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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 and its relationship to outcomes such as smoking cessation.

National Cancer Institute Tobacco Control Monograph 20 is available at: http://cancercontrol.cancer.gov/tcrb/monographs/20/index.html

About SRI's Center for Health Sciences

SRI's Center for Health Sciences uses a multidisciplinary research approach to address complex challenges that arise at the interface of the basic sciences, clinical medicine, health care economics, and the regulatory and legal environments. Its staff includes experts in medicine, psychology, sleep, genetic epidemiology, biostatistics, psychophysiology, biomedical legal issues, and public health.

About SRI International

Silicon Valley-based SRI International is one of the world's leading independent research and technology development organizations. SRI, which was founded by Stanford University as Stanford Research Institute in 1946 and became independent in 1970, has been meeting the strategic needs of clients and partners for more than 60 years. Perhaps best known for its invention of the computer mouse and interactive computing, SRI has also been responsible for major advances in networking and communications, robotics, drug discovery and development, advanced materials, atmospheric research, education research, economic development, national security, and more. The nonprofit institute performs sponsored research and development for government agencies, businesses, and foundations. SRI also licenses its technologies, forms strategic alliances, and creates spin-off companies. In 2008, SRI's consolidated revenues, including its wholly owned for-profit subsidiary, Sarnoff Corporation, were approximately $490 million.


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