National Institutes of Health (NIH)
units will provide $12 million over 5
years to support seven new centers
participating in the National Cancer
Institute's Transdisciplinary Tobacco
Use Research Center (TTURC) program.
NCI will provide $7 million, with
the rest coming from the National Institute
on Drug Abuse and the National
Institute on Alcohol Abuse and
NCI began its collaborative tobacco
research initiative in 1999 with the
awarding of grants to seven institutions
to establish centers. The new
round of funding will support a spectrum
of topics important to understanding
their control, and psychosocial factors
that influence smoking.
The locations of the new centers
and the principal investigators are:
Brown University and Miriam Hospital,
Raymond Niaura, PhD; University of Wisconsin, Timothy B.
Baker, PhD; Roswell Park Cancer Institute,
K. Michael Cummings, PhD;
University of Minnesota, Dorothy K.
Hatsukami, PhD; University of Southern
California, C. Anderson Johnson,
PhD; University of Pennsylvania,
Caryn E. Lerman, PhD; and Yale University,
Stephanie S. O'Malley, PhD.
In announcing the new grants, NCI
said that work at the original seven
centers had yielded important scientific
findings. Among the research
findings cited by the institute:
University of Pennsylvania researchers
identified specific genes that,
when combined with psychological
factors, may influence the progression
of adolescent smoking.
At the University of California,
Irvine (UCI), scientists found that
hostile, anxious, and depressed teenagers
are more prone to smoke cigarettes.
In collaboration with tobaccocenter
researchers at the University of
Southern California, the UCI team
showed that these psychological factors
work differently in white and
Asian youth. Namely, hostility and
depression are associated with smoking
among white youths but not
among Asian teens, who are more likely
to smoke in social situations, the
Brown University researchers
found that the children of mothers
who smoked a pack or more of cigarettes
daily during pregnancy had a
greater risk of nicotine dependence
than children whose mothers did not
smoke during pregnancy.
Yale University investigators developed
a new radiotracer that allows
researchers to study the effects of tobacco smoking on the brain and explore
the role of the nicotinic system
in Alzheimer's disease, alcoholism,
major depression, and schizophrenia.
The NCI said that the Robert
Wood Johnson Foundation would
join the original seven grantees in disseminating
these and other important
results. For more information
about TTURCs, please visit the