NIDA Renews Postdoctoral Fellowships for French Researchers

NIDA has renewed the NIDA-Inserm Postdoctoral Drug Abuse Research Fellowships to two French scientists. NIDA and Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (Inserm) cosponsor the fellowships, which allow French scientists to work with NIDA grantees at the mentors’ institutions in the United States and U.S. scientists to work at Inserm laboratories in France.

Anissa Bara, Ph.D., will continue to work with Yasmin Hurd, Ph.D., at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Studying the effects of early developmental exposure to cannabinoids on neural circuits critical for addiction and psychiatric disorders, Drs. Bara and Hurd have succeeded in identifying relevant cannabis-induced epigenetic and behavioral alterations. In the second year of the fellowship, the team will attempt to (1) characterize the network of genes affected by dysregulation of the enzyme Mixed lineage leukemia 1 (Mll1) with discrete adult nucleus accumbens (NAc) pathways associated with prenatal and postnatal Tetrahydrocannabinol/Cannabidiol exposure; (2) establish a causal link between molecular alterations (such as those linked to Mll1) identified in specific NAc pathways after a pre- and postnatal THC/CBD exposure and behavioral phenotypes relevant to addiction psychopathology; and (3) investigate patterns of adult in vivo neuronal activity within specific NAC pathways as consequence of pre- and postnatal THC/CBD exposure in animals.

Marine Azevedo Da Silva, Ph.D., will extend her fellowship with Silvia Martins, M.D., Ph.D., Columbia University. She is finalizing a meta-analysis of a literature review on the consequences of cannabis policy liberalization on patterns of use among adolescents and young adults and has submitted a paper analyzing a possible bidirectional association between bullying and use of tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana. Dr. Azevedo Da Silva will continue to use data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health to (1) examine the association between the legalization of recreational marijuana use in the United States and changes in marijuana and/or tobacco use, abuse, and dependence in young people; and (2) assess the impact of this policy change on inequalities in substance use, abuse, and dependence in terms of gender, education, and socioeconomic status.