Grants and Contracts Details


This application is requesting a second renewal for five years of support of a highly successful interdisciplinary and translational training program in contemporary aspects of drug abuse research. The program supports the training of the next generation of scientists with expertise in a wide range of complex methodologies used in drug abuse research. The program offers broad-based exposure, in depth expertise and essential critical thinking skills and knowledge necessary to be successful in the current competitive and aggressive drug abuse research environment. Our objectives are to provide interdisciplinary training in: 1) rigorous state-of-the-art drug abuse research methodologies; 2) drug abuse research from cellular and molecular approaches to behavior; 3) drug discovery of potential pharmacotherapies for the treatment of drug addiction; 4) key theoretical concepts and critical thinking related to drug abuse; and 5) responsible and ethical conduct of research. This program proposes to continue to provide support for 4 predoctoral and 2 postdoctoral trainees. We will use innovative, vigorous recruitment targeted at diverse individuals including minorities, individuals with disabilities and/or disadvantaged backgrounds to increase the diversity of our trainees. Our highly-collaborative 19 training faculty members are drawn from 8 different academic units (Anatomy and Neurobiology, Behavioral Sciences, Chemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, Molecular and Biomedical Pharmacology, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Physiology, and Psychology). The training faculty has excellent training records and will provide a rich interdisciplinary training environment. The focus is on neurobehavioral research, specifically molecular and cellular signaling mechanisms underlying the response to drugs of abuse, with the aim of identifying targets for the subsequent discovery of drugs as potential therapeutics for drug addiction. The training program utilizes an integrated approach to study fundamental principles of research in drug abuse. The curriculum provides essential knowledge from physicochemical properties of molecules to structural biology, neurophysiology, neurochemistry, to animal behavior and human behavior, with numerous opportunities for in depth study of focused areas of drug abuse research. The underlying theme of the program is that drug addiction alters fundamental cell and macromolecular processes resulting in long term changes in neural plasticity, which can be treated using pharmacotherapeutic intervention. The breadth of drug abuse research opportunities is enhanced by strong links to the University of Kentucky’s Center on Drug and Alcohol Research (CDAR), the Center for Drug and Alcohol Research Translation (CDART), the Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS), the Center for Pharmaceutical Research and Innovation (CPRI), the Laboratory on Human Behavioral Pharmacology and the Residential Research Facility. The program is designed to prepare trainees to assume research responsibilities in academic and other scientific organizations focused on research in the molecular, cellular and behavioral aspects of drug abuse and its treatment. The University of Kentucky strategic plan targets drug abuse research for focused development and provides solid infrastructure and institutional support, optimizing the training environment. The public health impact of training and translation of research findings in drug abuse is relevant to the state and society as a whole.
Effective start/end date6/1/036/30/15


  • National Institute on Drug Abuse: $486,823.00


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