This application is a K02 Independent Scientist Career Development Award submitted by R. Christopher Pierce, Ph.D. There are five major goals of the career development plan, which include: i) focusing more attention on Dr. Pierce's primary research program (funded by R01 DA15214, R.C. Pierce, PI), which is concentrated on delineating the neurochemical and biochemical changes in various limbic nuclei responsible for the reinstatement of cocaine-induced drug seeking;ii) increasing the scope of these studies to include imaging experiments in non-human primate subjects in order to evaluate changes in the CNS prior to, during and after periods of excessive cocaine intake;iii) learning the technical and methodological details associated with magnetic resonance imaging and magnetic resonance spectroscopy experiments, which will be required to complete the second goal. Goals ii and iii will be done in collaboration with Drs. James Rowlett and Itamar Ronen;iv) expanding Dr. Pierce's research program from a relatively single-minded focus on the behavioral pharmacology of cocaine to include issues related to the neurotoxicity produced by other drugs of abuse. Specifically, he will determine the functional consequences of MDMA-induced damage of central serotonin systems as well as potential toxic interactions between cocaine and MDMA;and v) learning new techniques from Dr. Bryan Yamamoto and Dr. Jean-Jacques Soghomonian related to measures of neurotoxicity (i.e. measures of free radical formation, lipid and protein oxidation, excitoxicity and terminal degradation) in the context of the MDMA-cocaine project. Dr. Pierce currently devotes 60% effort to research and 40% effort to teaching and administrative duties. If this application is funded, he will be released from 25% of his non-research duties such that 85% of his time will be devoted to research. This release time will allow Dr. Pierce to devote more attention to his existing research and also expand his research collaborations with Drs. Rowlett, Ronen, Yamamoto and Soghomonian, which will have a significant positive impact on his career development.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Research Scientist Development Award - Research (K02)
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Study Section
Human Development Research Subcommittee (NIDA)
Program Officer
Volman, Susan
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University of Pennsylvania
Schools of Medicine
United States
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White, Samantha L; Vassoler, Fair M; Schmidt, Heath D et al. (2016) Enhanced anxiety in the male offspring of sires that self-administered cocaine. Addict Biol 21:802-10
White, Samantha L; Ortinski, Pavel I; Friedman, Shayna H et al. (2016) A Critical Role for the GluA1 Accessory Protein, SAP97, in Cocaine Seeking. Neuropsychopharmacology 41:736-50
Schmidt, H D; McFarland, K N; Darnell, S B et al. (2015) ADAR2-dependent GluA2 editing regulates cocaine seeking. Mol Psychiatry 20:1460-6
Ortinski, Pavel I; Briand, Lisa A; Pierce, R Christopher et al. (2015) Cocaine-seeking is associated with PKC-dependent reduction of excitatory signaling in accumbens shell D2 dopamine receptor-expressing neurons. Neuropharmacology 92:80-9
Guercio, Leonardo A; Schmidt, Heath D; Pierce, R Christopher (2015) Deep brain stimulation of the nucleus accumbens shell attenuates cue-induced reinstatement of both cocaine and sucrose seeking in rats. Behav Brain Res 281:125-30
Schmidt, Heath D; Kimmey, Blake A; Arreola, Adrian C et al. (2015) Group I metabotropic glutamate receptor-mediated activation of PKC gamma in the nucleus accumbens core promotes the reinstatement of cocaine seeking. Addict Biol 20:285-96
Ting, Jenhao H; Marks, David R; Schleidt, Stephanie S et al. (2014) Targeted gene mutation of E2F1 evokes age-dependent synaptic disruption and behavioral deficits. J Neurochem 129:850-63
Rasakham, Khampaseuth; Schmidt, Heath D; Kay, Kevin et al. (2014) Synapse density and dendritic complexity are reduced in the prefrontal cortex following seven days of forced abstinence from cocaine self-administration. PLoS One 9:e102524
Polter, Abigail M; Bishop, Rachel A; Briand, Lisa A et al. (2014) Poststress block of kappa opioid receptors rescues long-term potentiation of inhibitory synapses and prevents reinstatement of cocaine seeking. Biol Psychiatry 76:785-93
Vassoler, F M; Byrnes, E M; Pierce, R C (2014) The impact of exposure to addictive drugs on future generations: Physiological and behavioral effects. Neuropharmacology 76 Pt B:269-75

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