The Molecular Neuroscience of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Training (MNADRT) Program will emphasize a multidisciplinary approach, including molecular and cellular techniques, electrophysiology, optogenetics, designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs (DREADD), stem cell technology, neuroimaging, neuroimmunology, neurobehavioral pharmacology, and genetics to increase the understanding of the genetic and environmental influences on the nervous system controlling stress dysregulation and pathogenesis in alcoholism and drug abuse. Our training program is very unique as it addresses fundamental brain functions relevant to both drugs (nicotine, cocaine, and opioids) and alcohol abuse and addiction, such as reward, motivation, stress reactivity, among others.
The trainees will benefit from the unique strengths of alcohol and drug abuse research at Rutgers University, which include the Endocrine Research Program, Brain Health Institute, Center of Alcohol Studies, and the research cores, including the genome editing core facility, the bioimaging core facility, genomic informatics, and biostatics services. The vast resources of Rutgers provide state-of-the-art space, laboratory facilities, and equipment that support exceptional postdoctoral training.
In addition to research skills, emphasis is placed on career development with a focus on skills needed to become a productive independent academic scientist, including training in the responsible conduct of research, competitive grant writing, classroom teaching, scientific communication, and laboratory management. Overall, the training plan is designed to provide the trainee with the skills necessary to conduct rigorous and cutting-edge research on the focus area and to carry this knowledge forward into their independent careers.
Details and Requirements
Funded by a T32 grant from NIH, the MNADRT program aims to support 4 postdoctoral lines each year for a period of 5 years. We anticipate to train a total of 10 postdoctoral candidates in the MNADRT program during the 5-year funding period. Trainees will be selected from Ph.D. and M.D. applicants. Once selected by the selection committee (consisted of internal and external advisory board members), a fellow will be assigned to a training faculty laboratory with a 2-year period of funding from the T32 grant. During this period, the fellow will acquire literature knowledge in their subject area, laboratory techniques, ethics, and research training. The fellow will also be tutored by the faculty mentor(s) and other university resources to write and submit an F32 grant application for obtaining funding for 1 or 2 additional years of postdoctoral training. The total number of fellows during the 5-year period (n~ 8-10) is based on the number of current core training faculty (n=10), existing facilities and resources, and research funding available to support postdoctoral research.