The 2003 Frontiers in Addiction Research mini-convention brought together participants from diverse scientific disciplines to share advances and discuss future directions in the neuroscience of drug abuse and related areas. Many of the discoveries hold great promise for helping NIDA achieve its goal: to significantly reduce the health and social consequences of drug abuse and addiction throughout the United States. The application of NIDA-supported neuroscience research will enable even greater advances vital to reducing drug abuse, addiction, and their related consequences.
Endocannabinoids in the Brain: From Micro to Macro
During this section of the program, presenters discussed the central mechanisms that mediate activities of the endogenous and exogenous cannabinoids, as well as the functional impact of these activities.
Cross-Talk Between Cannabinoid and Opiate Systems
Steven R. Goldberg, Ph.D., NIDA Intramural Research Program
Presynaptic Effects of Endocannabinoids
Bradley Alger, Ph.D., University of Maryland School of Medicine
Efficacy in CB-1 Cannabinoid Receptor Signal Transduction
Allyn C. Howlett, Ph.D., North Carolina Central University
Adaptations in a Membrane Enzyme that Terminates Endocannabinoid Signaling
Benjamin Cravatt, Ph.D., The Scripps Research Institute
The Endocannabinoid System and the Regulation of Emotions
Daniele Piomelli, Ph.D., University of California, Irvine
Mechanisms of Receptor and Transporter Trafficking
This portion of the program centered on the mechanisms that govern when, why, and how receptor and transporter proteins move within a cell.
Dopamine Transporter: Are Psychostimulants in Your Neighborhood Forcing You To Move?
Aurelio Galli, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
AMPA Receptor Assembly Determined by Q/R Editing
Ingo Greger, Ph.D., Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology
Signaling Mechanisms for Synaptic Plasticity
J. Julius Zhu, Ph.D., University of Virginia School of Medicine
Embryogenesis in Reward-based Behavior
Presentations in this section highlighted several ways in which recent advances in developmental biology can help researchers better understand aspects of prenatal drug exposure and addiction.
Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms Controlling the Development of Telencephalic Structures
Oscar Marin, Ph.D., University Miguel Hernández
Development of Dopaminergic and Serotonergic Neurons Involved in Reward-associated Behavior in Zebrafish
Su Guo, Ph.D., University of California School of Pharmacy
Signal Transduction Mechanisms in Drug Abuse and Addiction
This portion of the program concerned recent discoveries that provide a detailed biochemical characterization of the intracellular signaling cascades involved in drug-induced changes in synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity.
GPCR Regulatory Mechanisms: Effects on Tolerance, Sensitization, and Reinforcement
Laura M. Bohn, Ph.D., Duke University Medical Center
RGS Protein Function in the Mammalian Brain
Theodore G. Wensel, Ph.D., Baylor College of Medicine
Role of Cdk5 in Drug Addiction
James A. Bibb, Ph.D., University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Neurobiological Basis of Impulsivity
In this section, presenters discussed ways in which impulsivity may play a role in drug abuse.
Varieties of Impulsivity: Evidence from Animal Studies
John L. Evenden, Ph.D., D.Med.Sci., AstraZeneca
Behavioral Models of Impulsivity in Humans and Nonhumans: Effects of Drugs
Harriet de Wit, Ph.D., University of Chicago
Neurobiological Changes Related to Impulsivity as a Consequence of and an Added Risk Factor for Psychostimulant Abuse
F. Gerald Moeller, M.D., University of Texas Health Sciences Center
P3 Event-Related Potential Amplitude and the Risk for Disinhibitory Behavior Disorders
William G. Iacono, Ph.D., University of Minnesota
Neurobiological Mechanisms of Drug and "Natural" Reward
In this segment, researchers focused on identifying the neurobiological substrates involved in learning, motivation, and memory with regard to natural rewards.
The CNS Regulation of Food Intake: Peripheral Signals and CNS Effector
Randy J. Seeley, Ph.D., University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
Rapid Dopamine Signaling: Cocaine vs. "Natural" Rewards
Regina M. Carelli, Ph.D., University of North Carolina
Emotional Feelings, Drug Addictions, and Social Processes
Jaak Panksepp, Ph.D., Bowling Green State University
The Expression of a Simple Appetitive Response Becomes Dopamine-Independent with Overlearning
Jon Horvitz, Ph.D., Boston College
Structure, Function, and Regulation of the Dopamine Transporter
Presentations in this section addressed ways in which the dopamine transporter may function as a multimer or an ion channel, in association with regulatory proteins and human disease.
Oligomerization of the Dopamine Transporter: Cocaine-Induced Conformational Changes at a Homo-Dimer Interface
Jonathan A. Javitch, M.D., Ph.D., Columbia University
Protein-Protein Interactions: Defining New Pathways Involved in the Regulation of the Dopamine Transporter
Gonzalo E. Torres, Ph.D., Duke University Medical Center
DA Transporter Currents: A Reason for Excitement
Susan L. Ingram, Ph.D., Washington State University
Dopamine Transporter Genetics: From Model Systems to Man
Randy D. Blakely, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University School of Medicine