This is a new application for a Senior Research and Mentorship Award (K05). The candidate, Peter M. Monti, Distinguished Professor of Alcohol and Addiction Studies, Director, Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies and Head of the Behavioral and Social Sciences Section at Brown University, proposes an initial period of intense research mentoring to four outstanding Brown University scientists in his Center and a shift in his research program to youth and young adults. Therefore, Dr. Monti proposes to transition from a VA Senior Career Scientist Award to the K05. Mentees and Mentoring Plan. One of the proposed mentees, Don Operario (a social psychologist) was recently recruited from Oxford University and is in a tenure-track position. The other two proposed faculty mentees, Robert Miranda (a clinical psychologist) and Tara White (a neuroscientist) are on a """"""""research"""""""" track. While all three have excellent publication records, only Miranda has published alcohol papers and has received funding from NIAAA (a K23 and 2 R21s). Operario and White are NIDA-funded. None have been funded at the R01 level from NIAAA, though all three have demonstrated strong interest in becoming alcohol researchers. Miranda is furthest along, though both Operario and White have submitted alcohol applications as part of the candidate's pending P60 Center Grant Proposal. The fourth mentee, Margie Skeer (a social epidemiologist) is a postdoctoral candidate working with Monti. She too has a strong publication record. However, she has only just published her first alcohol manuscript, though she has indicated interest in alcohol, as this was her reason for coming to Brown. Mentoring goals for all applicants involve providing both targeted and general guidance and support for grantsmanship, the development of alcohol research programs, and more general professional development issues including feedback on how to mentor their own trainees. Importantly, all four mentees have been incorporated into the applicant's research program which is moving in the direction of youth alcohol intervention and the study of alcohol/HIV interactions. The applicant intends to gain complementary expertise in this area as well as in neuroscience and MRI modalities - all topics of his P60. With respect to the Research Plan, the applicant intends to continue to focus on a research agenda that is broad and yet focused on treatment mechanisms, pharmacotherapy, contextual factors and individual differences. Using his existing data sets he proposes to study mediators and moderators of treatment outcomes and the assessment of daily drinking behavior in the context of his brief intervention work. In addition he will add a study of lab-based alcohol effects onto his ongoing trial of topiramate for heavy drinkers, thus enabling the study of the effects of topiramate and drinking both in the lab (new data to be collected) and in the natural environment (through Ecological Momentary Assessment data that are already collected as part of his ongoing R01). Finally, as funding for his pending P60 application becomes clearer, he will begin pertinent pilot work on aspects of this project.
Advancing biopsychosocial approaches to alcohol treatment and mentoring has the potential to influence public health by reducing alcohol use in youth through improved early intervention and treatment. More and better mentored alcohol treatment scientists will facilitate the goal of reduced use in youth.
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