This Educational Core will support a novel pre- and post-doctoral training program in translational approaches to medications development for addictions. The proposed Center for Medication Development for Cocaine Use Disorder is uniquely qualified to institute this training program due to this history of training preclinical and clinical scientists in addictions at the two institutions taking part in this center (VCU and UTMB) and our translational research focusing on medications development for addictions. The proposed Education Core will utilize our experience in medications development and our extensive history in educating pre and post-doctoral trainees with the primary focus of the Core on mentoring and training the next generation of scientists who can lead medications development research in addictions. In addition, the Core will assist in mentoring junior faculty associated with the Center and work with the Administrative Core to educate the broader universities and communities at large about the importance of developing evidence-based treatments for addictions. The Educational Core will be lead by William L. Dewey, Ph.D., and will include support in statistics training by Edward L Boone, Ph.D, and Qin Wang, PhD. The Educational Core will take advantage of and expand upon resources provided by training programs at VCU and UTMB ranging from a) predoctoral trainees with support provided by a NIDA funded T32 training grant entitled, "Training in Pharmacology of Abused Drugs", (William L. Dewey, PI), a second NIDA T32 funded training program entitled, "Neural and Pharmacological Mechanisms of Abused Drugs" (Kathryn A Cunningham, PI), as well as postdoctoral trainees including Ph.D.s in Pharmacology and Toxicology supported by the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology as well as M.D.s in Psychiatry supported by a research track in the Department of Psychiatry and fellowships supported by the McGuire Veteran's Hospital Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Centers (MIRREC) and an addiction fellowship supported by the Department of Psychiatry.
Cocaine use disorder (CocUD) continues to be a significant health problem in the US, with 1.4 million current cocaine users aged 12 or older (SAMHSA, 2012). To date, there is no FDA approved medication for CocUD. Identification of successful pharmacotherapies has been hindered by the lack of translational researchers to guide medications development from pre-clinical to clinical trials. The Education Core will bridge this gap by providlng training for the next generation of scientists to become skilled in translational research methods