En español

NIDA announces new awards for early stage investigators

The new Avenir awards focus on HIV/AIDS and epigenetics research

June 26, 2015

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) today announced the first six recipients of its two newly developed Avenir Award programs for HIV/AIDS and genetics or epigenetics research. The Avenir (meaning “future” in French) Awards support early stage investigators who propose highly innovative studies. The six scientists will each receive up to $300,000 per year for five years to support their research. NIDA is part of the National Institutes of Health.

The Avenir Award Program for Research on Substance Abuse and HIV/AIDS will support creative individuals who wish to pursue research approaches for improved prevention and treatment, long term retention in care, and ultimately, eradication of HIV within substance using populations infected with, or at risk for, HIV/AIDS. The Avenir Award Program for Genetics or Epigenetics of Substance Abuse supports early stage investigators who show promise of being tomorrow's leaders in the field of genetics or epigenetics of substance abuse.  Epigenetics is an emerging field that studies how environmental factors influence changes in gene expression without altering the DNA sequence.

The four HIV/AIDS projects include a wide range of approaches, including: exploring prevention interventions to reduce HIV risk among people who inject drugs; using high-resolution microsimulations to inform community-specific responses to HIV transmission among people who inject drugs; examining the potential for a new antibody therapy to suppress viral replication with a single administration in HIV-infected people, simplifying treatment which would be highly beneficial to substance users who have difficulty adhering to current HIV treatments; and integrating multi-disciplinary techniques to advance understanding of HIV-related decision-making in drug users. The epigenetic research awardees propose to explore two areas: examine how drug-related behaviors alter epigenetic modifications in the brain to develop more effective epigenetic-based addiction treatment and prevention strategies; and insight into epigenetic mechanisms underlying nicotine dependence to provide a foundation for development of novel therapeutics for nicotine/smoking cessation in humans.

“The innovative proposals by these young scientists in the fields of HIV/AIDS and epigenetics are very exciting,” said NIDA Director Nora D. Volkow, M.D. “We’re pleased to support these creative approaches and are looking forward to seeing the results of their research.”

Awardees are listed below:

HIV/AIDS Research

Alejandro B. Balazs, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School
Project: Engineering Humoral Immunity to Functionally Cure HIV Infection

Brandon D.L. Marshall, Ph.D., Brown University School of Public Health
Project: Highly Adaptive Epidemic Control Strategies for HIV Prevention in Drug Users

Christina S. Meade, Ph.D., Duke University School of Medicine
Project: Decision Making and HIV Risk: New Approaches to NeuroAIDS Research in Drug Users

Daniel Werb, Ph.D., M.Sc., University of California, San Diego School of Medicine  
Preventing HIV by Modifying the Context for Injecting Initiation

Genetics or Epigenetics Research

Jeremy J. Day, Ph.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham
Project: Epigenetic Control of Brain Reward Systems

Christie D. Fowler, Ph.D., University of California, Irvine
Project: Circulating miRNAs and Epigenetic Regulation in Nicotine Addiction

Read more about the Avenir Award Program. For information about NIDA’s AIDS Research Program, go to www.drugabuse.gov/AIDS.  Read more about NIDA’s Genetics and Molecular Neurobiology Research Branch.

Balazs, Day, Fowler, Marshall, Meade, and Werb are funded under grant numbers DA040254-01, DA039650-01, DA039658-01, DA040236-01,  DA040226-01, and DA040256-01, respectively.

NIDA Press Office

About the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIDA supports most of the world’s research on the health aspects of drug use and addiction. The Institute carries out a large variety of programs to inform policy, improve practice, and advance addiction science. Fact sheets on the health effects of drugs and information on NIDA research and other activities can be found at www.drugabuse.gov, which is now compatible with your smartphone, iPad or tablet. To order publications in English or Spanish, call NIDA’s DrugPubs research dissemination center at 1-877-NIDA-NIH or 240-645-0228 (TDD) or email requests to drugpubs@nida.nih.gov. Online ordering is available at drugpubs.drugabuse.gov. NIDA’s media guide can be found at www.drugabuse.gov/publications/media-guide/dear-journalist, and its easy-to-read website can be found at www.easyread.drugabuse.gov. You can follow NIDA on Twitter and Facebook.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

NIH. . .Turning Discovery Into Health®

News Releases

Mar 2017

Feb 2017

Dec 2016

Nov 2016

Oct 2016

Sep 2016

Aug 2016

Jul 2016

Jun 2016

May 2016

Apr 2016

Mar 2016

Feb 2016

Jan 2016

Dec 2015

Nov 2015

Oct 2015

Sep 2015

Aug 2015

Jul 2015

Jun 2015

May 2015

Apr 2015

Mar 2015

Feb 2015

Jan 2015

Dec 2014

Nov 2014

Oct 2014

Sep 2014

Aug 2014

Jul 2014

Jun 2014

May 2014

Apr 2014

Mar 2014

Feb 2014

Jan 2014

Dec 2013

Nov 2013

Oct 2013

Sep 2013

Aug 2013

Jul 2013

Jun 2013

May 2013

Apr 2013

Mar 2013

Feb 2013

Jan 2013

Dec 2012

Nov 2012

Oct 2012

Sep 2012

Aug 2012

Jul 2012

Jun 2012

May 2012

Apr 2012

Mar 2012

Feb 2012

Jan 2012

Dec 2011

Nov 2011

Oct 2011

Sep 2011

Aug 2011

Jul 2011

Jun 2011

May 2011

Apr 2011

Mar 2011

Jan 2011

Dec 2010

Nov 2010

Sep 2010

Aug 2010

Jul 2010

May 2010

Apr 2010

Mar 2010

Jan 2010

Get this Publication

Cite this article

APA style citation

NIDA (). NIDA announces new awards for early stage investigators. Retrieved , from https://www.drugabuse.gov/news-events/news-releases/2015/06/nida-announces-new-awards-early-stage-investigators

press ctrl+c to copy
Receive Latest Science Articles in your Email!
You will only receive messages related to Latest Science