Mar 31, 2008    #014
Contact: John Austin

Neuroscience research on drug abuse and addiction receives continued funding

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Medicine has received a $1,676,250 grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) to continue investigating brain mechanisms involved in drug abuse and addiction.

The five-year grant will support a lab led by John Wang, M.D., Ph.D., who is the Westport Anesthesia/Missouri Endowed Chair of Basic Medical Science at UMKC. The lab, part of the UMKC departments of Anesthesiology and Basic Medical Science, conducts animal research concerning brain mechanisms for substance abuse and addiction.

“We hope that our research results will help us to better understand the basic causes of addiction and will pave the way for developing more tools for prevention and treatment,” Wang said.

The research has been supported by NIDA, a unit of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, throughout the last decade.

“Dr. Wang’s research is a perfect example of translational research, that is, basic laboratory research that can be applied to human conditions,” said Betty Drees, M.D., F.A.C.P., and Dean, UMKC School of Medicine. “

Addiction to substances such as cocaine, heroin and nicotine represents a major medical and social problem across the globe. Basic neuroscience research that uncovers brain mechanisms for addiction is the first step toward the development of effective pharmacotherapy for these types of neurological disorders, Wang said. Fundamental questions related to the impact and mechanism of drug abuse and addiction are being investigated using state-of-the art technology.

“Dr. Wang is an extraordinarily productive and gifted neuroscientist and we are proud to have him in our Department,” said Gene Fibuch, M.D., Chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health sciences and urban engagement.

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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).


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