DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This competing renewal of the Columbia University Neuroscience training grant is designed to support eight postdoctoral scientists per year in a multi-departmental training program devoted to basic neuroscience research that elucidates basic neural mechanisms associated with drugs of abuse. Sixteen faculty from basic and clinical departments with interest and expertise in this area act as mentors. Their laboratories address basic molecular steps in the reward pathway, encompassing acetylcholine, dopamine, and serotonin receptors, dopamine uptake transporters, circuitry, development, and the mechanism of action of psychostimulant drugs as well as neurotoxic and neuropsychiatric consequences that stem from the actions of these compounds. While Columbia University has a long-standing training grant to provide support for clinical research in drug abuse, this is the sole training program in basic research in drug abuse. We believe that the institution provides a strong, and in some ways unique, environment to provide an in depth focus in this area, along with a strong group of proven investigators with demonstrable records of providing first-rate guidance and training to junior investigators.
PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: The purpose of this proposal is to fund postdoctoral scientists in a sixteen laboratories at Columbia University Medical school to develop their scientific expertise and provide the new generation of scientists devoted to understanding the biological cause and consequences of substance abuse.