This application is a renewal of an Independent Scientist Award (K02 DA020569) "Parallel MRI for Substance Abuse Research" from a candidate who is a Physicist and has devoted his career to healthcare research including the understanding the effects of drugs of abuse on the brain. His expertise is in developing techniques for rapid functional MRI (fMRI) with minimal artifacts including magnetic susceptibility artifacts. Susceptibility artifacts produce large "holes" in the images, corrupting many brain regions including the ventral striatum, amygdale, orbital frontal cortex, basal ganglia, and nucleus accumbens. These regions are crucial to reward processing and decision-making and are likely to have a role in addictive disorders including substance abuse and dependence. During the past award period the applicant has successfully maintained independent NIH research funding as a PI by receiving two new R01 grants (DA019912 and EB011517) to continue his work on these advanced fMRI methods. The applicant is also the PI of a project to investigate Methamphetamine users with fMRI that is part of a U54 Specialized Neuroscience Research Program grant (NS056883) partially funded by NIDA. Furthermore, the candidate is a collaborator on several other projects that use his techniques to study drug addiction with fMRI and other neuropsychiatric diseases. The goal of this application is to allow the candidate at least 75% protected time to continue his independent research in MRI physics and substance abuse, mentor junior investigators, and maintain training in ethical research conduct. As part of his career development, he will provide mentorship to junior faculty who are interested in becoming independently funded investigators using MRI for drug abuse research. He will assist them with their manuscript preparations and grant writing, including serving as a mentor on career development awards. He will also provide fMRI methods to all of the senior substance abuse researchers, such as paradigms, pulse sequences, and processing techniques. He will also receive mentorship by working daily with leading experts in substance abuse research and learn about new applications including resting state fMRI. The applicant will continue to attend conferences in MRI methodology, brain imaging, neuroscience, and drug addiction. He will also maintain ongoing training in the responsible conduct of research. The candidate will pursue the following research objectives: 1) Develop methodology including the use of "parallel transmission" and "spectral-spatial pulses" for rapid brain fMRI with reduced susceptibility artifacts and validate the novel acquisitions for whole brain fMRI. 2) Use the methodology to study the effects of aging and methamphetamine use on brain "resting state networks."
This is a renewal of an Independent Investigator Award K02DA020569 from an Investigator who develops functional MRI (fMRI) methodology for drug abuse research. Renewal of this award will allow the applicant protected time to continue his independent research as well as to mentor and collaborate with investigators who use MRI for drug abuse research. The applicant will continue his independent research on two new R01 grants to develop fMRI techniques for improved data in brain regions critical for understanding drug addiction. He will also continue working a project to study Methamphetamine using resting state fMRI. The applicant will provide mentorship to junior investigators interested in MRI and drug abuse research and assist them with their career development including proposal preparation. He will also collaborate with senior drug abuse researchers by providing them with new fMRI methods.
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