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NIDA to Fund Studies of Genetic Variation in Drug Abuse and Addiction

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Institute of Drug Abuse will fund researchers studying how genetic variation affects drug abuse and drug addition, and resistance for drugs commonly abused, such as psychostimulants, opiates, nicotine, and marijuana.
In an effort to better understand abuse phenotypes by studying underlying genetic factors, NIDA plans to spend $2 million to fund between eight and ten grantees over the next two years in the “Behavioral Pharmacology and Genetics: Translating Individual Differences” program.
This program will fund research that combines lab-based experiments of measurable behaviors with genetic analysis of various factors including individual differences in response to drugs, individual differences in the consequences of abuse, and pharmacogenetic differences in response to certain pharmacotherapeutic treatments.
Researchers may apply for up to $150,000 per year for two years at a maximum in direct costs of up to $300,000. The studies may use candidate genes identified from genome-wide association studies or quantitative trait loci approaches from animal research.
NIDA wants to find answers to a number of questions, such as:
  • Do genotypes and associated phenotypic responses to drugs predict a response to pharmacotherapies such as craving reduction or elasticity of demand?
  • Do genetic variations exacerbate or attenuate the deleterious cognitive or neurobiological effects associated with drug abuse?
  • Can lab-based measures of genotype and phenotype predict escalation of drug use, or explain vulnerability or resistance to progress to uncontrollable use?
  • Do environmental variables such as prior drug history or others interact with genotype to affect the lab-based measures of subjective or performance variables?
 More information about the program is available here.

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