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Addiction traps individuals, disrupts families, and affects entire communities. SRI addiction research investigates the causes of addiction, preventive measures, and treatments to stop the downward spiral of addiction.
Nicotine Addiction Research
SRI's Center for Health Sciences has long been recognized for its leading nicotine addiction research. For NIH and other clients, SRI examines the predictors of relapse to nicotine addiction and the influence of genetics on smoking. Nicotine research aims to identify subpopulations at high risk for relapse after nicotine replacement therapy and genetic mutations that may be common among users of alcohol, coffee, and nicotine.
Additional sponsors include the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and the University of California Tobacco-Related Disease Research Fund.
Drug Abuse Research
For clients such as the National Institutes of Health, SRI researchers conduct neuropharmacology studies to discover nonaddictive analgesics. We also perform substance abuse research to investigate the relationship between analgesia and addiction, focusing on opiate receptors and the recently discovered opiate-like receptor ORL1.
To understand the molecular basis of addiction, SRI conducts drug addiction research to study the receptor pharmacology of addictive compounds, including opiates and cocaine analogs. We also conduct drug abuse research for the National Institute on Drug Abuse to generate receptor binding data for the research community at large.
Researchers are seeking to identify novel genes contributing to nicotine metabolism and to smoking cessation.
SRI is investigating whether the nicotine in tobacco smoke may be useful in meeting the urgent need to manage Parkinson’s disease.
SRI is analyzing the genetics of smoking and related characteristics, using data from a large-scale National Cancer Institute study on smoking cessation.
This project could advance drug abuse prevention and intervention research by identifying Genetic x Environment (GxE) interactions, which may help explain the development of nicotine dependence. Results may guide development of tailored interventions.