This proposal is seeking continued support, via an institutional training grant, for a training program for pre- and postdoctoral fellows who will pursue research careers that focus on the study of genetic influences on substance abuse. The IBG faculty is distinguished and active in research and IBG scientists have actively pursued studies of genetic influences on substance abuse for over 45 years. Major substance abuse-related research projects are now in progress in both human and animal behavior genetics. The application of biometrical, statistical, and quantitative genetic techniques, together with bioinformatics, genome-wide analyses and next generation sequencing, and epigenetics, is providing real advances in our understanding. Neurochemical, neuropharmacological, neurophysiological, and molecular genetic studies, are providing an understanding of gene function related to behavior. Major research projects are now in progress in both human and animal behavior genetics, including large scale national collaborative studies amassing DNA repositories and rich phenotypic data sets available for studies of substance abuse. Facilities are available for genotype assay, including genome-wide assays, gene function and expression studies, and behavioral, biochemical, and neurophysiological studies. Funds are requested to support 4 predoctoral and 2 postdoctoral trainees. Predoctoral trainees receive doctorate degrees from a cooperating academic unit and certification in behavior genetics. Academic requirements in the training program include training in behavior genetics, quantitative and biometrical genetics, theoretical and computer-based statistics, molecular genetics, neuroscience, bioinformatics and genomics, responsible conduct of research, and courses on behavioral and clinical phenotypes. Additional requirements vary according to the degree granting academic unit. Research experience is an integral part of training. Postdoctoral trainees also pursue a formalized program that emphasizes individual research as well as competence in molecular and quantitative behavior genetics. Other activities in preparation for research careers in substance abuse include: supervision of students and/or technicians, hosting of seminar speakers, guest lecturing, a weekly journal club, and mandatory training in the responsible conduct of research and the development of individual professional plans.

Public Health Relevance

This proposal is to train scientists who will be able to contribute significantly to our understanding of genetic contributions to the vulnerability to develop substance abuse. This understanding will lead to new approaches to the prevention and alleviation of substance abuse.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZDA1)
Program Officer
Gordon, Harold
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Colorado at Boulder
Graduate Schools
United States
Zip Code
Wilking, Jennifer A; Stitzel, Jerry A (2015) Natural genetic variability of the neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit genes in mice: Consequences and confounds. Neuropharmacology 96:205-12
McClure-Begley, Tristan D; Grady, Sharon R; Marks, Michael J et al. (2014) Presynaptic GABAB autoreceptor regulation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor mediated [(3)H]-GABA release from mouse synaptosomes. Biochem Pharmacol 91:87-96
Melroy, Whitney E; Stephens, Sarah H; Sakai, Joseph T et al. (2014) Examination of genetic variation in GABRA2 with conduct disorder and alcohol abuse and dependence in a longitudinal study. Behav Genet 44:356-67
Darlington, Todd M; McCarthy, Riley D; Cox, Ryan J et al. (2014) Mesolimbic transcriptional response to hedonic substitution of voluntary exercise and voluntary ethanol consumption. Behav Brain Res 259:313-20
Wills, Amanda G; Carey, Gregory (2013) Adolescent peer choice and cigarette smoking: evidence of active gene-environment correlation? Twin Res Hum Genet 16:970-6
Nakamura, Shinya; Baratta, Michael V; Cooper, Donald C (2013) A method for high fidelity optogenetic control of individual pyramidal neurons in vivo. J Vis Exp :
Darlington, T M; Ehringer, M A; Larson, C et al. (2013) Transcriptome analysis of Inbred Long Sleep and Inbred Short Sleep mice. Genes Brain Behav 12:263-74
Stephens, Sarah H; Hoft, Nicole R; Schlaepfer, Isabel R et al. (2012) Externalizing behaviors are associated with SNPs in the CHRNA5/CHRNA3/CHRNB4 gene cluster. Behav Genet 42:402-14
Tammimaki, Anne; Horton, William J; Stitzel, Jerry A (2011) Recent advances in gene manipulation and nicotinic acetylcholine receptor biology. Biochem Pharmacol 82:808-19
Simonson, Matthew A; Wills, Amanda G; Keller, Matthew C et al. (2011) Recent methods for polygenic analysis of genome-wide data implicate an important effect of common variants on cardiovascular disease risk. BMC Med Genet 12:146

Showing the most recent 10 out of 21 publications