The long-range goal of the proposed MIDARP program described in this application is to increase the capacity of Meharry Medical College to conduct rigorous research in drug abuse and addiction with an emphasis on health disparities and clinically underserved populations. The research program will seek to understand the molecular and behavioral basis for the in-vivo responses to acute and chronic methamphetamine (METH) exposures. We also plan to strengthen our intellectual environment and enhance the interest levels of trainees and faculty in drug abuse research.
The Specific Aims of the Meharry Medical College MIDARP Program during the next five years are: 1. To publish at least 10 or more peer-reviewed publications in high-impact journals in drug abuse research;2. To submit 4 or more applications for grants in drug abuse research by year-03 of the proposed award period;3. To acquire 3 or more investigator-initiated awards by the end of year-05;and 4. To stimulate additional faculty and trainee interest in drug abuse research by curricula enhancement, seminars and symposia. One primary and one pilot research projects are proposed, all from junior investigators. In the primary project, Dr. H. Khoshbouei will characterize the biophysical properties of the dopamine transporter in response to METH versus amphetamine in an effort to understand the greater addictive potential of METH. Dr. Chirwa will characterize the impact of prenatal METH exposure on cellular (electrophysiological and molecular) correlates of adult memory and learning. This program will, thus, seek to understand the effect of Methamphetamine on the brain while stimulating the interests of other faculty members and trainees in drug abuse research.
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