The annual workshop on the Genetics of Addiction proposed in this application will provide students with an opportunity to learn about genetic applications and approaches to drug addiction research through methodological instruction making use of examples, literature and data sets drawn from studies of addiction related phenotypes, plenary sessions on major progress in addiction genetics, and discussion sessions in which students each present their work for group discussion on applications of genetic methods. Students will leave the course able to design and interpret genetic and genomic studies of addiction as they relate to their specific research question, and will be able to make use of current bioinformatics resources to identify research resources and make use of public data sources in their own research.
These aims will be accomplished annually over the next three years by an intensive 4-day course to be offered in mid August. In 2011, the course will be held on August 14-18 at The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor Maine. Students will be chosen for their outstanding research potential in fields relevant to the course and will interact with a group of prominent computational biologists, bio-informaticists, biologists and geneticists from The Jackson Laboratory and other institutions. Didactic sessions will be held in the mornings, while the afternoon and evening sessions will be largely reserved for hands-on training workshops special lectures and informal discussion around the days activities. Student enrollment is kept deliberately small (35) to achieve a desirable level of student-faculty interaction. Food and lodging will be provided at the Highseas Conference Center overlooking Frenchman Bay, providing an atmosphere highly conducive to interactions between students and faculty.
Evidence from human genetic analyses and from animal models suggests that vulnerability to addiction has a moderate to high heritable component. This workshop proposes to offer training in how to leverage genetic and genomic resources to understand these components and their role in human addiction. )