NIH official to address US opioid misuse, initiative to combat epidemic

National Institutes of Health principal deputy director Dr. Lawrence Tabak will visit the University of Illinois at Chicago to speak about the NIH HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-term) Initiative, a strategy launched in April 2018 that is designed to address the public health crisis of opioid misuse and addiction in the United States.


Oct. 3
10:15 to 11:15 a.m.


Student Center East
Room 605
750 S. Halsted St.


The NIH HEAL Initiative builds on extensive, well-established NIH research, including knowledge of the complex neurological pathways involved in pain and addiction, to develop and test treatment models and develop integrated behavioral interventions and medication-based treatment options for people with opioid use disorder.

Lawrence Tabak

Dr. Lawrence Tabak, principal deputy director, NIH.

Dr. Lawrence Tabak, who is also the NIH deputy ethics counselor, will briefly cover projects the NIH has launched as part of this program, and discuss new initiatives that are part of a targeted research plan focused on tackling the unmet needs of those with opioid addiction and chronic pain.

Tabak has provided leadership for numerous trans-NIH activities, including the NIH Roadmap effort to support team science; the NIH director’s initiative to enhance peer review; NIH’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act implementation; the NIH initiative to enhance rigor and reproducibility in research; and the NIH-Wide Strategic Plan.

He co-chaired working groups of the advisory committee to the director of NIH on the Diversity of the Biomedical Research Workforce, the Long-Term Intramural Research Program, and currently is co-chair of both the Next Generation Researcher’s Initiative and High Risk High Reward Research working groups. He served as the acting principal deputy director of the NIH in 2009, and as director of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research from 2000 to 2010.

Prior to joining NIH, Tabak was the senior associate dean for research and professor of dentistry and biochemistry and biophysics in the School of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Rochester in New York. A former NIH MERIT recipient, Tabak’s major research focus has been on the structure, biosynthesis and function of glycoproteins. He continues work in this area, maintaining an active research laboratory within the NIH intramural program in addition to his administrative duties. He is an elected member the National Academy of Medicine of the National Academies.

Admission is free and open to the public. Advance registration is requested for this event. For questions related to the lecture, contact UIC Research Development Services at

This event is sponsored by the Office for the Vice Chancellor for Research, the UIC College of Dentistry and the UIC College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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