This proposal is for an initial 5-year period of support to establish a pre- and postdoctoral training program on the Translational Neuroscience of Drug Addiction (TNDA) in the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, with positions for four predoctoral (Yr 1-5), and two postdoctoral (Yr 3-5) fellows. The Program Director will be Dr. Edythe London, the Curriculum Director and Associate Program Director, Dr R. De La Garza;and 33 training faculty, have been selected for their research expertise and past mentorship success. TNDA will provide trainees with an integrative knowledge base needed to plan and conduct bidirectional translational studies. The component UCLA research units are: 1) the Center for Translational Research on the Clinical Neurobiology of Drug Addiction, 2) the Center for the Study of Opioid Receptors and Drugs of Abuse, 3) the Program Project on GABA, and 4) the Stimulant Abuse and Addiction Research Group. TNDA will have five aims: to recruit and enroll highly qualified candidates who are interested in and committed to translational research in drug addiction (vigorously trying to recruit from underrepresented populations);to provide hands-on experience at all stages of drug abuse research, including evidenced based hypothesis formation, experimental design, data acquisition and analyses, and preparing findings for oral and written presentation;to offer opportunities to develop expertise in a specific research area, while ensuring that each trainee also acquires the breadth of knowledge needed to conduct translational research in drug addiction;to provide the resources, opportunities, and training that will enable trainees to use preliminary data in generating novel hypotheses and specific aims for NIH grant proposals, thus laying the groundwork for success in securing funding to pursue independent research;and to provide career guidance, via shared mentorship teams so that trainees can successfully identify and secure professional positions where they can use the skills and knowledge obtained from TNDA. To achieve these goals, TNDA will provide comprehensive interdisciplinary training through formal education and supervised research. Methodological issues and techniques in drug abuse research will be emphasized, and trainees will be rigorously educated in the ethics of conducting scientific research. The research interests of the participating faculty fall into three broad themes: (1) Animal models and molecular neurobiology, (2) Brain imaging and cognitive neuroscience, and (3) Preclinical human pharmacology and medications testing. TNDA trainees will usually have a primary research project in a specific mentor's laboratory, but will gain exposure to other areas of drug abuse research through laboratory rotations, common core training elements as well as by formal and informal interaction among key faculty and TNDA leadership.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZDA1-EXL-T (04))
Program Officer
Bjork, James M
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University of California Los Angeles
Schools of Medicine
Los Angeles
United States
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