The goals of the proposed continuing Minority Institutions' Drug Abuse Research Development Program (MIDARP) at Old Westbury Neuroscience Research Institute (OWNRI) are (1) to conduct studies in the areas of substance abuse, (2) to increase minority representation and faculty development in the fields of neuroscience neuroimmunology and drug abuse by providing a state-of-the-art research experience and associated activities, e.g., seminars, lectures, etc., to new faculty and students, and (3) to disseminate findings through scholarly publications, presentations and workshops. The College at Old Westbury is ideally suited to carry out this mission since its faculty are developing expertise in substance abuse as demonstrated by their peer-reviewed publications. Furthermore, in its previous period of funding, the Old Westbury MIDARP discovered a novel opiate receptor subtype, designated mu3, that is opiate alkaloid selective and opioid peptide insensitive. The program has a multi-ethnic faculty and a high percentage of minority students that choose science as a major with drug abuse interests. The faculty have special interests in molecular and cellular neuroimmunology related to the National Institute on Drug Abuse priorities, e.g., endogenous morphine and opiate induced immune downregulation. The proposed research program plans to develop greater program expertise in molecular biology. Additionally, it proposes to add a new faculty with NIDA interests. As part of its infrastructure-building activities, scientists from major research organizations will be invited to give lectures on relevant topics. Undergraduate and graduate students will be employed as research assistants. The major research projects incorporated into this proposal are designed to address two of NIDA's priorities: 1) Determining the process of morphine biosynthesis, including the identification of morphine precursors and enzymes; and 2) Determining the signal transduction pathway, gene and protein expression of the mu3 opiate receptor in various conditions and how it is related to drug addiction, and to clone, sequence, and study the function of the new mu4 gene.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Resource-Related Research Projects (R24)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZDA1-EXL-T (23))
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Purohit, Vishnudutt
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College at Old Westbury
Schools of Arts and Sciences
Old Westbury
United States
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