Addictive behaviors are linked to nearly half of all causes of mortality, and disorders involving these behaviors represent the top three causes of preventable disease in the U.S. Addictive behaviors in women (particularly involving tobacco, alcohol, overeating, and illicit drugs) currently rank among our most prevalent public health concerns. Emerging data suggest that sex and gender differences in these addictive behaviors and their biological substrates have important implications for the development of effective prevention and treatment strategies. We propose an innovative research career development program that will train junior faculty Scholars to respond to the need for interdisciplinary research on women's health and addictive behaviors. Yale's interdisciplinary research program on women's health in collaboration with our internationally renowned research program on addictions requests funding through the Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health (BIRCWH) Scholar Program (RFA-OD-09-006) for four BIRCWH Scholar positions. We have assembled an outstanding team of 25 experienced, productive, and dedicated Mentors with multiple ongoing interdisciplinary projects focused on addictive behaviors using basic, translational, and clinical research approaches. Our leadership team and advisory committee will direct a program that emphasizes four core career development components that will be individualized to meet the needs of each BIRCWH Scholar. These components include: 1) interdisciplinary research mentoring on study planning, implementation, completion and dissemination of results;2) coordinated professional coaching focused on the preparation of grant applications, manuscript writing, and faculty career planning;3) structured experiences in interdisciplinary team science, its development and evaluation;and 4) a didactic curriculum on women's health, addictive behaviors, and academic mentoring. Our long- ten goal is to generate independent investigators with the skills necessary to sustain academic productivity, grant support, collaborations across disciplines, and effective mentoring of their own future trainees. Ultimately, the purpose of our program is to insure the development of scientists who make enduring contributions to the prevention and treatment of addictive behaviors which result in direct practical benefit for women and their families.

Public Health Relevance

Annual medical, social, and productivity costs of addictive behaviors linked to tobacco, alcohol, overeating, and illicit drugs in the U.S. alone exceed $600 billion. Sex and gender differences in the etiology, course, and prognosis of these addictive behaviors have clear implications for prevention and treatment. We propose an innovative research career development program that will train junior faculty Scholars in interdisciplinary research designed to make enduring contributions to the field of women's health and addictive behaviors.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Physician Scientist Award (Program) (PSA) (K12)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-PSE-H (50))
Program Officer
Wetherington, Cora Lee
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Yale University
Schools of Medicine
New Haven
United States
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DeVito, Elise E; Dong, Guangheng; Kober, Hedy et al. (2017) Functional neural changes following behavioral therapies and disulfiram for cocaine dependence. Psychol Addict Behav 31:534-547
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