McLean Receives Largest Research Grant in Hospital History

April 19, 2002

Public Affairs

Belmont, MA - McLean Hospital's Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Center (ADARC) has been awarded a five-year, $6.4- million grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse to study cocaine abuse and how to better treat it.

The goal of the multi-year investigation, led by Nancy Mello, PhD, co-director of the ADARC, is to examine novel pharmacological and biological approaches to the treatment of cocaine and polydrug abuse.

"This is the largest single grant McLean has ever received," said Bruce Cohen, MD, PhD, president and psychiatrist in chief for McLean. "It could not have gone to a more accomplished scientist."

Mello and her McLean colleagues will evaluate the behavioral relevance of cocaine’s acute endocrine effects during a number of clinical and preclinical studies over the next five years. The research is based on the premise that advances in understanding the neurobiological determinants of the abuse-related effects of drugs should facilitate the development of more effective treatment medications.

"This project provides an exciting opportunity to examine how cocaine’s acute neuroendocrine effects may contribute to its abuse," said Mello.

Jack Mendelson, MD, co-director of ADARC, S. Stevens Negus, PhD, director of McLean’s Neurobiology Program, and S. Barak Caine, PhD, director of the Neuroscience Program, will also be working on the project.

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