We are requesting continued funding of this productive training program to support predoctoral and postdoctoral fellows in the biomedical aspects of drugs of abuse. The training record of this program is outstanding, due to the quality of the trainees and preceptors and its organizational structure. A large number of individuals who received training from these preceptors have progressed to become leaders in the drug abuse field and a very impressive number have earned funding from NIDA and other sources for their substance abuse-related research. Since the submission of our last competitive application we have recruited five faculties from other institutions and many faculties from other departments in this university. Thus we are requesting support for two additional predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees our preceptors provide "cutting edge" expertise in molecular, cellular, behavioral, clinical and translational aspects of this area of research. The major emphasis of this program continues to be concentrated on the pharmacology and mechanism of action of abused drugs and mechanisms of addiction. We continue to have a broad scope in our training program and expect that each preceptor will bring his or her specific expertise to the benefit of all trainees. This is accomplished through the wide variety of courses, the high level of collaboration among the mentors, the faculty serving on thesis committees and our excellent seminar series. The program has enjoyed and will continue to benefit from strong administrative support from the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology and new up to date laboratories with modern major equipment, including confocal microscopy, mass spectrometry, and facilities for non-human primate behavioral testing. The predoctoral training program is rigorous and is characterized by two years of required course work and participation in excellent research projects. The major emphasis of all training supported by this program is on research. The faculty have earned the research support for the trainees through the significant number of grants they have generated. The research projects of the fellows in this program will continue to be directed toward elucidating the abuse potential, the cellular, molecular and behavioral mechanisms of action and pharmacological properties of drugs of abuse and addiction. Postdoctoral fellows will concentrate on research throughout their training. The faculty will provide guidance on research, teaching and the professionalism of a career in biomedical science and all aspects of becoming a productive and independent researcher. This has been a hallmark of this program and will continue to provide the atmosphere for the training of leading scholars in the drug abuse field for the future.
The objective of this training grant is to educate the future generation of researchers who will concentrate on elucidating the actions of abused substances, understand the behavioral causes and consequences of addiction, and develop medications for the prevention and treatment of this disease. Progress in this area requires a work force of researchers with a solid knowledge of the biological processes affected by these substances and by this disease. Graduates of this program will be prepared to have an impact on the health of millions of individuals affected by this disease, their families and all society who currently spend billions of dollars a year on this medical and social problem.
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