This application requests continued support for a research education program in the neuroscience of addiction
to support undergraduate students pursuing short term summer research experiences at the Medical University
of South Carolina. Each year, fourteen undergraduate students will have the opportunity to conduct biomedical
research projects under the guidance of faculty mentors based primarily in the departments of Neurosciences
and Psychiatry. The ten-week summer research projects conducted by the students will culminate in a formal
scientific presentation. Additional activities include a lecture series on focused topics; a research ethics
component; instruction in rigor, transparency and reproducibility; formal and informal discussions on the
meaning of scientific literacy, professional development and career opportunities; and social functions. Our
participating faculty constitutes a highly collaborative, interdisciplinary team of laboratory-based researchers.
Training opportunities are thematically organized around four areas of research: neurobiological basis of
cocaine relapse; neurobiology of methamphetamine dependence; sex and gender-related research in
substance use disorders; and stress and substance use disorders. The program builds upon and leverages (1)
MUSC's strong and continued commitment to research training; (2) its excellent reputation in providing
meaningful research experiences for talented undergraduate students; (3) its track record of attracting students
from underrepresented groups and undergraduate institutions, and (4) its effective program management.