Tobacco Dependence & Risk Factors for Treatment Failure

Principal Investigator: O'Malley, Stephanie S
View the Yale University TTURC Website
Project Title: Tobacco Dependence & Risk Factors for Treatment Failure
Institution: Yale University

In this competitive renewal, we will continue to investigate the underlying mechanisms of and develop novel interventions (pharmacological and behavioral) for treatment resistant smokers. We will build upon and extend research findings from our ongoing TTURC research which suggests that in addition to female gender and the presence of subclinical alcohol drinking and depressive symptoms, abstinence-mediated anxiety and weight concern may also confer resistance to smoking cessation treatment. While traditionally these risk factors have been studied independently, this TTURC research will address at least two of these risk factors simultaneously and involve a strong transdisciplinary approach that incorporates preclinical behavioral/molecular, human laboratory studies, pharmacological treatment and imaging techniques. Methods for insuring transdisciplinary collaboration and synthesis of findings will be articulated for the center as a whole and within each project. In taking this approach we will arrive at a more complete synthesis of why these groups are at greater risk and how they can be more effectively treated. The following specific aims have been achieved and will continue in the TTURC:

  1. To conduct a series of programmatic research studies that will lead to a greater understanding of the underlying reasons that these high risk groups find it difficult to quit tobacco use and how to more effectively treat them.
  2. To channel research efforts into a transdisciplinary team approach where the theories and methods of each discipline will be brought to bear on the problem of treatment resistance and the results will be synthesized at a level that transcends disciplinary boundaries.
  3. To encourage development of, and provide a mechanism for reviewing and funding pilot projects with significant promise for advancing the field.
  4. To provide career development activities for advanced undergraduate students, graduate students, medical students, and junior investigators from different disciplines that will expose them to transdisciplinary research on tobacco/nicotine and will potentially influence some to pursue transdisciplinary careers in nicotine/tobacco research.

Project List

  • Project 1: Animal Models for Risk Factors for Smoking Relapse (Marina Picciotto)
  • Project 2: Imaging Nicotinic & GABAergic Markers in Tobacco Smokers (Julie Staley)
  • Project 3: Modeling Smoking Lapse Behavior for Drug Development (Sherry McKee)
  • Project 4: Targeted Interventions for Weight Concerned Smokers (Stephanie O'Malley)
  • Core A: Scientific and Administrative Core (Stephanie O'Malley)
  • Core B: Career Development Core (Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin)
  • Core C: Sex-Specific Factors Core (Carolyn Mazure)
  • Core D: Analytical Laboratory (Peter Jatlow)
  • Core E: Data Analysis and Data Management Core (Robert W. Makuch)