NIDA has awarded grants to Yale University, the Medical University of South Carolina, and the University of Minnesota to explore sex differences in drug addiction. These three grants are part of the Specialized Centers of Research (SCOR) on Sex Differences program developed and coordinated by NIH’s Office of Research on Women’s Health, which has recently awarded a total of 11 SCORs among NIH Institutes. Each NIDA grant has translational implications for drug abuse medications that take gender into account. Recipients will receive approximately $1,000,000 per year for 5 years to support their research.
The Yale program, led by Dr. Sherry McKee, aims to develop effective smoking cessation treatments for women, who have lower smoking quit rates and greater smoking-related health consequences than men.
The Medical University of South Carolina program, led by Dr. Kathleen Brady, will examine relationships among gender, stress, and craving in cocaine and nicotine use in order to develop potential medications to prevent stress-based cocaine relapse and promote smoking cessation.
The University of Minnesota program, led by Dr. Marilyn Carroll, will focus on the interactions of sex differences, hormonal status (e.g., progesterone levels), and impulsivity with cigarette smoking and cocaine use to improve existing medication treatments for those addictions.