Research Experiences in the Genetics of Addiction for Faculty and Student Teams Underrepresented in Science

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Course funding: 1R25DA051342-01A1 (NIH/NIDA; E. Chesler, PI)
Anticipated start date: Spring, 2022

Program Overview

Addiction is a significant public health problem in the US that has a disproportionately large effect on underrepresented minority (URM) and disadvantaged communities, but the members of such communities are much less likely to be a part of the biological research community that is tackling these challenges. The purpose of this program is to provide research experiences including access to world-class research resources, technologies, training and career mentoring needed to launch innovative new research programs in addiction biology. This program will leverage existing genetics, genomics and addiction-related research resources at The Jackson Laboratory to provide foundational education and onsite hands-on training through mentorship of URM student-faculty teams. Our goal is to increase the diversity of researchers actively working with model organism genetics and genomics to understand and characterize mechanisms of addiction related behavior.

The Jackson Laboratory will provide access to a unique research and training experience designed to encourage and assist participants in their pursuit and advancement of research or science-related careers in addiction-related areas. The goal is to enable participants to use cutting edge genetics and genomics techniques to study addiction. We are recruiting diverse faculty and student teams for training and mentored research projects utilizing advanced methods and resources for addiction genetics This training program consists of two components:

  1. A customized, virtually mentored course designed to deliver foundational skills and knowledge in mammalian and systems genetics of addiction.
  2. For select faculty level course participants, an invitation to return to JAX with 2 trainees (post-doctoral, graduate or undergraduate) for an extended research experience mentored by hosting JAX faculty. Faculty-trainee teams will be hosted at JAX by program mentors, where they will make use of JAXs advanced research resources to learn techniques needed to augment their research into addiction related phenomena through the incorporation of mammalian genetics and genomics. Faculty-trainee teams will return to their home institutions with knowledge, skills, data and resources to support follow-on research, presentations, publications and grant applications, and to further disseminate the knowledge and skills to additional trainees.