February 1, 2017 - January 31, 2022
R. Adron Harris, Ph.D.
Integrative Neurosciences Initiative on Alcoholism-Neuroimmune
Director, Waggoner Center for Alcohol and Addiction Research
Professor of Neurobiology and Waggoner Chair in Cellular and Molecular Biology,
University of Austin Texas
Structure and Organization of the Administrative Core:
Overview of the Core: The primary purpose of the Administrative Core is to provide an efficient administrative infrastructure and clear communication between all components of the consortium. A major role of this Core is to purchase prioritized drugs, arrange for validation of compound identity, and distribute test drugs to projects for functional or behavioral testing. This quality control measure will ensure that all investigators are using identical and validated compounds.It will create a web site for INIA researchers that will contain databases and resources such as regulated genes form INIA genomic studies. Finally, the Administrative Core will generate periodic reports and disseminate the progress and discoveries to the scientific community.
The Administrative Core provides administrative support to the Executive Committee and on behalf of the Execuative Committee provides support to the consortium as a whole.
Roles of Core Personnel
1. Director – Dr. R. Adron Harris
The Director of the Administrative Core, by mandate of the RFA, is the Consortium Coordinator. R. Adron Harris, PhD, is the Director of the Waggoner Center for Alcohol and Addiction Research and Professor of Neurobiology and Waggoner Chair in Cellular and Molecular Biology at the University of Texas, Austin. As Chair of the Steering Committee and Coordinator of the Administrative Core, he will integrate the various administrative functions of the project to meet project needs.
2. Scientific Directors Drs. Marisa Roberto and Gregg Homanics
As Scientific Directors they will closely coordinate with Dr. Adron Harris in the dissemination of scientific results within the consortium and to the scientific community. Dr. Roberto is a Professor in the Committee on the Neurobiology of Addictive Disorders at The Scripps Research Institute and Dr. Homanics is professor of Anesthesiology at the University of Pittsburgh.
Administrative Management Plan Organizational Structure
The administrative management of the consortium is organized around the Executive Committee, which is the governing body of the project and chaired by the Principal Investigator. Administrative support is provided by the Administrative Core. The Executive Committee oversees and tracks the progress of the scientific core resources and participating investigators. The Scientific Advisory Board of outside experts will convene twice a yearat meetings of all participating investigators to keep appraised of the progress and make recommendation to the executive Committee and NIAAA. The NIAAA representatives are Dr. Mark Egli and Dr. Antonio Noronha.
The Executive Committee has substantial responsibilities for oversight and integration of the program, covering both administrative management and program management. Administrative management responsibilities include:
1. Oversight of staffing and operations of the core resources
2. Annual review of the budget and redistribution of resources as appropriate
3. Annual review of scientific progress.
The Specific Aims for the Administrative Core are:
Specific Aim 1: To provide administrative leadership of a consortium of basic and clinical researchers that will investigate the neurobiological basis of excessive drinking. The Administrative Core will coordinate interactions among the various projects and ensure that INIA-N investigators adhere to the aims and goals of the consortium. The Administrative Core will also oversee conflict resolution. The Core functions as the main liaison to NIAAA, the Executive and Steering Committees, and Scientific Advisory Board.
Specific Aim 2: To provide scientific project management and oversight. The Administrative Core will ensure consistent and forward progress by facilitating communication between the Research Components and Scientific Cores, establishing/maintaining the INIA-N website and databases, coordinating monthly conference calls, organizing bi-annual meetings of consortium investigators, providing evaluations (e.g., the SAB and Executive Committee will evaluate all projects at the bi-annual meetings, including evaluations of mid-year progress reports), and integrating/distributing annual progress reports. The Administrative Core will provide assistance with data management and distribution by working with the genomic and computational projects to link private databases to the INIA-N website. In order to provide a shared framework for data access and management, the INIA-sponsored INIA Texas Gene Expression Database will be expanded to include all INIAN gene expression datasets. New weblinks will be compiled for investigators, such as one currently containing the list of the most recent INIA-N candidate genes and drug targets. The Core will also purchase prioritized drugs, arrange for validation of compound identity, and distribute test drugs to projects for functional or behavioral testing. Furthermore, the Administrative Core will be responsible for overseeing other measures of scientific rigor and data reproducibility (e.g., use of different species, sexes, drinking models, approaches) among projects.
Specific Aim 3: To facilitate integration, dissemination, and translation of INIA-N-generated data. The Administrative Core will be proactive in integrating the Research Components and Scientific Cores, implementing data sharing within INIA-N and across other consortia, and overseeing data sharing with outside scientists. As part of the data-sharing plan, investigators will share resources or results developed within the consortium. The Administrative Core will ensure timely dissemination of INIA-N findings via conferences, publications, and website updates. The basic research studies that are proposed address important issues about the neurobiology of, and treatment for, excessive drinking. INIA-N continues to fill an important gap in the field of alcohol research by identifying novel neuroimmune targets that are involved in excessive alcohol consumption. The coordinated research design of INIA-N is uniquely structured to facilitate selection and prioritization of drug candidates for testing in our new human laboratory component. The Administrative Core will guide INIA-N investigators to identify gene/drug targets and biological responses that characterize excessive drinking and to translate these findings by prioritizing drug candidates with repurposing potential to treat alcohol use disorders.