MDI Science Café: The Genetics of Addiction
The state of Maine ranks among the top 10 states with the highest number of deaths involving opioids, according to statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse from 2017, the most recent year available.
Vivek Kumar, Ph.D., a neuroscientist at The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor who researches behavior and behavioral abnormalities, will discuss how an improved understanding of genetic pathways could lead to new treatments and prevention of substance use disorders.
“We need to treat addiction as a disease,” said Kumar. “One way to overcome the stigma of addiction is to learn more about its genetic and neurobiological basis. The more we know, the less the individual is blamed.”
The first half of Kumar’s presentation will deal with the neuroscience of addition and will address such questions as How is addiction defined? What are the underlying neurobiological causes of addiction? Why are some individuals more vulnerable than others? and What can be done to improve the treatment of addiction?
The second half will deal with Kumar’s research at The Jackson Laboratory, which uses functional genomics approaches in mice to study motivational reward pathways. The misregulation of these pathways leads to disorders including addiction, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder and depression.
The location of this MDI Science Café is Kinne Library at the MDI Biological Laboratory, located at 159 Old Bar Harbor Rd in Salisbury Cove, Maine.
The 2019 MDI Science Café series is sponsored by the Swan Agency/Cross Insurance.
Doors open at 4:30 p.m. You may preregister for this event. A printed ticket confirmation is not needed for entry.
MDI Science Cafés are offered in fulfillment of the institution’s mission to promote scientific literacy and increase public engagement with science. The popular events offer a chance to hear directly from speakers about trends in science. Short presentations delivered in everyday language are followed by lively, informal discussion.