The desire to pursue a career as a neuroimaging researcher evolved from my longstanding interest in the biologic mechanisms associated with substance induced brain injury. My most productive substance abuse research has been with Dr. Dieter Meyerhoff, Professor of Radiology at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), on a study of the neurobiological mechanisms associated with alcoholism-related brain injury. As Assistant Professor at UCSF, I am responsible for all neurocognitive and psychiatric assessment. However, I am currently unable to independently apply the MR acquisition or processing methodology to my own research interests, due to a lack of specific training in this area. My overarching career goal is to develop programmatic research that will advance our understanding of the neurobiological mechanisms associated with cognitive dysfunction in substance use disorders, with an emphasis on under-represented minorities. To realize this goal, I will require focused training in: 1) the acquisition, processing, and interpretation of advanced magnetic resonance neuroimaging methods;2) the neurobiological and cognitive implications of nicotine dependence;3) clinical assessment methods for nicotine dependence;4) advanced statistical methodology;5) advanced neuroanatomy and neurophysiology. Dr. Meyerhoff and a panel of experts will provide me with extensive training in these areas, complemented by relevant seminars and courses. My research plan will combine state-of-the art resonance imaging techniques and comprehensive neurocognitive testing to better elucidate the effects of chronic smoking on human neurobiology and function. I will use this award to develop into a productive researcher who is in the unique position to combine in-vivo magnetic resonance-based techniques, with expertise in clinical neuropsychology, to examine the neurobiological and cognitive effects of substance use disorders.

Public Health Relevance

It is well known that cigarette smoking harms nearly every organ of the body and it is linked to many diseases. However, little is known about how smoking affects a very important organ - the human brain. This study will use advanced neuroimaging techniques and cognitive tests to better understand the effects of smoking on the brain and its functions. Such information may help develop better medications and behavioral treatments to assist with the millions around the world who are unable to quit smoking.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Research Scientist Development Award - Research & Training (K01)
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Study Section
Human Development Research Subcommittee (NIDA)
Program Officer
Kautz, Mary A
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University of California San Francisco
Schools of Medicine
San Francisco
United States
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Zou, Yukai; Murray, Donna E; Durazzo, Timothy C et al. (2018) White matter microstructural correlates of relapse in alcohol dependence. Psychiatry Res Neuroimaging 281:92-100
Murray, Donna E; Durazzo, Timothy C; Schmidt, Thomas P et al. (2018) Regional cerebral blood flow in opiate dependence relates to substance use and neuropsychological performance. Addict Biol 23:781-795
Zou, Xiaowei; Durazzo, Timothy C; Meyerhoff, Dieter J (2018) Regional Brain Volume Changes in Alcohol-Dependent Individuals During Short-Term and Long-Term Abstinence. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 42:1062-1072
Durazzo, Timothy C; Meyerhoff, Dieter J (2017) Psychiatric, Demographic, and Brain Morphological Predictors of Relapse After Treatment for an Alcohol Use Disorder. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 41:107-116
Durazzo, Timothy C; Mon, Anderson; Gazdzinski, Stefan et al. (2017) Regional brain volume changes in alcohol-dependent individuals during early abstinence: associations with relapse following treatment. Addict Biol 22:1416-1425
Zou, Yukai; Murray, Donna E; Durazzo, Timothy C et al. (2017) Effects of abstinence and chronic cigarette smoking on white matter microstructure in alcohol dependence: Diffusion tensor imaging at 4T. Drug Alcohol Depend 175:42-50
Durazzo, Timothy C; Murray, Donna E; Meyerhoff, Dieter J (2017) Reply to: On the Correction of Effects of Flip Angle in 1H Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy Signal Acquired Using Stimulated Echo Acquisition Mode Sequence. Biol Psychiatry 81:e17
Durazzo, Timothy C; Meyerhoff, Dieter J; Yoder, Karmen K et al. (2017) Cigarette smoking is associated with amplified age-related volume loss in subcortical brain regions. Drug Alcohol Depend 177:228-236
Schmidt, Thomas P; Pennington, David L; Cardoos, Stephanie L et al. (2017) Neurocognition and inhibitory control in polysubstance use disorders: Comparison with alcohol use disorders and changes with abstinence. J Clin Exp Neuropsychol 39:22-34
Durazzo, Timothy C; Mattsson, Niklas; Weiner, Michael W et al. (2016) Interaction of Cigarette Smoking History With APOE Genotype and Age on Amyloid Level, Glucose Metabolism, and Neurocognition in Cognitively Normal Elders. Nicotine Tob Res 18:204-11

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