This proposal requests support for the first-time renewal of a highly successful integrative pre-doctoral training program in the neuroscience of drug abuse at Indiana University. Despite substantial advances in understanding drug addiction within specific levels of analysis (e.g., behavioral, clinical, and molecular), the problem of drug abuse cannot be solved by focusing on a singular experimental approach. If the next generation of researchers is to make meaningful progress, they must be well-rounded scientists who possess both the flexibility to respond to rapidly changing technologies and the training background to appreciate that drug abuse is, in fact, a multi-faceted problem. To prepare trainees for success in the next decade and beyond, our program emphasizes a team-driven, inter-disciplinary approach based on the translational model. Our program is successful because it brings together 10 core faculty members who are committed to integrative training and have a history of collaboration on issues directly relevant to drug abuse research. They include senior and junior investigators, molecular neurobiologists, cognitive neuroscientists, and clinical scientists. They have joint appointments in the campus wide Program in Neuroscience and the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. Working together in state-of-the-art facilities, this group has access to a pool of highly talented trainees motivated to launch a caree in drug abuse research. Our training program develops trainees by emphasizing three key components: integrative course work, translational research training, and professional skills development. Course work covers basic neuro- and psychopharmacology, provides an integrative view of biobehavioral processes in substance use disorders, and brings a translational perspective to theoretical and empirical knowledge. Research is guided by a mentor in molecular, systems, cognitive, or clinical neuroscience interacting with a co-mentor representing a different but complimentary level of analysis. This integrative approach is reinforced through discussion groups, attendance at colloquia, and participation at national meetings. Trainees, moreover, earn joint degrees in Neuroscience and Psychology. Instruction in ethical scientific behavior includes formal course work and campus workshops as well as specialized instruction led by a core faculty member who has many years of experience leading seminars on ethical issues unique to substance use research. Trainees also learn to develop skills in grant writing, manuscript preparation, and teaching. In short, our program relies on a combination of course work and research training aimed at integrating and translating bench and bedside approaches to produce scientists well prepared for productive and transformative careers in drug abuse research. PHS 398/2590 (Rev. 06/09) Page Continuation Format Page

Public Health Relevance

Continuing support for our integrative pre-doctoral training program in the neuroscience of drug abuse will ensure a supply of researchers who are well prepared to study drug abuse as a multi-faceted problem. Trainees develop backgrounds in neuroscience and psychology, and integrate experimental approaches from these fields in their coursework and research training.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZDA1)
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Babecki, Beth
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Indiana University Bloomington
Other Basic Sciences
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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