The program proposed here is a continuation of an interdisciplinary, predoctoral training program in research related to drug abuse. The objective of this program continues to be the preparation of individuals for research, professional and teaching careers focused on drug abuse. Students are drawn from the Behavioral Neuroscience Program within the Department of Psychology or the Curriculum in Neurobiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The environment offered by UNC/Chapel Hill Is particularly well suited for training in research related to drug abuse. First of all, the faculty includes a core of individuals whose research and teaching activities provide a broad spectrum of high-quality, research training opportunities. These include the neurobiology of dopamine and opioid systems, the neuropharmacology of ethanol and other drugs of abuse, investigations of the immune system and drugs of abuse, behavioral genetics of drugs of abuse, and the behavioral, neurobiological and endocrine effects of cocaine and other psychomotor stimulants. Secondly, the interaction among investigators provides a strong collaborative environment for training students. All trainees receive formal training in the basic neural and behavioral sciences. More focused training related to drug abuse comes from a variety of interdepartmental courses and seminars and extensive laboratory research. Trainees also take part in conferences at national meetings, and receive training in teaching and communication. They participate in courses and discussions related to the ethical conduct of research, and are provided many opportunities to develop their professional leadership skills, including writing proposals and making formal presentations. Upon completion of their training, students are prepared to pursue a career related to drug abuse in academic or research-intensive settings.

Public Health Relevance

Drug abuse remains a pressing problem in this country and the interdisciplinary training program proposed here addresses that problem by preparing individuals with the skills necessary to advance knowledge of the behavioral, neurobiological and pharmacological effects of drugs of abuse This knowledge is central to the development of treatments for those who are dependent upon drugs of abuse and for the prevention of drug abuse in others.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Human Development Research Subcommittee (NIDA)
Program Officer
Lynch, Minda
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Schools of Arts and Sciences
Chapel Hill
United States
Zip Code
Jones, Meghan E; Lebonville, Christina L; Barrus, Daniel et al. (2015) The role of brain interleukin-1 in stress-enhanced fear learning. Neuropsychopharmacology 40:1289-96
Swift-Scanlan, Theresa; Smith, Christopher T; Bardowell, Sabrina A et al. (2014) Comprehensive interrogation of CpG island methylation in the gene encoding COMT, a key estrogen and catecholamine regulator. BMC Med Genomics 7:5
Arguello, Amy A; Hodges, Matthew A; Wells, Audrey M et al. (2014) Involvement of amygdalar protein kinase A, but not calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, in the reconsolidation of cocaine-related contextual memories in rats. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 231:55-65
Olney, J J; Sprow, G M; Navarro, M et al. (2014) The protective effects of the melanocortin receptor (MCR) agonist, melanotan-II (MTII), against binge-like ethanol drinking are facilitated by deletion of the MC3 receptor in mice. Neuropeptides 48:47-51
Smith, Christopher T; Swift-Scanlan, Theresa; Boettiger, Charlotte A (2014) Genetic polymorphisms regulating dopamine signaling in the frontal cortex interact to affect target detection under high working memory load. J Cogn Neurosci 26:395-407
Bainter, Sierra A; Bollen, Kenneth A (2014) Interpretational Confounding or Confounded Interpretations of Causal Indicators? Measurement ( Mahwah N J) 12:125-140
Wells, Audrey M; Arguello, Amy A; Xie, Xiaohu et al. (2013) Extracellular signal-regulated kinase in the basolateral amygdala, but not the nucleus accumbens core, is critical for context-response-cocaine memory reconsolidation in rats. Neuropsychopharmacology 38:753-62
Irons, T D; Kelly, P E; Hunter, D L et al. (2013) Acute administration of dopaminergic drugs has differential effects on locomotion in larval zebrafish. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 103:792-813
Miller, Laurence L; Picker, Mitchell J; Umberger, Michael D et al. (2012) Effects of alterations in cannabinoid signaling, alone and in combination with morphine, on pain-elicited and pain-suppressed behavior in mice. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 342:177-87
Dykstra, Linda A; Fischer, Bradford D; Balter, Rebecca E et al. (2011) Opioid antinociception, tolerance and dependence: interactions with the N-methyl-D-aspartate system in mice. Behav Pharmacol 22:540-7

Showing the most recent 10 out of 21 publications