This is an application for renewal of an interdisciplinary Drug Abuse Research Training Program titled Training in Neuroimmune/Neurobehavior Addiction Research (T32 DA007097-30) known as Pharmaconeuroimmunology. The Pharmaconeuroimmunology Training Program <www.facebook.com/pniprogram>has operated for ten years and resulted from the combination of two previously NIDA-funded programs at the University of Minnesota, Training in Drug Abuse and Neurobehavioral Pharmacology (T32 DA07097-20)" and "Training in PNI and Substance Abuse (T32 DA07239-10)." The combined training program meets a well-recognized need to train biomedical scientists at the pre- and postdoctoral levels in an interdisciplinary and translational field that focuses on the interactions of drugs of abuse with the nervous and immune systems, and integrates our understanding of these physiological interactions with their behavioral counterparts. We train basic scientists and clinicians in these fields to talk to one another productively. A critical component of the training program considers the role of drugs of abuse as co-factors in HIV/AIDS, specifically relating to NeuroAIDS. Former trainees (25 predoctoral and 22 postdoctoral in the past 10 years) hold influential positions in academia, government, and industry. Our 32 primary faculty trainers are a talented group of neuroscientists, psychologists, pharmacologists, immunologists, and microbiologists at the University of Minnesota. Across these disciplines we have both laboratory-based scientists and clinical faculty, allowing the program to attract outstanding trainees. Our well-funded faculty trainers have extensive experience as mentors and are committed to training predoctoral students and postdoctoral fellows in this interdisciplinary setting. We also have co-mentors with selected expertise who will provide specialized training components. To fulfill our training mission with our available resources, we request funding for 10 predoctoral and 5 postdoctoral positions. All of the elements of a successful training program are in place and are functioning efficiently and effectively: a formal predoctoral curriculum, including courses in neuro-immune interactions and neuropsychopharmacology;a bimonthly seminar series;and most importantly, linkages established, collegial, and creative relationships among the faculty across the disciplines. Since the last submission, we have built on our accumulated experience and implemented two components that have further strengthened our trainees'interdisciplinary translational research experiences: 1) a clinical course on "Substance Abuse to the Bedside" that focuses on heroin, cocaine/methamphetamine, nicotine, and the medical complications of addictions, including complications from AIDS, and 2) a new colloquium on "HIV/AIDS: Pathogenesis, Treatment, and Prevention" led by clinical faculty who deal directly with AIDS patients.
This is a competitive renewal for an interdisciplinary training program at the University of Minnesota that focuses on the interactions of drugs of abuse with the nervous and immune systems, and integrates our understanding of these physiological interactions with their behavioral counterparts, including the role of drugs of abuse as co-factors in HIV/AIDS. To fulfill our training mission, 10 predoctoral and 5 postdoctoral positions are requested.
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