The three research projects will be supported by an Administrative Core that will help to coordinate the smooth exchange of compounds and data between the projects and facilitate the interface with NIH scientific and administrative personnel. The Core will be led by Dr. Kellar, the PI for the overall Program. An Executive Committee, composed of the PI, the three Project Leaders and NIH scientific personnel assigned to our program will meet twice each year to review scientific progress, exchange information about specific research plans and designs and, if deemed advisable, adjust priorities. The two Executive Committee meetings each year will be planned for Georgetown University in May and Duke University in October or November. The meeting at Duke will coincide with the annual Duke Nicotine meeting for convenience and economy. The administrative Core will make the arrangements for these meetings;therefore, we have included a modest travel budget to allow Dr. Levin to travel to Georgetown and for the PI and Project Leaders to travel to Duke (this travel budget is independent of the travel budget in each Research Project, which is for trips to attend and present data at national scientific meetings, such as the Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience or for the SRNT meeting). In addition to the two annual meetings of the Executive Committee, the Administrative Core will arrange monthly telephone conferences for the Committee to discuss progress, problems, and/or new ideas. Dr. Eric Donny (U. Pittsburgh), an expert on nicotine self-administration, has agreed to serve as a consultant to Project 2. The costs associated with these consultations are included in the budget for Project 2. The Administrative Core will establish a data storage center that will encompass archives of hard copies of data and a database of electronic versions in the Department of Pharmacology, Georgetown University. All three projects will send their data to the Administrative Core, and the Georgetown University Information Security Office (Mr. David Smith, Director) will help design the necessary security arrangements to protect all confidential information. The data center will be managed by Dr. Xiao and a part-time research assistant in the Core. We plan to enter the data into a central database on a secure, password-protected web space. All key personnel of this NCDDDG will have access to the data center via password. The data maintained in this way should help greatly in the management of the program and in the preparation of papers for publication, presentations for meetings and the annual progress reports to NIH.
Tobacco use and nicotine addiction are an immense public health problem, and the health costs associated with smoking are estimated as $75 billion per year in the U.S. Current treatments for nicotine addiction are not adequate. The goal of this NCDDDG Is to develop smoking cessation drugs to help the nearly 50 million people in N. America and 1 billion people worldwide end their addiction to nicotine and stop smoking.
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