The Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award will allow me protected research time and support to develop the expertise needed to transition my career from one primarily focused on clinical service, teaching and administration to one focused on independent research and inter-disciplinary research program development. Hawaii is an ideal environment for longitudinal studies related to children's development, given the relative stability of the population over time, its geographic isolation and its varied cultures and cultural practices. The rapidly expanding research infrastructure at the University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine combined with resources at the Queen's Medical Center and the University of Hawaii-Clinical Research Center at KapPolani Medical Center will provide me with the institutional environments necessary to study the impact of prenatal MA exposure on the chemical, structural and functional capacities of the developing CNS. Through the mentorship of Dr. Linda Chang, and a network of experienced scientific and clinical researchers, as well as a well designed training plan, I will obtain the foundation and experience necessary to become an independent researcher. The purpose of the proposed research is to study the potential anatomic and metabolic changes in the developing human nervous system associated with prenatal methamphetamine (MA) exposure, and the relationship of these changes to measurable alterations in child behavior and development in the preschool period. Preliminary studies suggest that prenatal MA exposure is associated with alterations in the volume and biochemical composition of specific CNS regions, and with disordered attention and verbal memory.
The specific aims of the proposal are: (1) To identify the effects of prenatal MA exposure on CNS structure and metabolism in three year old children, and (2) to examine the relationship between prenatal MA exposure, CNS structure and metabolism, and two cognitive domains, attention and arousal/self-regulation, assessed at 2 and 3 years of age. My own preliminary findings suggest alterations in the domains of arousal and self-regulation. The proposed research studies and training plan will provide me with the necessary experience and knowledge to become an independent investigator. Findings from the proposed research also will guide me in my future research direction.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23)
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Human Development Research Subcommittee (NIDA)
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Borek, Nicolette T
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University of Hawaii
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Derauf, Chris; Lagasse, Linda L; Smith, Lynne M et al. (2012) Prenatal methamphetamine exposure and inhibitory control among young school-age children. J Pediatr 161:452-9
Derauf, Chris; Lester, Barry M; Neyzi, Nurunisa et al. (2012) Subcortical and cortical structural central nervous system changes and attention processing deficits in preschool-aged children with prenatal methamphetamine and tobacco exposure. Dev Neurosci 34:327-41
Derauf, Chris; LaGasse, Linda; Smith, Lynne et al. (2011) Infant temperament and high-risk environment relate to behavior problems and language in toddlers. J Dev Behav Pediatr 32:125-35