The University of Washington training program in the Molecular Pharmacology of Abused Drugs is designed to provide a cohesive training environment for 4 predoctoral and 2 postdoctoral fellows per year, interested in the molecular, cellular and behavioral pharmacological aspects of opioid, cannabinoid, and psychostimulant drug action. The program emphasizes training in research skills along with career development professional skills and responsible conduct of research-ethical skills. Faculty mentors provide training in a broad range of research approaches including molecular pharmacology, electrophysiology, neurochemistry, mouse genetics, viral-based gene expression and behavioral pharmacology. In addition to the general, ongoing training typical at this vibrant institution, trainees in this program experience a coordinated series of events specifically designed for their benefit including: invited speaker seminar sessions featuring internationally respected drug abuse researchers;monthly research progress meetings featuring local experts in abused drug research;weekly journal clubs on the current literature of opioid, cannabinoid and psychostimulant research;frequent opportunities for the trainees to enhance their presentation skills;courses organized for them on the 'Molecular Basis of Addiction1 and 'Addiction: Mechanisms, Treatment, Prevention1;and career development seminars designed to strengthen their scientific and professional foundations. Faculty mentors are highly collaborative, and trainees benefit from a strongly interactive, multidisciplinary research program. The training program will continue to be a catalyst for research collaborations among the participating labs, for technology transfer between labs, and for newly funded collaborative NIDA-grants. The trainees are drawn from an outstanding pool of candidates recruited to the participating graduate programs in pharmacology and neurobiology and to the well-respected laboratories as post-doctoral fellows. We have an active outreach program designed to encourage participation of underrepresented minorities and fellows from disadvantaged backgrounds. We actively train our students and fellows in responsible conduct of research and ethical treatment of animal subjects. The program is proud of its 15-year history of success in training fellows who have gone on to very successful scientific careers.

Public Health Relevance

This training program is designed to give its predoctoral and postdoctoral fellows essential skills in the study of the molecular basis of drug addiction. Trainees are expected to develop novel research projects that will provide important new insights to the addictive actions of drugs of abuse. These insights are expected to lead to new therapeutic tools for the treatment and prevention of drug addiction.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Human Development Research Subcommittee (NIDA)
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Babecki, Beth
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University of Washington
Schools of Medicine
United States
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