The purpose of this program is to train promising young scientists at the postdoctoral level in the multi disciplinary strategies of molecular, cellular, behavioral, and clinical neuropsychopharmacology. Research on alcohol and other abused drugs requires methodologies that can pinpoint molecular and cellular sites in the brain, and integrate these mechanisms at the system level of analysis. The Scripps Alcohol Research Center (ARC), combined with a very active independent but interactive San Diego Alcohol Research Community, has developed methods for combining biochemical, morphological, physiological and behavioral research to arrive at broad based studies of sites and mechanisms of drug action. These methods permit the pursuit of research lines broadly through such fields as molecular biology, immunocytochemistry, electrophysiologic analysis (in vitro and in vivo), neuroendocrinology, behavioral pharmacology, electroencephalography and event related cortical evoked potential recordings applied to animal and human subjects, and clinical studies. In addition to developing those technical skills in our trainees deemed essential for their transition into career scientists, we also attempt to develop other important skills: creative research expression, critical selection of problems, experimental design, data recording, validation and security, data interpretation, manuscript and grant preparation, and ethical conduct of research. Through our resident senior program staff, visiting senior scientists and courses given in conjunction with local educators, trainees are exposed to a variety of research applications and techniques. Trainees participate in scientific project review conferences, research seminars and journal clubs is well as actively participating in research programs. Each trainee will also receive a course on ethanol neuropsychopharmacology and a course in ethical conduct of research. Both informal and formal recruitment mechanisms are well established and have provided a sufficient number of high quality applicants. Extensive programs are in place for recruitment of minority and for facilitating minority interest in alcohol research. Postdoctoral fellows and other advanced trainees are selected with preferential weighting towards those seeking interdisciplinary methodologies. They are then assigned to one of the Principal Investigators of the training grant who will coordinate their initial research project selections. Depending upon a trainee's prior research skills, collaborations with more than one senior scientist are encouraged.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAA1-DD (01))
Program Officer
Anderson, Sally
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Scripps Research Institute
La Jolla
United States
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Spierling, Samantha R; Kreisler, Alison D; Williams, Casey A et al. (2018) Intermittent, extended access to preferred food leads to escalated food reinforcement and cyclic whole-body metabolism in rats: Sex differences and individual vulnerability. Physiol Behav 192:3-16
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