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Genetics Workgroup (GWG)

What We Do:

The NIDA Genetics Workgroup is a group of staff from across the institute that coordinates activities to enhance NIDA's genetics grant portfolio. The workgroup develops avenues of research through program announcements and requests for applications, sponsors seminars and speakers to inform NIDA of new areas in genetic research, and develops staff knowledge in genetics research as it pertains to NIDA's overall mission on drug abuse and addiction.

Other GWG Links:


Division of Neuroscience & Behavior (DNB)

  • Beth Babecki, M.A.* - institutional, individual and career development training grants.
  • Mark Caulder, M.S., M.P.H.*- human genetics of drug dependence and addiction, candidate gene expression, next generation sequencing, genome-wide association studies.
  • Steven Grant, Ph.D.* - brain imaging and radiotracer development, cognitive neuroscience, decision-making.
  • Roger Little, Ph.D.* – neuroscience of addiction, pain and HIV/AIDS.
  • Jonathan D. Pollock, Ph.D.* - molecular genetics of substance abuse, molecular genetics of synaptic plasticity and memory, model organisms.
  • Joni L. Rutter, Ph.D.* - human and population genetics, pharmacogenetics, gene x gene, gene x environment interactions, molecular genetics of drug addiction and addiction vulnerability, and ELSI issues.
  • John Satterlee, Ph.D.* - model organisms and behavioral genetics, RNAi and microRNAs, epigenetics, signal transduction.
  • Susan Volman, Ph.D. - behavioral genetics of drug abuse and of co-occuring disorders in animal models.
  • Da-Yu Wu, Ph.D. - neural development, molecular genetics, animal models, and RNAi.

Division of Epidemiology, Services, and Prevention Research (DESPR)

  • Naimah Weinberg, M.D.* - psychiatric risk factors for drug abuse, comorbidity and common etiology of psychiatric and substance use disorders, genetic epidemiology of drug abuse vulnerability and comorbidity.

Division of Therapeutics and Medical Consequences (DTMC)

  • Jag H. Khalsa, Ph.D. - genetics of metabolic (including nutritional) & endocrine disorders of drug abuse, co-occurring infections (HIV, hepatitis C, TB, STDs); genetics of drug-drug interactions among antiretrovirals, drugs of abuse and addiction treatment medications.
  • Iván D. Montoya, M.D., M.P.H. - pharmacogenetics of the safety and efficacy of medications approved or being investigated for the treatment of substance use disorders.
  • Kevin Walton, Ph.D.* - clinical trial grants evaluating new therapeutics for smoking cessation and other drug dependence and use disorders.  Especially interested in repurposing of therapeutics.

Division of Extramural Research (DER)

*Members of the NIDA Genetics Coordinating Committee


Any questions or concerns regarding the genetics programs please contact Jonathan D. Pollock Ph.D. or (301) 443-1887.

This page was last updated October 2015