This revised application entitled `Frontiers in Addiction Research and Pregnancy [FrARP]' requests R25 funding within NIDA's Research Education Program, responsive to PAR-16-224. FrARP recruits, educates and helps launch the careers of clinical researchers and clinicians, primarily under-represented minorities (URMs), starting with an advanced lab course for skills development followed with mentored research, career mentoring, tracking and evaluations. The course has formal and individual career development components ensuring that each participant is well versed in vital skills for designing, conducting, and publishing independent research, obtaining grants, and launching and sustaining independent careers. The target audience is graduate and medical students, postdoctoral fellows, and early stage scientists and clinicians. The courses are offered exclusively at URM institutions: Morehouse School of Medicine (a historically Black Institution) in 2018, 2020, and 2022, and San Diego State University (a Hispanic Serving Institution) in 2019 and 2021. In addition to recruiting URM scientists, FrARP concentrates on a uniquely vulnerable population? pregnant women who abuse substances and their babies with neonatal abstinence syndrome. These medical challenges are serious, growing issues for families and for our Nation. Justifications include: the growth of addiction research; clinical challenges resulting from addiction during pregnancy; and the paucity of labs led by URM scientists. FrARP's Executive Committee includes Program Director Gerald Schatten, PhD, at Pitt and Co-PD Michael Kuhar, PhD, at Emory (Addiction Research Leader), together with Co-Is Steve Caritis, MD, at Pitt (Addiction Obstetrician), Thereasa Cronan, PhD, at SDSU (Facilitator, Psychologist, URM and Women's Health), Calvin Simerly, PhD, at Pitt (Course Implementer), Evan Snyder, MD, PhD, at SBP (Addiction Neonatologist), and Winston Thompson, PhD, at MSM (Facilitator, URM and Women's Health). It is overseen by a Scientific Advisory Board. Related courses have been successful in attracting URMs (31% African- Americans; 29% Hispanic Americans; 65% women; 51% from URM institutions).
Five Specific Aims are proposed. I. FrARP Advanced Lab Course for skills development provides conceptual education and research training; II. Mentored Addiction Research; III. Career Planning Tools; IV. Responsible Research Conduct; and V. Unbiased Quantitative Evaluations to ensure that this R25 is a wise, cost-effective investment. The R25's goals, then, are to provide courses in skills development, mentored addiction research, and ongoing career support resulting in comprehensive, sophisticated training in clinical and translational strategies for addressing the current challenges in addiction during pregnancy, for designing better therapies for the future, and for launching and sustaining successful careers in substance abuse, pregnancy, pediatrics and related fields. In so doing, FrARP will help to advance the careers of the most promising clinical scientists and clinicians, with sensitivity for ensuring full diversity in the NIDA workforce.

Public Health Relevance

This advanced research education program concentrates on a uniquely vulnerable population? pregnant addicts and their babies who suffer from drug withdrawal. ?Frontiers in Addiction Research and Pregnancy [FrARP]? seeks NIDA R25 sponsorship to educate clinical researchers and clinicians, especially medical and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from under-represented minorities. FrARP courses are to be offered at Morehouse School of Medicine (a historically Black institution) in 2018, 20120, and 2022 and at San Diego State University (a Hispanic-serving institution) in 2019 and 2021. FrARP will help to advance the research careers of the most promising clinical scientists and clinicians, with sensitivity to ensuring full diversity in the NIDA workforce.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Education Projects (R25)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZDA1)
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Vemuri, Kiran R V
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Magee-Women's Research Institute and Foundation
United States
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