The purpose of this program is to train promising young scientists at the postdoctoral level in the multi- disciplinary strategies of molecular, cellular, behavioral, and clinical neuropsychopharmacology of ethanol. The Scripps Research Institute Alcohol Research Center (TSRI-ARC), combined with a very active independent but interactive San Diego Alcohol Research Community, has developed a conceptual framework for the study of the neurobiology of alcoholism and the neurobiological basis for individual differences in vulnerability to alcoholism. Methods have been developed by combining biochemical, morphological, physiological and behavioral research to arrive at broad based studies of the neuropsychopharmacology of alcoholism through such fields as molecular biology, immunocytochemistry, electrophysiologic analysis (in vitro and in vivo), neuroendocrinology, behavioral pharmacology, and cognitive and motivational testing applied to animal and human subjects, and clinical studies. In addition, we also attempt to develop other important skills for pathways to independence: creative research expression, critical selection of problems, experimental design, data recording, validation and security, data interpretation, manuscript and grant preparation, promotion of transition awards, and ethical conduct of research. Trainees participate in scientific project development, research seminars from visiting scientists and journal clubs is well as actively participating in research programs. Each trainee will also receive a course on ethanol neuropsychopharmacology and a course in ethical conduct of research. Both informal and formal recruitment mechanisms are well established and have provided a sufficient number of high quality applicants. Extensive programs are in place for recruitment of minority and for facilitating minority interest in alcohol research. Significant success in the past funding period has resulted in retaining and promoting two minority faculty to the training program, training of two minorities and recruitment of two young faculty members. An evaluation of the success of the program is in place charting the career development of pathways to independence in alcohol research of former fellows with use of a formal evaluation survey. Postdoctoral fellows and other advanced trainees are selected with preferential weighting towards those seeking interdisciplinary methodologies. They are then assigned to one of the Principal Investigators of the training grant who coordinates their initial research project selections. Depending upon a trainee's prior research skills, collaborations with more than one senior scientist are encouraged. All combined, the training program provides a dynamic environment for fellows to develop and pursue a foundation for career in the neuropsychopharmacology of alcoholism.

Public Health Relevance

This is a training program to train promising young scientists at the postdoctoral level (post Ph.D.) in molecular, cellular, behavioral and clinical neuropsychopharmacology. Trainees participate in scientific project development, seminars from visiting scientists, a course in neuropsychopharmacology, a course in ethical conduct of research, and training in career development for pathways to independence. Established procedures for recruitment, evaluation and career development are in place.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAA1)
Program Officer
Egli, Mark
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Scripps Research Institute
La Jolla
United States
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Schmeichel, Brooke E; Barbier, Estelle; Misra, Kaushik K et al. (2015) Hypocretin receptor 2 antagonism dose-dependently reduces escalated heroin self-administration in rats. Neuropsychopharmacology 40:1123-9
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