The new Training and Pilot Core for the Center for Drug Abuse Research Translation (CDART) has the specific goal of encouraging trainees to develop, implement and evaluate evidence-based preventive interventions that rely on multi-disciplinary perspectives and research. The central theme of CDART is that different facets of impulsivity (urgency, disinhibition and sensation seeking) are associated most strongly with different phases of drug use/abuse (problem use, escalation and initiation, respectively). As a key component of CDART, this core will require trainees to build bridges that connect different areas of research and translate basic research into prevention practice. Pilot investigators will be encouraged to design and implement preventive interventions that fit within the CDART theme. Thus, we will expand and formalize the roles of training and pilot project development through the following Specific Aims: 1) Provide the structure to train graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in translational research relevant to drug abuse prevention;2) Promote and manage our pilot project program that introduces faculty and research associates to translational research relevant to drug abuse prevention and CDART's research mission;3) Identify promising minority candidates for recruitment into the training and pilot project programs relevant to drug abuse prevention. As part of the approach, pre- and post-doctoral trainees will be introduced to the field of drug abuse prevention, with a special emphasis on translational work by attending and presenting in monthly trainee data presentations, attending seminars by researchers in drug abuse, and retreats designed to "brainstorm" with CDART faculty about future research plans, taking relevant topic-specific courses and ethics in research training, and attending informal seminars. The pilot program will prioritize eariy career investigators and minority scholars for funding, as well as more advanced faculty new to the drug abuse field. Proposals will be required to demonstrate the relevance of the project to the science and practice of drug abuse prevention. As a result, CDART trainees and pilot project principal investigators will be prepared to take lead roles in bridging the gap between basic and applied researchers.
Prevention strategies are important for reducing the incidence of drug abuse. The Training and Pilot Core will will require CDART trainees to build bridges connecting and translating basic reearch into prevention science. As such, the core will be instrumental in preparing trainees and fostering pilot project investigators to take leading roles in bridging the gap between basic and applied research in prevention science.
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