Overall Center The Center for Translational and Prevention Science (CTAPS; P20 MH068666, P30 DA027827) has been funded continuously since 2003 to advance next-generation basic and preventive investigations of risk, resilience, and drug use among African American young people living in resource poor communities in the southeastern US. CTAPS has pioneered research demonstrating how exposures to economic and social adversity promote drug use through their effects on neurobiological and peripheral systems. Of particular importance, research sponsored by CTAPS also has demonstrated the promise of family-centered drug use prevention programming in shielding young people from these neurobiological risks. At present, transformative progress in the prevention of addictive behavior among populations exposed to chronic stress has been hampered significantly by the lack of (a) integrative theoretical frameworks that generate hypotheses regarding the risk and resilience mechanisms that connect social adversity to addictive behavior and cardiometabolic risk, (b) infrastructures that can collect model driven data on multiple neurocognitive, peripheral biological, and behavioral systems associated with chronic stress, and (c) transdisciplinary teams that can integrate these data into the design and evaluation of prevention programs. The theoretical framework of the proposed P50 Research Center of Excellence is a next generation, neuroimmune network (NIN) model that CTAPS scientists developed to better describe the ways in which exposure to social adversity predispose young people to the onset and escalation of diverse forms of addictive behaviors. The NIN model specifies stress-induced alterations in the transactions between peripheral inflammation and neurocognitive systems that subserve emotion regulation in the development of addictive behavior vulnerability. As a P50 Center, we propose to build on and expand CTAPS? pioneering work on (a) the biological and neurocognitive contributors to addictive behaviors that drive many drug use and health disparities African Americans? experience and (b) the potential of family-centered prevention programming to ameliorate the influence of growing up in chronically stressful contexts. We will leverage an established team of investigators from diverse disciplines and an established infrastructure for testing transdisciplinary hypotheses. This infrastructure includes efficient, established pipelines connecting P50 research project (RP) and pilot study investigators to intellectual resources, wet labs, a state-of-the-science imaging facility, and a world class platform for processing imaging data. We will implement three innovative, thematically integrated RPs. RPs, innovative pilot projects, an expanded national resource system, and investigator development activities will be supported through our infrastructure system composed of a Research Support Core, an Administrative Core, and a Pilot Core. CTAPS activities will have wide-reaching implications for research, practice, and prevention concerning drug use and cardiometabolic risk in low-income and ethnic minority communities. 1
OVERALL CENTER: Project Narrative The proposed P50 application is designed to transform scientific understanding regarding the causes and prevention of addictive behaviors by investigating neuroimmune mechanisms that, in concert with family and contextual factors, affect risk for drug use and abuse. Findings will have far-reaching implications for research, practice, and prevention of drug use in communities across the nation.