NIH grant awarded to Marshall researcher for finding out genetic mechanisms of cocaine habit
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Price E. Dickson, Ph.D., an assistant professor of biomedical sciences on the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, has obtained a $407,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to review the genetic and genomic mechanisms driving the connection between social reward and cocaine habit.

During the two-year R21 grant, Dickson and his analysis group will examine the genetic and genomic mechanisms driving social reward and the choice for a social reward over a drug reward. Social rewards consult with the reinforcing social stimuli that people expertise throughout interactions with others. A powerful drive to hunt out social interactions fairly than medicine of abuse could confer habit resistance, whereas the absence of this drive could lead to habit vulnerability, Dickson explains.

“Despite the importance of social rewards in addiction, the genetic mechanisms underlying variation in the preference for a social reward over a drug reward have been unexplored,” Dickson stated. “Because the mouse genome is very similar to the human genome, genetic studies using mice can provide valuable information about the genetics underlying human addiction.”

To mannequin the huge genetic range in people, the group will use mice from the Collaborative Cross mouse panel, which accommodates virtually all the genetic range current in each wild and laboratory mice. To determine the genetic mechanisms underlying the choice for social interactions fairly than addictive medicine, particular person Collaborative Cross mice could have the selection to intravenously self-administer cocaine or to briefly work together with one other mouse. Single-cell RNA sequencing will then be used to determine genetic signatures related to these preferences within the reward circuitry of the mind.

“The successful completion of this project will provide a foundation for future deep characterization of identified genetic mechanisms driving the preference for a social reward over a drug reward in mice and contribute to the development of novel, more effective addiction treatments, Dickson said.”

Since becoming a member of Marshall’s college in 2020, Dickson has authored or co-authored 4 publications in tutorial journals and 4 displays at scientific conferences. He is a recipient of a 2020 K99/R00 program grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to additional his analysis on the genetic relationship between stress and habit. Dickson joined the School of Medicine college in June 2020, following seven years of postdoctoral analysis on the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine.

The grant (1R21DA054929-01A1) was introduced July 12 by U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV).

Posted in: Genomics

Tags: Addiction, Brain, Cell, Cocaine Addiction, Drug Abuse, Drugs, Genetic, Genetics, Genome, Genomic, Laboratory, Medicine, pH, Research, RNA, RNA Sequencing, Stress

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