Project 14

Neuroendocrine, Pharmacology and Genetics Core Resource

Project Leader: George Anderson
Team of Investigators: Joel Gelernter, Daniele Piomelli, Angus Nairn

The research plans of the Interdisciplinary Consortium on Stress, Self Control and Addiction (IRCSSA) require that a range of genetic, neurochemical, neuroendocrine, pharmacologic and genetic measurements be provided. For reasons of optimal application and utilization, efficiency, economy and quality, it is desirable to have these analyses performed in a Neuroendocrine, Pharmacology and Genetics (NPG) Core Resource facility. 

The NPG Core Resource will be Co-Directed by George M. Anderson, PhD, and Joel Gelernter, MD. Dr. Anderson has a record of extensive and broad collaboration with investigators at Yale University and other institutions, and has authored or co-authored over 240 publications in the relevant fields of analytical chemistry, biological psychiatry and psychopharmacology. Dr. Gelernter is Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry, Neurobiology and Genetics and is an international leader in the field of psychiatric genetics.

The NPG Core Resource will interact with and be utilized by researchers carrying out pre-clinical animal studies (Projects #2-5) and by researchers of the human studies (Projects #6-10). The NPG Core will provide consultation to ensure the optimal experimental design and assay utilization, and will perform all analyses and genotyping using rigorous and consistent quality assessment and quality control procedures. It will provide extensive interpretive input to investigators in order to optimize use of genetic, drug level and biochemical measurements and to guide follow-up studies.

The NPG Core will provide analyses of neurochemicals in plasma and urine, of plasma and salivary neuroendocrine levels, and of drug and drug metabolite levels in plasma, as well as a performing genotyping of a range of candidate genes. In addition to performing assays and genotyping relevant to stress response system functioning, self control and addictive behavior, the NPG Core is also mandated to serve as a source of new potentially useful neurochemical, pharmacologic and endocrine measurements. The services provided by the NPG Core Resource are designed to complement available analytical services provided by other facilities at Yale University.

The NPG Core will serve as a focal point of interaction between the component research Projects (#2-10) and between the Projects and other Core Resource laboratories at Yale. Utilization of the NPG Core will be overseen by a Utilization Committee composed of the Core PI and Co-Investigators (Drs. Anderson, Gelernter & Piomelli), Consortium PI (Dr. Sinha), and Consortium Co-Directors. The overall goal of the NPG Core is to further the research of the Consortium and by so doing to improve our understanding and treatment of addictive behaviors, behaviors that exact tremendous human and economic costs and are major public heath problems.