The UCLA Drug Abuse Research Training Center (DARTC, 5 T32 DA007272-15) has provided training in drug abuse research to pre- and post-doctoral fellows since its inception in 1991. The objectives of the DARTC program are to provide comprehensive, intensive, interdisciplinary research training to an ethnically and experientially diverse group of trainees composed of 8 post-doctoral and 3 predoctoral fellows. Consistent with NIH Roadmap and NIDA initiatives, DARTC has emphasized interdisciplinary research training provided in an integrated manner to increase relevance of the training and to bridge the gap between disciplines. The two-year fellowships will continue to include trainees at all levels of experience, including M.D.s. Fellowships may be extended to a third year to complete the publishing agenda and submit or resubmit funding applications. The DARTC training curriculum covers virtually every area of drug abuse research, including epidemiology, etiology, pharmacology, neurobiology, and the natural history of use/dependence, HIV/AIDS, and development and evaluation of pharmacological and behavioral interventions. The program operates in a strong academic setting and in an environment offering great diversity in terms of large populations using every drug of abuse, from all racial and cultural backgrounds, and from varied socioeconomic levels set amid urban, suburban, and rural communities The core curriculum provides interdisciplinary training across all these areas through didactic experiences, journal clubs, seminars, courses, and practical experience. In addition, fellows engage in a focused area of research under the preceptorship of one of the DARTC faculty members to acquire skills in the research methodology in this area. Thus, fellows develop the capacity to become independent drug abuse researchers while gaining an appreciation of how their area of specialization relates to the field as a whole. Relevance: Continued training of new research professionals dedicated to the field of drug abuse research is essential to sustain research progress, expand the scope of investigation, and refine the knowledge base. Because the current cadre of scientists trained in drug abuse research is insufficient to satisfy future needs for information, increased training opportunities are essential to the development of the field and to the amelioration of drug abuse and its consequences. During the most recent five years of DARTC, the program has trained 32 fellows in the field of drug abuse research. These fellows and the many others who preceded them in the previous years of the DARTC program have gone on to lead productive research careers and have contributed to the field with numerous publications in scientific journals, collaborations with notable researchers, and acquisition of funding to conduct independent drug abuse research.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZDA1-MXS-M (21))
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Denisco, Richard A
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University of California Los Angeles
Other Domestic Higher Education
Los Angeles
United States
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Anderson-Carpenter, Kaston D; Watson-Thompson, Jomella; Jones, Marvia D et al. (2017) Improving Community Readiness for Change through Coalition Capacity Building: Evidence from a Multi-Site Intervention. J Community Psychol 45:486-499
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