Addiction-focused Centers at MUSC

There are two long-standing P50 Centers in the division: The Alcohol Research Center (ARC) funded by NIAAA since 1995, and the Specialized Center of Research Excellence (SCORE) on Sex Differences award funded since 2002 by the Office of Research on Women’s Health and NIDA. Both P50s are translational in nature, and are composed of two basic and two clinical components each, along with administrative, and pilot core components. A third P50, the Neurobiology of Addiction Research Center (NARC) is funded by NIDA and is housed in the Department of Neuroscience.

The Addiction Sciences Division (ASD) also is home to a NIDA-funded Node of the Clinical Trials Network (CTN) affiliated with a NIDA-funded P01 related to tobacco control policy.

These awards work in concert with individual R-type awards to further enhance translational educational, training, and career development experiences in the addictions area on campus.

Southern Consortium Node of the NIDA-funded Clinical Trials Network (CTN)

Principal Investigators: Kathleen T. Brady and Matthew J. Carpenter
Funding Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse

Program Description: The Southern Consortium node of the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network (CTN) was initiated at MUSC in 2000 as one of only 17 such centers throughout the US designed to focus on bridging the gap between research and treatment in the field of addictions and substance abuse. The NIDA CTN provides an enterprise in which NIDA, treatment researchers, and community-based service providers cooperatively develop, validate, refine, and deliver new treatment options to patients in Community Treatment Programs. This unique partnership aims to achieve the following objectives: 1) Conducting studies of behavioral, pharmacological, and integrated behavioral and pharmacological treatment interventions of therapeutic effect in rigorous, multisite clinical trials to determine effectiveness; and 2) Ensuring the transfer of research results to physicians, clinicians, providers, and patients.

More information on the Southern Consortium node of the CTN

Charleston Alcohol Research Center (ARC)

Principal Investigator: Howard C. Becker
Funding Source: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Program Description: The Charleston Alcohol Research Center (ARC) is an NIAAA-funded center. The ARC views alcoholism has having a biological basis and the Center’s overarching theme is alcohol treatment. Since 1995, the goal of the Center has been to provide information from pre-clinical work that guides complementary studies in humans, and to use findings in humans to guide basic science research. The Center’s research components are tied together by either a focus on neuroanatomical and/or neurochemical changes that accompany the transition from controlled to uncontrolled drinking, the neurocircuitry underlying reward processes, or trait personality factors that may alter the risk for development of alcohol dependence or the response to medication. These research components utilize cutting-edge technologies (e.g., brain imaging, genetics, in vivo microdialysis, multi-array recording, and laboratory paradigms) to address their specific research questions.

More information on the ARC

Specialized Center of Research Excellence (SCORE) on Sex Differences

Principal Investigators:  Aimee L. McRae-Clark and Kathleen T. Brady
Funding Source: National Institute of Health, Office of Research on Women’s Health

Program Description: MUSC's Specialized Center of Research Excellence (SCORE) on Sex Differences is one of six specialized centers in the United States charged with the task of advancing research on women’s health and promoting institutional interdisciplinary research. In September 2018, the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Office of Research on Women’s Health renewed a 5-year award for Drs. Aimee McRae-Clark and Kathleen T. Brady, funding this research center focused on sex and gender-based research at MUSC. The MUSC SCORE is a productive interdisciplinary research center focused on sex and gender differences as they uniquely relate to addiction and stress-related disorders.

More information on the SCORE

Center for Opioid and Cocaine Addiction (COCA)

Principal Investigator: Peter W. Kalivas
Funding Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse

Program Description: The Center for Opioid and Cocaine Addiction (COCA) is a NIDA-funded program that was built around the hypothesis that synaptic plasticity in the prefrontal to accumbens pathway mediates cocaine relapse. The primary goal of the COCA is to identify the neurobiological basis of why an addict's motivation to obtain addictive drugs is so great, and why their ability to develop behaviors that compete with drug use is impaired. To accomplish this goal, the COCA has brought together cell biologists, behavioral neuroscientists and clinicians whose careers are devoted to finding new, and effective cures for addiction.

More information on the COCA

Effectiveness of Tobacco Control in High vs. Low Income Countries

Principal Investigator:K. Michael Cummings
Funding source: National Cancer Institute

Program Description: This P01 program project grant is funded by the National Cancer Institute and explores whether different tobacco control policies (e.g., product labeling, smoke-free policies, price and taxation, and product regulation) are relatively consistent or inconsistent in effectiveness across different countries with varying incomes and cultures. The research builds upon the work started by the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation consortium, which was supported in part by our Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Center grant (TTURC - P50 CA111236).

More information on the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation consortium

More information on tobacco policy and control at MUSC