The desire to pursue a career as a neuroimaging researcher evolved from my longstanding interest in the biologic mechanisms associated with substance induced brain injury. My most productive substance abuse research has been with Dr. Dieter Meyerhoff, Professor of Radiology at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), on a study of the neurobiological mechanisms associated with alcoholism-related brain injury. As Assistant Professor at UCSF, I am responsible for all neurocognitive and psychiatric assessment. However, I am currently unable to independently apply the MR acquisition or processing methodology to my own research interests, due to a lack of specific training in this area. My overarching career goal is to develop programmatic research that will advance our understanding of the neurobiological mechanisms associated with cognitive dysfunction in substance use disorders, with an emphasis on under-represented minorities. To realize this goal, I will require focused training in: 1) the acquisition, processing, and interpretation of advanced magnetic resonance neuroimaging methods;2) the neurobiological and cognitive implications of nicotine dependence;3) clinical assessment methods for nicotine dependence;4) advanced statistical methodology;5) advanced neuroanatomy and neurophysiology. Dr. Meyerhoff and a panel of experts will provide me with extensive training in these areas, complemented by relevant seminars and courses. My research plan will combine state-of-the art resonance imaging techniques and comprehensive neurocognitive testing to better elucidate the effects of chronic smoking on human neurobiology and function. I will use this award to develop into a productive researcher who is in the unique position to combine in-vivo magnetic resonance-based techniques, with expertise in clinical neuropsychology, to examine the neurobiological and cognitive effects of substance use disorders.

Public Health Relevance

It is well known that cigarette smoking harms nearly every organ of the body and it is linked to many diseases. However, little is known about how smoking affects a very important organ - the human brain. This study will use advanced neuroimaging techniques and cognitive tests to better understand the effects of smoking on the brain and its functions. Such information may help develop better medications and behavioral treatments to assist with the millions around the world who are unable to quit smoking.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Research Scientist Development Award - Research & Training (K01)
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Study Section
Human Development Research Subcommittee (NIDA)
Program Officer
Kautz, Mary A
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University of California San Francisco
Schools of Medicine
San Francisco
United States
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Durazzo, Timothy C; Mon, Anderson; Gazdzinski, Stefan et al. (2016) Regional brain volume changes in alcohol-dependent individuals during early abstinence: associations with relapse following treatment. Addict Biol :
Murray, Donna E; Durazzo, Timothy C; Schmidt, Thomas P et al. (2016) Frontal Metabolite Concentration Deficits in Opiate Dependence Relate to Substance Use, Cognition, and Self-Regulation. J Addict Res Ther 7:
Durazzo, Timothy C; Meyerhoff, Dieter J; Mon, Anderson et al. (2016) Chronic Cigarette Smoking in Healthy Middle-Aged Individuals Is Associated With Decreased Regional Brain N-acetylaspartate and Glutamate Levels. Biol Psychiatry 79:481-8
Durazzo, Timothy C; Korecka, Magdalena; Trojanowski, John Q et al. (2016) Active Cigarette Smoking in Cognitively-Normal Elders and Probable Alzheimer's Disease is Associated with Elevated Cerebrospinal Fluid Oxidative Stress Biomarkers. J Alzheimers Dis 54:99-107
Durazzo, Timothy C; Meyerhoff, Dieter J (2016) Psychiatric, Demographic, and Brain Morphological Predictors of Relapse After Treatment for an Alcohol Use Disorder. Alcohol Clin Exp Res :
Durazzo, Timothy C; Meyerhoff, Dieter J; Murray, Donna E (2015) Comparison of Regional Brain Perfusion Levels in Chronically Smoking and Non-Smoking Adults. Int J Environ Res Public Health 12:8198-213
Pennington, David L; Durazzo, Timothy C; Schmidt, Thomas P et al. (2015) Alcohol use disorder with and without stimulant use: brain morphometry and its associations with cigarette smoking, cognition, and inhibitory control. PLoS One 10:e0122505
Murray, Donna E; Durazzo, Timothy C; Mon, Anderson et al. (2015) Brain perfusion in polysubstance users: relationship to substance and tobacco use, cognition, and self-regulation. Drug Alcohol Depend 150:120-8
Durazzo, Timothy C; Mon, Anderson; Gazdzinski, Stefan et al. (2015) Serial longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging data indicate non-linear regional gray matter volume recovery in abstinent alcohol-dependent individuals. Addict Biol 20:956-67
Schmidt, Thomas P; Pennington, David L; Durazzo, Timothy C et al. (2014) Postural stability in cigarette smokers and during abstinence from alcohol. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 38:1753-60

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