Drug addiction is a major, worldwide medical and social problem that remains a fundamental biomedical research challenge. Finding the exact cause of this psychiatric disorder is the first step toward effectively preventing and treating the disease, said John Wang, M.D., professor of anesthesiology and Westport Anesthesia/Missouri Endowed Chair in Anesthesia Research.
Wang recently received a five-year, $1.69 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to look at the role of glutamate receptors in substance abuse and addiction.
The research will use state-of-the-art technologies to explore brain mechanisms for drug addiction in an attempt to unravel the molecular mechanism underlying addiction, Wang said.
Results of the project could conceptually advance the current understanding of glutamate receptors and drug addiction, and ultimately help in the development on new therapeutic agents by targeting brain glutamate receptors.
“The UMKC School of Medicine has a strong neuroscience program and possesses a competent and multidisciplinary research team specialized in addiction research,” Wang said. “Our drug abuse research is supported well by NIH and evidently plays a leading role in this area at the national and international level.”