knowledge about the aetiology, treatment and prevention of substance use, addiction and related harm. After the merger of the ARF with three other institutions in 1998, research on substance use continued, with an additional focus on comorbid substance use and other mental health disorders. In the present paper, we describe the structure of funding and organization and selected current foci of research. We argue for the continuation of this successful model of integrating basic, epidemiological, clinical, health service and prevention research under the roof of a health centre.
Addiction research centres and the nurturing of creativity: the Department of Alcohol, Drugs and Addiction at the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Finland: diverse problems, diverse perspectives.
The Department of Alcohol, Drugs and Addiction started operations on 1 January 2009, when the National Institute of Public Health (KTL) and the National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health (STAKES) were merged. The newly formed institute, called the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), operates under the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. The scope of the research and preventive work conducted in the Department covers alcohol, drugs, tobacco and gambling issues. The two main tasks of the Department are (i) to research, produce and disseminate information on alcohol and drugs, substance use, addictions and their social and health-related effects and (ii) to develop prevention and good practices with a view to counteracting the onset and development of alcohol and drug problems and the damaging effects of smoking and other addictions. The number of staff hovers at approximately 60 people. The Department is organized into three units, one specialized in social sciences (the Alcohol and Drug Research Unit), another in laboratory analytics (the Alcohol and Drug Analytics Unit) and the third primarily in preventive work (the Addiction Prevention Unit). These units incorporate a rich variety and long traditions of both research and preventive work. The mixture of different disciplines creates good opportunities for interdisciplinary research projects and collaboration within the Department. Also, the fact that in the same administrative context there are both researchers and people specialized in preventive work opens up interesting possibilities for combining efforts from these two branches. Nationally, the Department is a key player in all its fields of interest. It engages in a great deal of cooperation both nationally and internationally, and among its strengths are the high-quality, regularly collected long-term data sets.
An account is given of the work done by scientists and practical workers in establishing and putting into operation an interregional research and practical complex of phthisio-pulmonology on the basis of three regional antituberculosis services of North-Western region of the Russian Federation (Novgorod, Pskov and Leningrad regions) and Leningrad Research Institute of Phthisio-pulmonology on the basis of economic mechanism of their interrelationships.
The paper outlines the history of cancer chemotherapy in our country, starting with the 1950s marked by the first studies made by L. F. Larionov to design cancer chloroethylamine drugs and by studies by N. N. Blokhin who initiated their clinical studies at his headed Institute of Cancer Experimental Pathology and Therapy, USSR Academy of Medical Sciences (now the N. N. Blokhin Russian Cancer Research Center, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences). The historically established leading role of this center in the development of cancer chemotherapy in Russia is greatly determined by the fact that the country's first specialized department of chemotherapy headed by V. I. Astrakhan was founded in 1960, which has become a center that conducts clinical trials of new Russian and foreign cancer drugs and trains cancer chemotherapeutists. Intensive development of the problem, collaboration with the country's leading research institutions and international cooperation have promoted the development of clinical chemotherapy for cancer diseases, which is an essential component of multimodality treatment in cancer patients now. Alkylating agents, antimetabolites, antitumor antibiotics, taxanes, topoisomerase I and II inhibitors, antiestrogens, antiandrogens, aromatase inhibitors, LH-RH agonists, cytokines. There are prospects for development of basically new approaches to drug therapy for cancer diseases in terms of latest data on the molecular biological features of tumor growth.