MSM Among Institutions to Receive $1.8 Million to Launch Research Education Program on Addiction and Pregnancy


Researchers at Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM), Magee-Womens Research Institute (MWRI) at the University of Pittsburgh, Emory University and San Diego State University (SDSU) receive a $1.8 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to train the next generation of biomedical researchers to study addiction mechanisms relevant to improving treatment options for pregnant women who have substance abuse addictions and babies suffering from drug withdrawal.

Led by Gerald Schatten, Ph.D. (Principal Investigator, MWRI), Michael Kuhar, Ph.D. (Co-Principal Investigator, Emory University), Winston E. Thompson, Ph.D. (Co-director, MSM), and Thereasa Cronan, Ph.D. (Co-director, SDSU), the grant will support recruitment, courses and other educational experiences to help launch the careers of biomedical and physician-scientists, primarily from under-represented and underserved communities. The program will begin with an advanced laboratory course for skills development followed by mentored research, and career planning. Morehouse School of Medicine will serve as the host campus for the courses in 2018, 2020, and 2022, while San Diego State University will be the host campus in 2019 and 2021

“We are grateful to senior leadership and faculty at Morehouse School of Medicine for hosting this important inaugural clinical education program, which begins at MSM the week of October 12, 2018.  Unless innovative strategies are discovered, and more effective treatments implemented, we are in danger of losing our brightest, most promising family members, neighbors, friends and colleagues to this epidemic,” said Dr. Schatten.

The Frontiers in Addiction Research and Pregnancy [FrARP] course is unique in that it has formal and individual career development components ensuring that each participant is well versed in vital skills for designing, conducting, and publishing independent research, obtaining grants, and launching and sustaining independent careers. The program targets graduate and medical students, postdoctoral fellows, and early stage scientists and clinicians.

In addition to recruiting under-represented and underserved scientists, FrARP concentrates on a uniquely vulnerable population— pregnant women who are substance abusers and their babies with neonatal abstinence syndrome. The medical challenges they experience are serious, growing issues for families, communities and our nation.

“As we at Morehouse School of Medicine are leading in the creation and advancement of health equity, FrARP will help to advance the research careers of the most promising biomedical scientists and clinicians and ensure diversity of the scientific and health care workforce addressing issues of addiction and pregnancy,” said Dr. Thompson. For more information and to apply to participate in the upcoming FrARP course held October 12th- 18th at MSM, please click here.