This application is to request three years of funding for the annual Winter Conference on Brain Research (WCBR). The 2019 meeting will take place Snowmass Village and Conference Center, Snowmass, CO between Tuesday January 29-Saturday February 2. This conference is an ideal forum for exploring new developments in the field of substance use disorders (SUDs). WCBR has a unique format with 90 sessions, including 88 2-hr panels, 2 Pioneer sessions, and 2 short courses in 2018 and 499 scientist attendees. There are daily poster sessions (Sun-Tue) including a special judged poster session that includes the top-ranking poster submissions predominantly presented by young investigators on Fri evening. In 2015 Career Development Workshops for graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty were initiated and maintain high attendance annually. Extended periods of time are set aside for breakout groups, networking and scientific discussions. WCBR is an excellent opportunity for junior investigators and trainees to interact with established investigators in a relaxed atmosphere. The evaluations of recent conferences highlight the strong impact this meeting typically has on emerging as well as established scientists. As the travel funds allocated for emerging scientists have not kept pace with the rising costs of attending small, specialized meetings, we are requesting funding from other sources. We are hoping that the results of our requests enable us to support a keynote speaker as well as a large number of junior investigators to participate in the meeting. The conference includes one keynote speaker and one scientist who holds a Brain Talk Town Meeting open to the entire community. For the 2019 WCBR meeting, Fred (Rusty) Gage Ph.D. Interim President of the Salk Institute and Adler Professor in the Laboratory of Genetics and member of the National Academy of Sciences will speak on Stem Cells and Neuropsychiatric Disease. There is an annual School Outreach Program organized in collaboration with local middle and high school teachers in which up to 10 WCBR scientists visit community schools. WCBR?s program is developed annually based on abstract submissions in August each year. At WCBR 2018, twenty-two panels, one Keynote, and one Pioneer session were specifically on abused drugs and another 19 panels and one short course were on reward-related topics. Thus, a large proportion of the conference is highly relevant to understanding the neurobiological bases of drug addiction as well as neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders consistent with NIDA?s mission. WCBR always provides a unique opportunity to discuss recent advances in the understanding of the pathophysiology and treatment of those conditions. The fact that a large proportion of the participants are junior investigators and a significant number are graduate students and postdocs ensure that this conference has an impact on how future generations of neuroscientists view these issues.
This application is to request funding for the 2019-2021 annual Winter Conference on Brain Research. The 2019 conference venue will be held at Snowmass Village, CO from January 29-February 2, 2019. WCBR meetings highlight leading research in the neurobiology of substance use disorders including preclinical, translational, and clinical research that can lead to novel advances in our understanding of human brain diseases.