This proposal will establish a unique training program in an emerging area-translational research in addiction. This field has a diverse set of disciplinary perspectives, procedures, paradigms, and technologies to measure or alter processes affecting development, maintenance, and cessation of drug dependence in humans. Scientists trained in translational research will be at the crossroads of basic and clinical research, where they can provide a crucial pathway between these two domains. Trainee research opportunities will include, among many others, laboratory studies of antibody-based therapy for methamphetamine abuse, studies of the behavioral economics of addiction, novel medications to treat cocaine and opiate dependence, behavioral treatments of marijuana dependence, behavioral and neural mechanisms of change, treatment service dissemination, and cost- effectiveness of reducing drug treatment barriers. The project will train addiction scientists to participate in translational science that directly assesses the clinical relevance of basic research;conducts scientific analyses of basic processes underlying drug abuse;helps develop and assess behavioral and pharmacological treatments of addiction;determines approaches to integrate these findings into clinical practice;and identifies policies that support integration. This program will be greatly enhanced by the prior training success of the program's 12 core faculty, who are MDs or PhDs with appointments in Pharmacology and Toxicology, Psychiatry, and Health Behavior and Health Promotion departments and have 22 NIDA, 3 N1AA, 1 N1CHD, 1 SAMSHA, 1 NIMH, and 16 VA research grants. Among the 28 predoctoral and 37 postdoctoral students trained by these core faculty, 86% of the predoctoral and 89% of postdoctoral students are still involved in research/academics and 49% of postdoctoral trainees have faculty positions. Collectively, trainees authored more than 500 publications were first author on 40% of them, and obtained 43 research grants. The new program proposed here will train, through stepped increases in enrollment, a total of 5 predoctorals, 7 postdoctorals, and 19 medical students by the end of the grant cycle. Trainee selection will be based on scholastic excellence and commitment to addiction research careers. Training will take place at the Center for Addiction Research.
This proposed training program is relevant to the public health because it will train new scientists at the pre and post doctoral level to conduct translational research into addictions and its treatment.
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