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The Roskamp Institute (Institute) is engaged in the study of drug addiction from a genomic and proteomic perspective.

The genomic analysis, which covers the examination of all the genes in the human genetic make-up allows research at the Institute to determine which genes respond in relation to exposure to certain drugs of addiction.

The proteomic analysis allows researchers at the Institute to determine which drugs of addiction trigger particular protein responses. The proteomic approach that the Institute adopts allows the researchers there to look at all the proteins in the human body in one go.

Changes in genomic and proteomic (gene and protein) profiles, enables the researchers to examine which particular profiles are associated with particular drugs. Moreover, by examining which genes and proteins are changed in response to drugs of addiction, it is expected that new methods to fight drug addiction will be developed. In particular, by knowing which proteins are switched on by particular drugs such as cocaine, heroin, or morphine, the researchers are able to determine whether there may be ways of blocking the addictive effects of these drugs.

Drug addiction impacts a very large part of American society and addiction to cocaine, heroin, morphine, and other drugs, including prescription drugs, is a persistent part of our culture. Developing new ways to combat addiction, both in the early stages and when it becomes chronic, is critical to help manage the devastating effect that addiction can have on the individuals concerned, their families, and their work colleagues.

The original funding to develop new insights into drug addiction and potentially new therapies came from the offices of National Drug Control Policy, which is in an executive branch of the federal government.

Currently, funding for drug addiction research at the Institute is provided by the Roskamp Foundation.