NIH funds research on genetics of drug addiction

A new five-year grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health totaling more than $11 million will support a team of researchers across the country as they attempt to identify markers of genetic predisposition to addiction.

The Jackson Laboratory — a biomedical research institution with locations in Bar Harbor, Maine, Sacramento, Calif., and Farmington, Conn. — will use the grant to construct a new Center for Systems Neurogenetics of Addiction.

J. David Jentsch, PhD, professor of psychology at Binghamton (N.Y.) University, is a part of the team of investigators whose research will be supported by the NIH grant. Dr. Jentsch and his team will use state-of-the-art mouse models to identify genes and genetic pathways linked addiction risks.

"Today, a key focus in treatment is to reverse or minimize the harm of an already established addiction," said Dr. Jentsch. "Ideally, we would like to identify people that are at risk and prevent their development of an addiction before it leaves its indelible mark on them. This research program advances that mission, and through its collaborative synergy, it stands an excellent chance of success."

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