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Brown University to Establish Center to Research Substance Abuse

Brown University is starting a new center that will conduct research on substance use and disease, the school said in a release.

The university received a grant of over $12.5 million from the National Institutes of Health that will establish the Center for Addiction and Disease Risk Exacerbation (CADRE) and support four early-career faculty members to study substance use and chronic diseases.

The center will focus on the intersection of substance use and disease and research on the interplay between alcohol and HIV on inflammation among others.

“Understanding the mechanisms through which substance use affects chronic disease is a central part of the research we endeavor to do with this grant. If we can reduce the burden of substance use — for example, smoking and its impact on cardiovascular disease — there will be a trickle-down effect on health and health care cost savings,” said Peter Monti, director of the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies (CAAS) at Brown.

The university will also establish a laboratory that measures chemical markers, such as those of inflammation or stress by collecting blood and other samples from patients. A part of the grant will be used to establish a clinical laboratory which will be staffed by a full-time research nurse.

“The CADRE grant will increase the center’s capacity to conduct cutting-edge research and test innovative substance abuse interventions to improve population health,” said Bess Marcus, dean of the School of Public Health.

“This grant will be integral to the School of Public Health’s initiatives over the next five years that seek to impact the urgent health challenges of addiction,” he added.

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