This K02 application seeks support that is essential for the candidate's continued training and career development in substance abuse research. With the support of mentored career awards both from the NIDA and the NIH, the candidate has developed considerable expertise in cognitive and imaging neuroscience. His has shown a record of publication in combining functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and experimental psychology to delineate the component neural processes of cognitive control, a critical factor contributing to relapse in cocaine dependent patients. He has obtained independent funding to investigate the altered neural processes of cognitive control and how these deficits may predict drug use behavior during follow-up of patients with cocaine dependence. Collaborating with colleagues at the Yale Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Center, he is also proposing to examine the molecular bases in association with altered cognitive control in these patients. Thus, the candidate has proposed a systematic training in (a) advanced data including connectivity analysis of fMRI;(b) PET imaging methodology and procedure;(c) neuropsychopharmacology;(d) clinical treatment outcome and relapse study;and (e) ethics and human subject study training to enhance his knowledge and skills in performing translational and clinical research in substance use disorders. He will acquire the expertise by focusing on three projects during the award period. In the R01 project he will elucidate the neural predictors of relapse in cocaine dependent patients. In the R03 project he will examine these neural processes in the patients with pharmacologically induced cocaine craving. He is also actively seeking funding to examine the regulation of noradrenergic neurotransmission as a molecular basis of "loss of control" during cocaine craving. Thus, this K02 award is vital for the candidate to receive additional training required to perform the proposed research, to broaden his research scope, and to remain productive in his development into a leading investigator in substance abuse research.
By employing innovative imaging techniques, the candidate seeks to identify the brain processes associated with relapse in cocaine dependent patients. The proposed research will help unravel the etiology and facilitate treatment of this chronic, debilitating mental disorder.
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