Elucidation of the mechanisms by which drugs of abuse modify brain function requires knowledge of fundamental neuroscience with respect to how individual molecular components control neurotransmission and behavior. This program for predoctoral and postdoctoral fellows will provide training in basic neuroscience that is relevant to understanding how drugs of abuse modify brain function. This interdisciplinary training program by the excellent faculty of the Graduate Program in Neurosciences at the Univ. of Calif., San Diego (UCSD) will span chemistry for design and synthesis of opioid receptor ligands, biochemistry and macromolecular structure of protein components involved in neurotransmission, pharmacology of receptor-mediated signal transduction and neurophysiology, neuroimmune and viral influences on the brain, and involvement of particular neuronal systems in pain and behavior that are related to the actions of drugs of abuse. The integration of analyzing brain function at several levels-molecular biology and biochemistry, neurobiology and physiology, and neuronal circuits in pain and behavior-is required to address mechanistic hypotheses that will elucidate how chemical drugs modify specific regulatory receptors, enzymes, and other components in the nervous system that initiate changes in neurotransmission and behavior. This training program will instruct four predoctoral students in the Graduate Program in Neurosciences, and two postdoctoral trainees, in multidisciplinary and integrated research areas in neuroscience that are related to understanding how drugs of abuse modify brain function. Each trainee will be mentored by a faculty advisor of this training program. Multidisciplinary research projects involving the training faculty will be developed. Exchange of scientific knowledge among trainees and faculty will be achieved through coursework, seminars, and informal scientific discussions. The high quality faculty, and their commitment to research training, will allow this program to train young scientists who will possess the appropriate expertise and scientific rationale for future elucidation of drug actions. Furthermore, modern up-to-date facilities at UCSD that will be accessible to trainees, including the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) for structural and genomic analyses, the core transgenic mouse knock-out facility, peptide synthesis and sequencing core, and molecular and cell biology core facility. Trainees of this program will acquire the knowledge required for their continued investigations on the mechanisms of drugs of abuse.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Study Section
Human Development Research Subcommittee (NIDA)
Program Officer
Babecki, Beth
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University of California San Diego
Schools of Medicine
La Jolla
United States
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