Training in Research on Addictions in Interdisciplinary NeuroAIDS

Substance abuse and HIV infection are highly prevalent, commonly co-occur, and have adverse affects on brain structure and function, but too few scientists are properly trained to study these important phenomena. Therefore, this new training program seeks to develop the next generation of academic leaders in the neuropsychology of neuroAIDS and addictions. To accomplish this goal, this program will recruit a diverse and promising cohort of pre- and post-doctoral trainees to engage in individualized, rigorous clinical research training in substance abuse and HIV under the mentorship of the accomplished, interdisciplinary faculty at the University of California, San Diego.




HIV Infection in Aging Individuals the Main Perpetrator of Cognitive Decline

TRAIN mentee Katie Doyle contributed to a recently published HIV and Aging article reporting that HIV infection significantly increased the risk of neurocognitive decline independent of age.  Approximately 16% of HIV+ persons regardless of age showed some cognitive decline with only about 3% of HIV- persons showing similar symptoms. The study supports the relevance of surveillance for neurocognitive decline in order to treat at an early stage.  This is important, as symptomatic cognitive decline has been linked to increased rates of depression and a reduced quality of life.

Sheppard DP, Woods SP, Bondi MW, Gilbert PE, Massman PJ, Doyle KL.  (2015). Does older age confer an increased risk of incident neurocognitive disorders among persons living with HIV disease? The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 29(5), 656-77. PMID: 26367342  PMCID: PMC4570033


TRAIN Investigators and Trainees Featured in New Textbook on the Neuropsychology of Substance Use Disorders

TRAIN investigators and trainees played major roles in a new textbook entitled “Neuropsychological Aspects of Substance Use Disorders," which was recently published by Oxford University Press as part of the National Academy of Neuropsychology’s Series on Evidence-Based Practices.

The book features leading national experts covering diverse topics on the clinical neuroscience of addictions, ranging from neurobiological substrates to interventions across major substances of abuse and special populations. The book was co-edited by Daniel N. Allen and Steven Paul Woods (TMARC Center Manager and TRAIN Director) and features chapters from investigators and trainees on methamphetamine (Jennifer E. Iudicello), cannabis (Igor Grant and Jordan Cattie), everyday functioning in addictions (J. Cobb Scott, Kaitlin Blackstone, and Thomas D. Marcotte) and infectious disease comorbidity with addictions (Erica Weber).


Erica Weber and Jordan Cattie awarded their PhDs on June 14, 2015

Dr. Igor Grant, Director of the HNRP congratulates Erica Weber and Jordan Cattie who were awarded their PhDs at the UCSD graduation ceremony on June 14, 2015. Both Dr. Weber and Dr. Cattie's dissertations were conducted under the direction of investigators at UCSD's NIDA Center of Excellence, the Translational Methamphetamine AIDS Research Center.  The titles of their dissertations are "Self-Generation of Prospective Memory in HIV-Infected Methamphetamine Users" (Weber) and Theory of Mind and Risk Behavior in Individuals with HIV and Methamphetamine Dependence (Cattie). Dr Weber heads to the Kessler Foundation in New Jersey for a postdoctoral fellowship while Dr. Cattie will be doing her postdoc at McLean Hospital. Congratulations Drs. Weber and Cattie!


Dissertation Award

Congratulations to Kaitlin Blackstone, who has been granted a dissertation award from the Foundation for Rehabilitation Psychology. The purpose of the Foundation for Rehabilitation Psychology Dissertation Award is to assist doctoral students of psychology with research costs to promote research in the field of rehabilitation psychology.

Kaitlin is currently in her fourth year of the SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology (NeuroPsychology track), studying under the mentorship of Drs. Robert Heaton and David J Moore at the HNRP.



Sponsored by NIH/NIDA T32DA031098

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