Description of the Training Program:
This training grant provides pre and postdoctoral training in Drug Abuse Research with a multidisciplinary and tri-institutional faculty that is proficient in the molecular, structural, biochemical, behavioral and clinical aspects of Drug Abuse Research. The faculty includes members from the Departments of Pharmacology, Neuroscience and Physiology, Biophysics and Systems Biology (PBSB) at Weill Medical College of Cornell University and from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) and The Rockefeller University. Faculty research interests include: the role of glutamatergic receptors in pain and the addictive behaviors resulting from the administration of cocaine and opioids, peptide drugs that target specific cellular targets, functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to examine brain circuitry involved in reinforcement learning and reward related behavior in substance use and abuse in adolescents, GABA-A receptor mediated inhibitory synapses in the brain, effects of general anesthetics on neurotransmitter release, dendritic translation and nuclear trafficking of CREB signaling induced by drugs of abuse, the role of the endogenous opioid and neuroendocrine systems in addictive diseases, role of Soluble Adenylyl Cyclase (sAC) in NGF stimulation of neuritogenesis and axonal growth cone reorganization, estrogen and opioid interactions in the hippocampus, molecular mechanisms of mu opioid receptor heterogeneity, interactions between monoamines in the brain's reward circuits, postnatal developmental disorders and effects of psychostimulants, computational analysis of hallucinogen interactions with 5-HT2a receptors. Predoctoral trainees will have a choice of a major concentration in Pharmacology, Neuroscience or PBSB. In addition to lectures and seminars devoted to topics in drug abuse, both the 5 pre and the 4 postdoctoral trainees will attend a biweekly Pain Conference at MSKCC where patient presentations are followed by a discussion with a multidisciplinary pain research team of pain management, drug abuse and related issues. The program provides training in study design, biostatistics and the ethics of scientific research. Minority scientists are encouraged to apply. The Pharmacology-Neuroscience Drug Abuse Training Program provides an opportunity for young investigators to participate in basic and clinical research in drug abuse.