Promote basic research that applies state-of-the-art science and technologies to advance our understanding of the mechanisms mediating drug abuse and addiction:
Goal 1: Validate targets and develop ligands to accelerate pharmacotherapy for drug addiction.
- Isolate target receptors and endogenous ligands
- Validate and/or test targets
- Develop molecular entities, ligands and probes
- Develop and validate behavioral screens to identify or predict treatment response
- Support computational modeling for target validation and ligand development
Goal 2: Determine the molecular and cellular basis of vulnerability to addiction.
- Identify genes and genetic variations
- Identify epigenetic and non-coding regulators of gene expression
- Use systems approaches to understand molecular and cellular interactions
- Identify molecular determinants of HIV latency modified by drugs of abuse
Goal 3: Identify the neural circuits underlying drug addiction and their functional properties.
- Determine the interactions of drug exposure, development, and microenvironment in shaping neural circuits
- Map primary and compensatory connections and functional adaptations in neural circuits that arise from repeated intermittent exposure to and withdrawal from abused drugs
- Identify the drug-related glia-neuronal adaptations that arise from repeated intermittent exposure to and withdrawal from drugs
Goal 4: Identify behavioral processes that underlie drug abuse and addiction.
- Identify how environmental variables and behavioral phenotypes influence risk and protection
- Develop paradigms that model the complexity of human addiction
- Develop interventions to change behavioral trajectories of abuse and addiction
- Examine neurobiological correlates and mechanisms of abuse-related behaviors
Goal 5: Promote cross-cutting NIDA priorities.
- HIV/drug abuse interactions
- Chronic pain
- Sex/gender differences
- Enhance training and career development opportunities
Annual evaluations address:
- Number of grants funded that support each of the goals
- List of publications that address each of the goals
- Summary of significant findings and activities that mark progress toward the goals