The purpose of this application is to continue a highly successful 20-year training program in the human behavioral pharmacology of drug dependence. During the past ten years, we have trained 13 predoctoral students of whom all (100%) remain involved in research or academics (teaching) and 16 postdoctoral students of whom 14 (88%) remain involved in research or academics. Among the 17 who have completed their training, 15 (88%) have obtained a faculty appointment, 9 (53%) have obtained an NIH research or career-development award, and 5 (29%) have already obtained one or more R01 awards. Collectively, these 29 trainees have authored more than 300 publications. Trainees from the 1st ten years of the program did equally well. In addition to being a productive training program, we feel that training students in human behavioral pharmacology fills a unique niche in addiction research. Our students are trained to identify basic behavioral and pharmacological processes underpinning addiction and to translate that knowledge into effective clinical interventions. We propose to continue our emphasis on human behavioral pharmacology in the next funding period but in response to scientific advances in addiction research to also include training in behavioral genetics and neuroscience/neuroimaging. We have added two members to our training faculty who are experts in these respective areas. We are proposing 5 predoctoral and 5 postdoctoral (M.D. or Ph.D.) training slots and a team of six training faculty. The six members of the training faculty consist of four Ph.D.s, one M.D., and one M.D./Ph.D. who are PIs on 14 NIH grants (13 from NIDA), one NIH contract, and one pharmaceutical company grant. Research opportunities range from laboratory studies examining behavioral, genetic, and neural factors influencing human drug self-administration to outpatient trials of behavioral and pharmacological treatments for a wide range of addictions. To enhance interaction, training is conducted at a single, on-campus site composed of 8000 sq ft of newly renovated laboratory, clinic, and office space. Trainees are selected on the basis of excellence in their scholastic record and by their commitment to a career in addiction research. Predoctoral trainees are enrolled in the Department of Psychology's doctoral programs in general-experimental or clinical psychology where they complete required coursework in psychology, including those developed specifically for this training program, and complete master's and doctoral theses. Postdoctoral students have the opportunity to further enhance their education via course-work but are mostly mentored in conducting independent research. Each trainee has a primary mentor from the training faculty. Trainees attend weekly seminars in addiction research and research ethics. Additionally, they present their research findings at one or more national scientific meetings annually. The training period is generally 4 to 5 years for predoctoral fellows and 2 to 3 years for postdoctoral fellows. The overarching goal of the proposed training program is to continue to develop productive, independent, state-of-the-art addiction researchers.

Public Health Relevance

The purpose of this application is to continue a highly successful 20-year training program in addiction research. Students will be trained to identify basic behavioral, genetic, neural, and pharmacological processes involved in addiction and to translate that knowledge into effective clinical interventions. Prior graduates of this program have done quite well at remaining involved in research and teaching, publishing articles on addiction, and becoming independent addiction researchers. We aim to continue this record of training success in the next funding period.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Study Section
AIDS Behavioral Research Subcommittee (NIDA)
Program Officer
Aklin, Will
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University of Vermont & St Agric College
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Marrone, Gina F; Grinnell, Steven G; Lu, Zhigang et al. (2016) Truncated mu opioid GPCR variant involvement in opioid-dependent and opioid-independent pain modulatory systems within the CNS. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 113:3663-8
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Kurti, Allison N; Klemperer, Elias M; Zvorsky, Ivori et al. (2016) Some context for understanding the place of the general educational development degree in the relationship between educational attainment and smoking prevalence. Prev Med 92:141-147
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