We are deeply committed to the success of our trainees during their tenure with us, and after they graduate. We provide both hands-on training in a specific topic area as well as broad exposure to the larger issues of substance abuse. Our goals are integrated into a detailed training and career development plan, graduate program curriculum, and extra-curricular training opportunities.
A unique feature is the breadth of the training program. First, each trainee selects a ‘home’ laboratory that provides in-depth technical expertise that is essential for the trainee’s scholarly foundation. Second, we ensure that all trainees appreciate the full range of drug abuse research approaches from basic neurobiology and animal models to clinical research, epidemiology and drug policy. To achieve this goal, trainees working in basic research with cellular and animal models will become familiar with the broader issues in human research, treatment and policy, and trainees whose primary research is in human behavioral or treatment are exposed to preclinical approaches and the neurobiology of addiction. Trainees participate in a biweekly seminar series at which they present their work at a level that is understandable to all seminar participants. We emphasize that an important goal in giving a presentation is to educate the audience about how their own work is relevant to understanding addiction, in the ‘big picture’. Each trainee is also required to engage in a rotation under the supervision of a Core Faculty trainer unrelated to the trainee’s own area of expertise.