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Yale Investigators Receive NIH HEAL Grants to Study Solutions to the Opioid Crisis

October 01, 2019

Yale researchers representing a range of disciplines have been awarded grants through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Helping to End Addiction Long-term Initiative (HEAL). This national effort provides $945 million in total funding to support a variety of research projects that tackle the opioid addiction and overdose crisis. As part of this approach, several projects led by Yale faculty are funded for fiscal year 2019.

Full descriptions of the NIH HEAL Initiative programs and awards are detailed at the NIH website. The Yale-led projects include:

A digital intervention to prevent the initiation of opioid misuse in adolescents in school-based health centers

This National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)-administered program focuses on preventing at-risk adolescents transitioning into adulthood from developing opioid use disorder. The principal investigator is Dr. Lynn Fiellin, associate professor of medicine and in the Child Study Center, and director of the Yale Center for Health & Learning Games and of the play2PREVENT Lab at Yale.

Guanfacine target engagement and validation to improve substance use outcomes in women

Administered by NIDA, this program focuses on medication development to prevent and treat opioid use disorders and overdose. The principal investigator is Rajita Sinha, the Foundations Fund Professor of Psychiatry and professor in the Child Study Center and of neuroscience, and director of the Yale Interdisciplinary Stress Center.

Pain Management Collaboratory Coordinating Center

This project, administered by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, focuses on developing a new strategy to prevent and treat opioid addiction. Investigators are Robert Kerns, professor of psychiatry, neurology, and psychology, and Dr. Cynthia Brandt, professor of emergency medicine and of anesthesiology.

Preclinical and clinical evaluation of the NMDA modulator NYX-783 for opioid use disorder

This NIDA-administered program focuses on medication development to prevent and treat opioid use disorder and overdose. The principal investigator is Ralph DiLeone, professor of psychiatry and of neuroscience.

The Collaboration Linking Opioid Use Disorder and Sleep (“CLOUDS”) Study

The program focuses on sleep dysfunction as a core feature of opioid use disorder and recovery. It is administered by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Investigators are Dr. Henry Klar Yaggi, associate professor of medicine (pulmonary) and director of the Yale Centers for Sleep Medicine; Nancy Redeker, the Beatrice Renfeld Term Professor of Nursing and professor of medicine (pulmonary) and director of the Biobehavioral Laboratory; Dustin Scheinost, assistant professor in radiology and biomedical imaging; and Declan Barry, associate professor of psychiatry and director of Pain Treatment Services and of research at the APT Foundation.

Transitions Clinic Network: Post-incarceration addiction treatment, healthcare, and social support study

This NIDA-administered program is part of the Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network. The principal investigator is Emily Wang, associate professor of medicine and director of the Health Justice Lab.

Video-telecare collaborative pain management to improve function and reduce opioid risk in patients with end-stage renal disease receiving hemodialysis

The program explores an integrated approach to pain and opioid use in hemodialysis patients. Investigators are Dr. William Becker, associate professor; Dr. Susan Crowley, professor of medicine (nephrology); Denise Esserman, associate professor of biostatistics; and Alicia Heapy, associate professor of psychiatry.

The Emergency Department-Initiated Buprenorphine Validation Network Trial

This program involves 30 diverse emergency departments (EDs) throughout the U.S. The Yale investigators will test an implementation strategy to guide the development of ED-initiated treatment of opioid use disorder with buprenorphine programs at the sites. Dr. Gail D’Onofrio, professor and chair of emergency medicine, and Dr. David Fiellin, professor of medicine and of emergency medicine and director of the Yale Program in Addiction Medicine, are lead investigators.

Submitted by Robert Forman on October 01, 2019