One of the keys to understanding the actions of drugs of abuse is a systematic study of the neurobiological basis of drug abuse. To be effective, such studies must involve multi-disciplinary approaches to examine the effects of drugs of abuse at several different levels of brain function. This is the goal of the current application, which proposes to continue a successful NIDA training program, the Neuroscience of Drug Abuse Training Program at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. This program trains both predoctoral and postdoctoral students in a multi-disciplinary program in the neurobiology of drug abuse. The program consists of 15 faculty members of several departments at Wake Forest University, along with a joint faculty member at North Carolina Central University, with research interests including molecular biology, receptor pharmacology, brain imaging techniques, electrophysiology, behavioral analysis of drug self-administration, and human clinical research. The research of the faculty is supported by 41 federally-funded grants related to the field of substance abuse. A central focus of research for the training program is the NIDA-funded Center for the Neurobiological Investigation of Drug Abuse, which offers highly integrated collaborative research projects among a number of faculty. The program is organized around four principal areas of research: Molecular/Cellular Neurobiology, Neurobiological Systems, Behavioral Neurobiology, and Clinical/Translational Research. The training program offers a specific course in drug abuse related to each of these four areas. Predoctoral students have a choice of two different Ph.D. degree programs: Physiology/Pharmacology and Neuroscience. Although these programs have their own individual requirements, specific drug abuse-related topics are integrated into the standard programs. Postdoctoral training consists of laboratory research, exposure to multi-disciplinary aspects of drug abuse science, and specific mentoring committees to aid in career development. The training program offers specific seminars and journal clubs for both predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees. The program also contains specialized components dealing with grant writing and ethics in scientific research. Recruitment of students will be aided by the fact that the field of neuroscience is one of the fastest growing disciplines in the biological sciences. In addition, recruitment of minority applicants will be a high priority, with a bridge program with North Carolina Central University. In summary, the Neuroscience of Drug Abuse Training Program not only offers students outstanding opportunities for education and research in the neurobiology of drug abuse, but is also a valuable resource for the field of drug abuse by providing trained young investigators capable of independent scientific careers.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Study Section
Human Development Research Subcommittee (NIDA)
Program Officer
Babecki, Beth
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Wake Forest University Health Sciences
Schools of Medicine
United States
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