The Center for Neurobiology of Addiction Treatment (CNAT) is a collaborative multi-disciplinary research and educational program designed to explore the neurobiology of drug abuse. It has been funded by NIDA at Wake Forest School of Medicine since 1991. CNAT provides a mechanism of interaction between investigators and students in the field of drug abuse research to examine neurobiological mechanisms of cocaine pharmacotherapies, using tightly interacting projects to ensure an effective collaborative structure. It also provides a formal structure of collaborative interactions with clinical partners at NIDA-funded clinical centers, thus providing a novel translational component to our research. From an educational perspective, CNAT provides a focus for the training of students and postdoctoral fellows in contemporary methods for investigating the neurobiological basis of drug abuse, and serves as an information source to both the lay and scientific community on issues related to the neurobiological aspects of drug abuse.
The scientific theme of the Center is focused on examining the neurobiological mechanisms of action of drugs that are currently used, or proposed to use, in the clinic for treatment of cocaine addiction. It uses three highly interactive projects and two Cores to accomplish these goals. Investigators in Project 1 examine effects of drug treatment on various behavioral models in both rats and monkeys. Investigators in Project 2 explore how these drug treatment paradigms affect functional consequences in brain through neuro-imaging and voltammetry. And researchers in Project 3 explore how these drug treatments affect gene and protein expression, receptor function and signal transduction systems in brain tissue obtained from the other Projects. These projects utilize several animal models and technologies uniquely developed by the Center investigators over the previous years of its funding history. CNAT is unique in its capability of performing integrated research on drug abuse in parallel models of addiction in both rodents and non-human primates.
For more information on educational and research opportunities available through CNAT, please contact:
Steven Childers, PhD
Director, Center for the Neurobiology of Addiction Treatment
Professor, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology
Wake Forest School of Medicine