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Center for Neuropharmacology & Neuroscience

NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON DRUG ABUSE TRAINING GRANT


The Center for Neuropharmacology and Neuroscience (CNN) is in its tenth year of support by a training grant from the National institute of Drug Abuse.  This program, entitled Pharmacology and Neuroscience Training in Drug Abuse, consists of funding for 3 predoctoral and 3 postdoctoral trainees per year.  The objective of this program is to train participants to become independent scientists dedicated to making significant contributions to understanding the causes, mechanisms and treatment of drug abuse.

 

Students in classDrug abuse continues to be one of the most significant and costly health issues in the nation; recent figures indicate that it kills over 600,000 people per year (more than one every minute) and costs this country over $500 billion a year. The concept of drug abuse most commonly brings to mind drugs bought, sold and used on street corners, such as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, etc.  In fact, unlike other health concerns, drug abuse is the one health issue most commonly connected to crimes of violence, automobile accidents, suicide and mental illness.  However, there is a quieter side to drug abuse: it involves drugs obtained by far more ‘acceptable’ and ‘respectable’ means, such as prescription pain relievers and sleep aids, antidepressants and antianxiety agents, weight reduction aids, cigarettes, and, of course, alcohol.  In short, substances with abuse potential are truly ubiquitous. Their use crosses all socio-economic groups, affecting every aspect of life, from the smallest infants and young school children, to adolescents, parents and other adults, often destroying families and ending lives.

 

Research on the problems associated with abused substances is multifaceted.  It involves determining their mechanisms of action, their effects on behavior and learning, and their short- and long-term physiological effects.  It also involves understanding withdrawal syndromes and developing useful pharmacotherapies.  Ultimately, it may serve to preserve and produce substances which have important medicinal effects and alleviate some of the many problems caused by addiction and dependence.

 

The current program provides a comprehensive approach to uncovering mechanisms of drug abuse and treatment through an integrated program of didactic work and in-depth research experience.  In addition to courses in pharmacology, neuroscience and molecular cell biology, didactic training includes a course on the biology of addiction, participation in an Addiction Medicine Weekend symposium, an addiction medicine teaching day with invited speakers, and completion of a computer-based interactive learning module on drug addiction.  All trainees present a research seminar annually and attend a year-long seminar program of invited speakers.  They also participate in a journal club course designed to teach them how to critique published literature as well as how to prepare well-written manuscripts for publication.  Training in ethical conduct of research is required of all trainees.  Predoctoral training is expected to last 4-5 years; postdoctoral training duration is 2-3 years.

 

Faculty participation is comprised of 14 training faculty who serve as mentors and who are either funded by NIDA or whose research programs can provide training relevant to drug abuse problems, and 8 resource faculty who contribute to the program via teaching or laboratory training.   Approximately 30,000 square feet of laboratory space, a wide array of state-of-the-art chemical, physiological and behavioral testing equipment, and approximately $2 million in federally sponsored research funds are designated annually for the research of the training faculty. 
 

Training Faculty

Program Director

Stanley D. Glick, Ph.D., M.D.

AMC Faculty

Katharine Herrick-Davis, Ph.D.
Lindsay B. Hough, Ph.D.
Yunfei Huang, Ph.D.
Lauren Jacobson, Ph.D.
Tara L. Lindsley, Ph.D.
Alexander Mongin, Ph.D.
Milt Teitler, Ph.D.
Sally Temple, Ph.D.

Other Institutions

David O. Carpenter, M.D. - SUNY School of Public Health
Abigail Snyder-Keller, Ph.D. - SUNY School of Public Health
Mark Wentland, Ph.D. - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Resource Faculty

Jeffery Carlson, Ph.D.
Mark Fleck, Ph.D.
Richard W. Keller, Jr., Ph.D.
Isabelle M. Maisonneuve, Ph.D.
Joseph Mazurkiewicz, Ph.D.
Alexander Mongin, Ph.D.
Allan S. Schneider, Ph.D.