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It gives me great pleasure and pride to introduce our concluding speaker, Dr Charles Robert Schuster. Dr Schuster was appointed Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) in 1986, and he resigned voluntarily, as a birthday present to himself, in 1992. He is now a scientist, mentor, guru, ad hoc guidance counsellor and everything else with us at the Addiction Research Center, and I can’t tell you what a pleasure it is to have him there.
Yesterday Frank Vocci said this field is working; we’ve come a long way from people quitting on their own at 2% annually. And the field has been working, in part, because of the efforts of Bob Schuster. He did the pivotal study in the 1960s that demonstrated the viability of nicotine replacement, one of the most widely cited studies in the basic literature. His service on numerous committees of the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences and World Health Organisation have laid the groundwork for the criteria for evaluating addictions, and for evaluating medications.
And finally, as director of NIDA, I can tell you he was there at a time that the White House was anything but sympathetic to nicotine research, and he fought an uphill battle to sustain funding for nicotine research at the ARC, and in the extramural programmes. Perhaps his most truly courageous day was when Ron Davis and I met with him to discuss what would become of the addiction report because we knew it would have little credibility if NIDA would not back it in every way, and Bob Schuster, with unwavering support, backed and supported it.
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