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CDAP > Alcohol and Substance Abuse Research Training Overview
Alcohol and Substance Abuse Research Training Overview

Research training in alcohol abuse has been ongoing since 1987 when an Institutional Training grant from the NIAAA was awarded. A second training grant funded by NIDA was awarded in 1991. The Center for Drug and Alcohol Programs and the Department of Neurosciences offer comprehensive federally funded basic and clinical science training in alcohol and substance abuse research. Institutional training grants from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) supply stipends and research funds for both pre-doctoral (through the Neuroscience graduate program) and post-doctoral fellows. The training faculty hold appointments in the Department Neurosciences and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

The purpose of training is to produce scientists capable of conducting independent basic and/or clinical alcohol and substance abuse research. Emphasis is placed on the development of research skills, including grant writing and subsequent communication of research results at national meetings and in professional journals.

Upon entry into the program, trainees are integrated into their mentor’s research program. All faculty mentors have active, NIH-funded research so that trainees are exposed to state-of-the-art research techniques and ideas. While working with the mentor, each trainee is expected to generate an abstract for presentation at a national meeting and to submit one manuscript a year for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.


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Faculty mentors and their   research interests
Clinical sites
Basic science sites
Current trainees
Informational Flyer (pdf)

Faculty Mentors and Their Research Interests
(to contact an individual faculty member, click on their name)

Raymond F. Anton, M.D. 
Alcohol Medications/Diagnostic Predictors

Gary Aston-Jones, Ph.D. 
Neurobiology of Attention, Affect, Motivation, and Reward

Sudie Back, Ph.D.
Stress Reactivity in Cocaine Dependent Men and Women

Howard C. Becker, Ph.D. 
Mechanisms of Chronic Alcohol Neuroadaptation

Jeffrey Borchardt, Ph.D.
TMS and Treatment of Comorbid Disorders

Kathleen T. Brady, M.D., Ph.D. 

Matthew Carpenter, Ph.D
Tobacco Use Across a Broad Methodological Continuum

L. Judson Chandler, Ph.D. 
Effects of Ethanol on Glutamatergic Systems

Carla Danielson, Ph.D.
Early Life Stress, Trauma and Alcohol Drinking in Humans

Deborah V. Deas, M.D., M.P.H. 
Adolescent Alcohol and Substance Abuse

Brett Froeliger, Ph.D.
Brain Indices of Nicotine Effects in Smokers

Kevin Gray, M.D.
Substance Use disorders in Adolescents and Adults

Jane Joseph, Ph.D.
Cognitive Neuroscience and Addiction

Peter W. Kalivas, Ph.D.  
Cellular Basis of Stimulant-Induced Neuroplasticity

Antonieta Lavin, Ph.D. 
Role of Cortico-thalamic Pathway in Drug Addiction

Robert J. Malcolm, M.D. 
Pharmacotherapy of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Disorders

Jacqueline F. McGinty, Ph.D. 
Stimulant Effects on Neurotransmitter Release/Gene Expression

Aimee McRae-Clark, PharmD
Cannabis Dependence

Patrick Mulholland, Ph.D.
Chronic Ehanol and SK2 Potassium Channels

D. LaHugh (Hugh) Myrick, M.D.
Medications in Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment; Imagining

Michael Saladin, Ph.D.
Stress Reactivity in Cocaine Dependent Men and Women

John J. Woodward, Ph.D. 
Electrophysiological Analysis of Alcohol and Abused Inhalants

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The program uses a multidisciplinary faculty within a medical school base to provide clinical and basic science trainees with research experiences in various facets of substance abuse research. The program is unique in that it stresses the sharing of information of basic and clinical research findings. This process is achieved in part because the majority of clinical and basic faculty and fellows are housed in close proximity to one another, thus facilitating daily interactions of scientists.

As a measure of success, every trainee to-date has annually submitted an abstract, prepared either a poster or oral presentation, and presented at the Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA) meeting, the College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD), or some other alcohol and/or drug-related meeting.

In addition, trainees have also participated in at least one other national meeting related to their specific discipline. All trainees have submitted at least one (often more) manuscript resulting from their training experience for each year of training. Of the fellows trained, 75% now have academic positions at universities that allow them to utilize their postdoctoral training experience either through teaching or research.

Center for Drug and Alcohol Programs (CDAP)
CDAP is a research and treatment center which opened in March of 1995 as part of the Institute of Psychiatry. This facility provides state-of-the-art clinical research units and basic science laboratories. This allows the integration of clinical care with clinical and basic research in an effort to determine the mechanisms underlying addiction and to develop the best treatment for the addicted patient.

Charleston Alcohol Research Center (ARC)
Initially funded in December 1995 and renewed in 2000 and 2005, the ARC has greatly enhanced CDAP with a grant from NIAAA establishing a National Alcohol Research Center. This is one of only fourteen national alcohol research centers in the country. The ARC provides support for five major basic science and clinical research initiatives designed to develop and improve new treatments for alcohol abuse and dependence. In addition, the ARC supports pilot research initiatives, an Administrative Core, and a Shared Resources Core. These cores provide pharmacy, intake, statistical and computer support to the ARC. >>Back to Top

Clinical Sites
There are presently four clinical training sites available for clinical research and training. These include the CDAP inpatient facility at the Institute of Psychiatry, the nearby Charleston Center (County) Department of Alcohol and other Drug Abuse Services, the Ralph H. Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and the CDAP community-based outpatient facility.

Basic Science Sites
Fully equipped basic science laboratories are located within CDAP, the Strom Thurmond Biomedical Research Building, and the Department of Neurosciences. The latter two are located across the street from CDAP.

The Training program offers strong didactic programs which stress both clinical and basis science aspects of substance abuse. It also provides training in the following:
Grant writing
Research design
Data presentation
Responsible Conduct of Research
Software utilization is also emphasized (e.g. SPSS, SAS, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and End Note). There are ongoing Research Seminars, Journal Clubs and a variety of other conferences and workshops offered to the trainees.
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Current Trainees
Postdoctoral Fellows (NIAAA Training Grant):

Rachel Anderson
Jacqueline Barker
Paula Zamudio

Benjamin Zimmer

Predoctoral Fellows:

Corrin Barrett
Ben Hughes
Audrey Padula

To apply, please send your CV, statement of research interest (one page), and the contact information of three references to either Dr. Woodward (NIAAA Training Grant), Dr. McGinty (NIDA Training Grant), or Dr. Wright (Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship Program).

Training Grant Directors:

John J. Woodward, Ph.D.
Director, NIAAA Training Grant
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Medical University of South Carolina
67 President Street
MSC 861
Charleston, SC 29425
phone: 843-792-5225

Jacqueline F. McGinty, Ph.D.
Director, NIDA Training Grant
Department of Neurosciences
Medical University of South Carolina
173 Ashley Avenue
Suite 403
MSC 510
Charleston, SC 29425
phone: 843-792-9036

Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship Program
The Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship Program is an ACGME accredited one-year clinical fellowship program.  This fellowship includes a variety of clinical experiences, didactic series, and supervision involving management of addicted and dually-diagnosed patients.  A number of research opportunities are available.

For more information or to apply, contact:
Tara M. Wright, M.D.
Director, Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship Program
Ralph H. Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center
109 Bee Street
Charleston, SC 29425

 More information on Postdoctoral Research Fellowships*

* PDF format . Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader®

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"I felt at all times that the staff I encountered were very interested in helping me. I never felt like a 'number.' "-CEL

" I did not feel judged or less of a person because of my alcohol issues. It has been a very positive experience...I also now realize this is a forever problem that I have to address on a daily basis."-Bobby

"This was an excellent experience. I learned a lot about alcohol dependence, coping strategies and other health related issues as they involve alcohol consumption. Most importantly my personal and family life have improved dramatically. Thank you, thank you, thank you!" -James