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Genetics Workgroup (GWG)

What We Do:

The NIDA Genetics Workgroup is a group of staff from across the institute that coordinates activities to enhance NIDA's genetics grant portfolio. The workgroup develops avenues of research through program announcements and requests for applications, sponsors seminars and speakers to inform NIDA of new areas in genetic research, and develops staff knowledge in genetics research as it pertains to NIDA's overall mission on drug abuse and addiction. Read more...

Other GWG Links:


AIDS Research Program

  • Diane M. Lawrence, Ph.D. - HIV/AIDS, neuropathogenesis, inflammation, neuroimmunology, neuron-glia interactions.

Division of Basic Neuroscience & Behavior Research (DBNBR)

  • Beth Babecki - institutional, individual and career development training grants.
  • Mark Caulder - human genetics of drug dependence and addiction, candidate gene expression, next generation sequencing, genome-wide association studies.
  • Christine Colvis, Ph.D. - proteomics, technology development, neuroscience and co-morbid conditions such as HIV and hepatitis C.
  • Jonathan D. Pollock, Ph.D. - molecular genetics of substance abuse, molecular genetics of synaptic plasticity and memory, model organisms.
  • Joni L. Rutter, Ph.D. - human and population genetics, pharmacogenetics, gene x gene, gene x environment interactions, molecular genetics of drug addiction and addiction vulnerability, and ELSI issues.
  • John Satterlee, Ph.D. - model organisms and behavioral genetics, RNAi and microRNAs, epigenetics, signal transduction.
  • Karen Skinner, Ph.D. - systems biology, data integration, multilevel modeling, biomedical computation.
  • Susan Volman, Ph.D. - behavioral genetics of drug abuse and of co-occuring disorders in animal models.
  • Louise Wideroff, Ph.D., MSPH - human and population genetics, gene by environment interactions.
  • Da-yu Wu, Ph.D. - neural development, molecular genetics, animal models, and RNAi.

Division of Clinical Neuroscience, Development and Behavioral Research (DCNBR)

  • Steven Grant - brain imaging and radiotracer development, cognitive neuroscience, decision-making.

Division of Epidemiology, Services, and Prevention Research (DESPR)

  • Kevin P. Conway, Ph.D. - familial and genetic vulnerability, phenotypic heterogeneity of drug use disorders, environmental influences on the expression of liability, comorbid disruptive behavior problems, and temperament and personality, particularly behavioral disinhibition.
  • Naimah Weinberg, M.D. - psychiatric risk factors for drug abuse, comorbidity and common etiology of psychiatric and substance use disorders, genetic epidemiology of drug abuse vulnerability and comorbidity.

Division of Pharmacotherapies and Medical Consequences of Abused Drugs (DPMCDA)

  • Jag H. Khalsa, Ph.D. - genetics of metabolic (including nutritional) & endocrine disorders of drug abuse, co-occurring infections (HIV, hepatitis C, TB, STDs); genetics of drug-drug interactions among antiretrovirals, drugs of abuse and addiction treatment medications.
  • Iván D. Montoya, M.D., M.P.H. - pharmacogenetics of the safety and efficacy of medications approved or being investigated for the treatment of substance use disorders.
  • Amrat P. Patel, Ph.D. - medication development, neurotransmitter transporter pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, and metabolism.

Office of the Director

  • David Shurtleff, Ph.D.

Office of Extramural Affairs

  • Mark R. Green, Ph.D. - peer/grant review.
  • Mark Swieter, Ph.D. - training and career development and peer/grant review.


Any questions or concerns regarding the genetics programs please contact Jonathan D. Pollock Ph.D. or (301) 443-1887.

This page was last updated April 5, 2012.

Featured Publication

Featured Publication

Drugs, Brains, and Behavior - The Science of Addiction

As a result of scientific research, we know that addiction is a disease that affects both brain and behavior.

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