NEWS @ THE MARC
GAO reports on impacts of pseudoephedrine access restrictions
Prescription-only policies for pseudoephedrine access helped driving down meth-lab incidents in Oregon and Mississippi, according to a report from the US Government Accountability Office released 1/31. Other state and federal restrictions led to a reduction in meth-lab incidents nationally between 2004 and 2007, the report says, but, since then, changes in production and precursor shopping strategies are reversing that trend. View the report.
New 2012-3 pilot projects announced
After a lengthy review process, the MARC announced three awardees for Year 6 pilot funding:
- Matthew Ford, "Muscarinic Influence on Methamphetamine Discrimination (and lntake)" (second year of funding)
- Matt Lattal, "Medial prefrontal cortex and extinction of psychostimulant self-administration" (new project)
- Andrey Ryabinin: "Stress Neuropeptide Pathways of Methamphetamine-Induced Behavioral Adaptation" (new project)
Read more about these and past pilot projects on our pilot page.
Pilot proposals being accepted for first-year MARC2 pilots
OHSU and VA investigators are invited to submit proposals for one- to two-year methamphetamine-related pilot projects between now and October 15th. Typically, the center funds three projects per year, and approximately $28,000 per project is available this year. The pilot program aims to bring new research approaches and investigators into the center. See our pilot page for details. This year the program is on a shortened schedule and funding will run November 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013; investigators may apply for a second full year of support during our regular application process next spring.
MARC funded for second five-year segment
Beating the odds in a tight funding climate, the MARC was awarded a second five-year research period beginning this month. The new center (dubbed "MARC2") features five cores (including the new Translational Service Core), three research components led by Drs. Hoffman, Huckans, and Phillips, and a pilot component.
Three new projects picked for 2010-11 MARC pilots
Three projects ranging from novel imaging techniques to analysis of veterans' health-care outcomes make up the MARC's pilot project line-up for the coming year. Read more in the "upcoming projects" section of our pilot page.
MARC Scientific Director wins IBANGS award
Behavioral Neuroscience Professor, Tamara J. Phillips, Ph.D, received the 2010 Distinguished Scientist Award from the and presented her talk at their annual meeting on May 15, 2010 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Her talk was entitled, "Cool! I can breed for this!" and she gave highlights of her more than 30 years of research using selectively bred lines to study the genetics of addiction related traits.
Dr. Phillips is the youngest person to receive this award.
MARC visits rural health fairs in St. Helens, Madras
Kids in two rural communities got to explore their impulsivity levels blowing up virtual balloons and played with other educational games and activities at two rural health fairs. One took place in Madras, a high-desert town in Central Oregon, and the other in St. Helens, west of Portland on the Columbia River. Teams of graduate students from the MARC and our sister center, the Portland Alcohol Research Center, helped middle-school aged students and community members interact with several exhibits designed to promote thinking about the neurobiological underpinnings of substance use.
MARC solicits pilot-project proposals for 2010-11
If you are an OHSU or VA scientist with an innovative methamphetamine-related research proposal, the MARC wants to hear from you. Pilot funding of about $25,000 is available for three projects related to our research themes. Proposals are due by April 5, 2010 for funding starting July 1. See our pilot application page for details.
State's arrest statistics show meth charges still dropping slowly
Arrest rates for methamphetamine continued to tail off slowly this year in Oregon, down from a high of about 27 per month 100,000 residents in spring of 2007 to about 15 per 100,000 this August, according to statistics released by the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission (click the thumbnail above to see the report).
Overall drug arrests in the state declined over the same period, due mainly to the drop in methamphetamine arrests, the commission reported; arrests for other drugs such as marijuana and heroin held steady over the tracked period or even went up slightly.
"Challenge" award goes to two MARC pilot investigators
OHSU/VA investigators Marilyn Huckans and Jennifer Loftis beat the odds to receive a two-year, $.5 million award from NIDA to carry out research on new therapeutic approaches to methamphetamine treatment. Their project, "Pre-clinical testing of a novel immunotherapy [recombinant T cell receptor ligand (RTL)] to improve cognitive recovery and brain healing following methamphetamine dependence: From mice to men" was one of more than 20,000 that NIH received for about 200 awards through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The new project builds on hypotheses that Drs. Huckans and Loftis tested in their two-year MARC pilot, "Neuroimmune mediators of cognitive impairment in methamphetamine abuse."
MARC pilot investigator receives ARRA funding
Charles Allen has been awarded an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. His project title is “Cellular Electrophysiology of the Suprachiasmatic Nuclei.” Dr. Allen is PI of the 2009-10 MARC pilot project "Non-photic entrainment of the circadian clock: Role of methamphetamine"
"Neurobiology of Decision Making in Methamphetamine Dependence:" Seminar July 8
William Hoffman, PI of MARC Component 7, will present findings from his fMRI work with recovering methamphetamine addicts as part of his application for joint appointment to the OHSU Department of Behavioral Neuroscience. The talk will be at 1 p.m. in VA 100, room 201.
MARC announces 2009/10 pilot projects
Three projects were chosen for pilot funding in the year starting July 1. Two are renewals of current-year projects and the third brings a new investigator into the MARC. See details on the Component 8 page.
Scientific Advisory Board visits Portland
Members of the MARC Scientific Advisory Board converged in Portland for the MARC's first formal review, a day-long meeting that assessed progress and brainstormed ways to strengthen the Center's research focus.
MARC announces 2008/9 pilot projects
Four projects -- two clinical and two preclinical -- were chosen for pilot funding in the year starting July 1. For details, see the pilot page.
MARC inviting pilot applications, due April 17
The MARC is soliciting applications for its pilot-project component, which seeks to bring new scientific approaches and new investigators into the center's research program. Awards are for up to $25,000 per project, and support lasts one to two years. For information on applying, please see our pilot information page.
Portland Tribune covers recent MARC research
See the link: "Meth-hooked mice may help humans: OHSU research group looks at why addiction levels aren’t dropping
Oregonian reports on MARC prenatal meth-exposure research
"OHSU looks at effects of prenatal exposure to meth on learning"
Oregon Health & Science University, armed with studies showing that prenatal exposure to methamphetamine may impair learning and memory, is launching an in-depth look at the effects of meth.
The study, examining the potential role that genetics, gender and age play in learning for children exposed to meth before birth, is the first of its kind, OHSU said.
Scientists know that many meth users are of child-bearing age. But they know little about what happens to the developing brain when it's exposed to meth during pregnancy, said Jacob Raber, an associate professor at the OHSU School of Medicine.
"What we've found is that mice exposed to meth early in life show impairment in object recognition, and spatial learning and memory," said Raber, who will lead the study. "And female mice are more susceptible than male mice to meth exposure early in life. So we want to see if this is also happening in humans."
OHSU is recruiting boys and girls ages 7 to 9 for the study. Scientists want kids who were exposed to drugs, primarily meth, at any time during more than one month of pregnancy, or not exposed to any drugs, and from households with an annual income of less than $35,000 or that qualify for earned income credit or Medicaid.
For more information about the study, call Summer Acevedo at 503 494-1431 or 503 418-0182.
- Lynne Terry
Related coverage appeared on TV stations KGW, Portland; KPTV, Portland; and