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SRI International's Research on Nicotine Use and Dependence Featured in the National Cancer Institute's Tobacco Control Monograph Series
Date:9/10/2009

MENLO PARK, Calif., Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- SRI International, an independent nonprofit research and development institute, today announced that new research on nicotine dependence is featured in National Cancer Institute's Tobacco Control Monograph 20, Phenotypes and Endophenotypes: Foundations for Genetic Studies of Nicotine Use and Dependence. Gary E. Swan, Ph.D., director of SRI's Center for Health Sciences, was the senior scientific editor of the monograph.

"It was an honor to work with a broad range of experts to develop a greater understanding of behavioral genetics and how these findings can improve public health approaches to tobacco control," said Dr. Swan. "By understanding the role of genetics in the context of nicotine dependence, more effective treatment and prevention programs can be developed."

New studies by researchers from SRI's Center for Health Sciences are described in the monograph, including an analysis of subgroups among adolescent tobacco users. This research shows that the subgroup that started smoking at a younger age and maintained a high level of tobacco use is at high risk for adult nicotine dependence. The monograph also presents the first example of a metabolism ontology--a formal system to represent causal relationships between the administration of nicotine and its subsequent metabolism through the action of various genes. The monograph further summarizes work from the first-ever twin study of nicotine metabolism, work that was published previously and conducted by scientists working at SRI and elsewhere in the United States and Canada.

In the monograph, a review of current studies of tobacco use in twins and families is presented. The review concludes that nicotine dependence is a complex trait with genetic and environmental underpinnings that requires a cross-disciplinary approach to research to improve understanding of this behavior a
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SOURCE SRI International
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