CIRNA | Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Nicotine Addiction

About the Center

The Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Nicotine Addiction (CIRNA) continues the 10 years of research conducted by the Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Center (TTURC) at UPENN. Spanning the research spectrum from preclinical to clinical investigations, CIRNA includes a highly interconnected set of projects and cores that seek to improve treatments for nicotine dependence by: (1) discovering the cellular, molecular, neural, and behavioral basis of early nicotine withdrawal effects that contribute to relapse; (2) identifying the neural and behavioral mechanisms through which effective medications modulate these processes; (3) investigating the relationship of withdrawal effects to relapse in clinical studies; and (4) validating novel medication screening approaches. Project 1 uses molecular biology and pharmacology to elucidate the molecular and behavioral basis of cognitive and affective signs of nicotine withdrawal in mouse models. Project 2 uses human neuroimaging to explore cognitive and emotional effects of withdrawal and medication response. Project 3 extends this work by validating novel approaches to improve the sensitivity of early human medication screening paradigms for nicotine dependence. Shared resources, including an Administrative Core, a Data Management and Biostatistics Core, and a Biospecimen and Genotyping Core provide added value, as well as support for a comprehensive data sharing plan. The Career Development Core promotes involvement of postdoctoral fellows and junior investigators in these projects, and supports pilot projects to facilitate career development. Thus, the CIRNA addresses the clinically important problem of nicotine dependence using innovative multidisciplinary approaches, with the ultimate goal of developing more efficacious treatments for nicotine dependence.

Interested in participating in research on tobacco use? Click here for more information about research projects seeking volunteers.

Interested in quitting smoking? If you are 18 or older and interested in participating, please call 1-877-513-QUIT or e-mail and leave your name, telephone number and best time to be reached. A staff member will contact you with additional information. Click here for more information about on-going smoking cessation programs at the CIRNA. If you are not eligible for one of these programs, click here to find out more information about other programs in the Delaware Valley.

Funding: National Cancer Institute and National Institute on Drug Abuse