Mustafa alAbsi, Ph.D., and a team of national collaborators have received a four-year grant of $1.6 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for their research, AutoSense: Quantifying Exposures to Addictive Substances and Psychosocial Stress. alAbsi is a professor and founding director of Duluth Medical Research Institute at the University of Minnesota Medical SchoolDuluth Campus.
The project is among the first of 45 funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as part of the Genes, Environment and Health Initiative (GEI). alAbsis study falls under the Exposure Biology Program coordinated primarily by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) in partnership with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), all of which are part of NIH. The Exposure Biology Program supports interdisciplinary teams of basic scientists, bioengineers, physician-scientists and others working toward a variety of goals, including developing environmental sensors for measuring toxins, dietary intake, physical activity, psychosocial stress and addictive substances.
What we are doing with this research is unique and innovative, particularly because we are moving the research out of the laboratory and into the real world, alAbsi commented. Success with this research could lead to important improvements in how people at high risk for medical or psychosocial problems are monitored and treated.
The goal of alAbsis research is to quantify the relationship between stress and stress-related illnesses, including addiction. alAbsi will work in collaboration with investigators at the University of Memphis, Ohio State University and SpectRx, a Georgia biotech company. The clinical and human testing will occur at the Medical SchoolDuluth Campus. alAbsi will be assisted by Ruth Westra, D.O., and Sharon Allen, M.D., Ph.D., who will coordinate the
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University of Minnesota