This is a resubmitted application for a Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23) to provide the applicant, Marc L. Copersino, Ph.D., with five years of support and mentorship in the areas of multi-modal brain imaging using magnetic and optical spectroscopic methods, and advanced training in clinical neuropsychology. Under the sponsorship of Dr. Scott Lukas, Dr. Copersino's training plan is designed to provide him with knowledge and skills in clinical neuropsychology, cognitive neuroimaging, and complementary neuroscience through the combination of supervised research and clinical casework, course- and seminar- based didactics, and laboratory visits to outside institutions. Dr. Copersino is a new investigator, and a clinical psychologist by training, who in 2005 joined the faculty of Harvard Medical School as an Instructor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry, and an Assistant Research Psychologist at the McLean Hospital Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Program. McLean Hospital provides an ideal setting for the study of interdisciplinary and complementary neuroscience relevant to the evaluation and treatment of substance abusers. The High Field Imaging Center at McLean is the only magnetic resonance facility of its kind in the world dedicated solely to substance abuse and psychiatric research, and will be used for both studies planned as part of this K23 application. The goals of the research proposed under this award are to carefully examine neuroscientific mechanisms that can be translated into interventions aimed at strengthening cognitive control in persons with cocaine dependence. The long-term career goal of Dr. Copersino is to make scientific contributions toward the evaluation and treatment of cognitively compromised persons with substance use disorders, integrating principles and methods of cognitive neuroimaging and rehabilitative neuropsychology. In closing, this combination of mentoring, didactic education, and supervised experience will allow Dr. Copersino to pursue career development activities that build on his previous education and experience, and that are essential to his achieving his long-term goal of success as an independent clinical researcher in the drug abuse field.

Public Health Relevance

Loss of self-control is a hallmark feature of relapse and the maintenance of compulsive drug seeking behavior. The strengthening of cognitive control in drug-addicted individuals is one of the most challenging but essential goals in enhancing existing treatments for addiction. Through execution of the proposed research, it is hoped that knowledge will be gained that will assist in the development of interventions aimed at treating this relapsing disorder of the brain.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23)
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Human Development Research Subcommittee (NIDA)
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Bjork, James M
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Mclean Hospital
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Rass, Olga; Kleykamp, Bethea A; Vandrey, Ryan G et al. (2014) Cognitive performance in methadone maintenance patients: effects of time relative to dosing and maintenance dose level. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol 22:248-56
Gorelick, David A; Levin, Kenneth H; Copersino, Marc L et al. (2012) Diagnostic criteria for cannabis withdrawal syndrome. Drug Alcohol Depend 123:141-7
Copersino, Marc L; Schretlen, David J; Fitzmaurice, Garrett M et al. (2012) Effects of cognitive impairment on substance abuse treatment attendance: predictive validation of a brief cognitive screening measure. Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse 38:246-50