Over the last four years, the Medical University of South Carolina's (MUSC) Specialized Center of Research (SCOR) on Sex and Gender Factors Affecting Women's Health has functioned as a productive interdisciplinary research center focused on treatment and relapse in substance use disorders in women. When the MUSC SCOR was established in 2002, it filled an important gap. While MUSC had significant depth and strength in translational, interdisciplinary research in the area of substance use disorders, there was no gender-specific focus. Furthermore, the MUSC SCOR was the first women's health research initiative to be undertaken on the MUSC campus. The active, campus-wide collaborations of SCOR investigators, combined with the SCOR pilot project program have encouraged and impacted gender-based research campus-wide. During the renewal period, we propose to more closely link our scientific projects and follow up on intriguing findings from the previous funding period. Each core research project will involve the investigation of the biological basis of sex differences in drug abuse reinstatement, craving and/or relapse, and treatment implications. The overarching goals of the center will focus not only on supporting and maximizing the translational scientific collaborations of the core and pilot research projects, but also on continuing to catalyze the growth of gender-based research throughout the MUSC campus.
The Specific Aims for the years 6-10 of the MUSC SCOR are:
Specific Aim #1 : To continue the well-established, multi-disciplinary, translational program of research focused on gender-related issues in substance use disorders at MUSC.
Specific Aim #2 : To provide common resources through the Administrative Core to assist investigators in increasing efficiency, maximizing scientific rigor and productivity, and collecting pilot data.
Specific Aim #3 : To encourage and support the growth of gender-based research throughout the MUSC campus.
Specific Aim #4 : To attract and mentor young investigators and new faculty in the area of research, particularly patient-oriented research, in women's health issues.
Specific Aim #5 : To provide a regional education and training resource for research in women's health research.
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