This application requests R13 funding over a period of five years for three three-day Institutes on longitudinal research findings and methods, each of which involves a full-day conference and subsequent two-day intensive training program. The goal of the Institute is to disseminate current findings and effective methods in longitudinal drug abuse and related research, highlighting the following themes: interdisciplinary research, HIV and drug abuse, international research, life course drug use perspectives and services integration, chronic care models and interventions, and adolescents and early interventions. This goal will be accomplished by two main activities: 1) presentations of current theory, state-of-the-art methods and findings in longitudinal research by renowned scientists on various aspects of drug abuse, to an audience of approximately 150 researchers and other professionals, and 2) to provide junior investigators with an intensive learning experience imparting knowledge on a range of methodological tools necessary for the conceptualization, implementation, and analysis of longitudinal research. The materials to be disseminated will be originated from the NIDA-funded Center for Advancing Longitudinal Drug Abuse Research and from highly regarded researchers from across the nation and world. The 2008, 2010, 2012 Institutes will take place at the University of California, Los Angeles The R13 funding will: 1) provide partial support for investigators and staff who will organize the scientific events, including preparation of the curriculum, advertising, communication with guest speakers, rental of necessary meeting space/equipment, and procurement of necessary supplies;2) support highly qualified plenary and workshop speakers;3) provide travel awards/scholarships to junior investigators or advanced students;and 4) develop conference-related materials for public distribution via the Center's website. We will specifically recruit participants from underrepresented populations in order to ensure that researchers from a variety of backgrounds have the opportunity to learn from and contribute to the longitudinal research field.
The knowledge and information disseminated in the proposed conference will promote innovative conceptualization, effective methods, and interdisciplinary collaboration in the conduct of longitudinal drug abuse research, which will improve public health by developing comprehensive understanding of drug and alcohol use and its interplay with HIV, drug treatment, mental health, health, criminal justice and other service systems.