Feb 9, 2012    #014
Contact: John Austin

School of Medicine researchers explore molecular mechanisms of cocaine addiction

Xiang-Ping Chu laboratory receives NIH grant for innovative neuroscience research

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Researchers at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Medicine have been awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health for research that could lead to improved treatment and prevention of cocaine addiction. Researchers in the lab of Xiang-Ping Chu, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of Basic Medical Science at the School of Medicine, will use the grant to conduct a research project titled "Targeting acid-sensing ion channel 1a (ASIC1a) to prevent drug addiction." The grant was awarded through the NIH's National Institute on Drug Abuse.

"The project will provide evidence and insights into a newly discovered molecular activity within the brain during the use of cocaine that leads to the addition," Dr. Chu said. "Data from this project will provide evidence and insights for a new molecular mechanism underlying drug addiction, and will ultimately contribute to the development of novel pharmacotherapies for the treatment of various mental illnesses stemming from substance abuse."

Dr. Chu joined the School of Medicine faculty in 2008 in the Department of Basic Medical Science and has a secondary appointment in the Department of Anesthesiology. His research programs have also been supported by the American Heart Association and the University of Missouri Research Board.

About the UMKC School of Medicine

The UMKC School of Medicine was founded in 1971 as an innovative combined degree program. From its baccalaureate/MD curriculum to a docent system that emphasizes small group learning, the school has remained a trendsetter in medical education and research. For more information about the UMKC School of Medicine, visit You can also find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

About the University of Missouri-Kansas City

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 15,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience. For more information about UMKC, visit You can also find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and watch us on YouTube.

# # #

This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).


Bookmark and Share