The overall aim of this Center is to provide molecular, genetic, chemical and analytical knowledge and expertise to create new and enhance previously funded drug abuse research at this and neighboring universities. These Cores will provide up-to-date and innovative expertise that is somewhat oblique to the methodologies used in previously funded research. This will result in new collaborative research and enhance previously funded research in ways that could not have been contemplated just a few years ago. Cores in synthetic and analytical chemistry, genetics, genetically engineered altered mice/viral vectors, and receptor function will provide the opportunity for funded researchers to broaden the scope of their work to transform knowledge in very creative ways. The inclusion of chemistry, genetics and analytical Cores will fill a major void in our many research projects. The ability to continue to provide genetically altered mice with appropriate genotyping, etc., and the inclusion of expertise in viral vector technology are seen as major assets of this Center. Being able to have a collaborator elucidate receptor function changes for a substance found to alter behavior or craving for a drug provides the atmosphere for new and creative research. This type of collaboration among scientists at different institutions is rare and would take many months or years if in fact collaboration could be established at all. In this Center this type of collaboratin will be the norm. We are committed to provide considerable institutional support such as the use of an up-to-date imaging center and a forensic toxicology laboratory established by the university. We will match dollar for dollar the pilot project program and provide administrative support beyond the modest amount requested. The Cores will also be utilized by NlDA-funded investigators at the University of Virginia and George Mason University. Scholars at the relatively new Pharmacy School at Hampton University have expressed interest (letter from the dean) in the utilization of these Cores as they establish their research programs. We will also share all aspects of this Center with scientists throughout the country.
Drug abuse and addiction produce a major human and financial burden on society. The complexities of the diseases associated with substance abuse and addiction are being appreciated more and more all the time. It is obvious that a comprehensive approach as described in this application is needed to determine the best way to prevent and treat these diseases.
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