NIDA announces new awards for early stage investigators

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.

Interactions of environmental conditions and genetic risk for drug taking

This study examined gene-by-environment interactions in susceptibility to drug use by raising LEW and F344 rats in varied environmental conditions.

Gene variant related to greater difficulty in quitting smoking and earlier lung cancer diagnosis

People with a specific form of the CHRNA5 gene take an average of four years longer to quit smoking and are at greater risk for developing lung cancer four years earlier, compared to smokers without this gene variant.

February 2015

Can marijuana use put offspring at heightened risk for opiate addiction, even if the use stops before the offspring are conceived? Results from a recent NIDA-funded study are consistent with other studies suggesting that a parent’s history of drug use, even preconception, may affect a child’s brain function and behavior.

October 2014

Research shows that some gene variants that influence body mass index also shape smoking behaviors.

June 2014

Two recent studies suggest that genotyping may enable clinicians to base therapies on individual patients’ potential responsiveness to opioid drugs’ therapeutic effects and vulnerability to their harmful effects.

May 2014

One of NIDA’s goals is to try to understand the individual differences that contribute to whether or not someone who takes a drug will become addicted to it. Dr. Rutter’s research focuses on three types of differences: Environmental, developmental, and genetic and epigenetic.

Research suggests new genetic target to treat cocaine addiction

NIDA-funded research shows that a specific mutation in the CYFIP2 gene dramatically lowers responses to cocaine in a mouse model. The mutation appears to affect the CYFIP2 protein, a key player in processes underlying memory, learning, and habit formation.  This research provides a new target for research into potential medications to treat cocaine addiction.