The Rutgers Addiction Research Center (RARC): Our nation is in the midst of an unprecedented opioid epidemic. The number of people dying from drug overdoses have been increasing each year and the majority of drug overdose deaths (more than six out of ten) involved an opioid. The Rutgers ARC at BHI will build collaborations among scientists with the multidisciplinary expertise required to advance our understanding of the causes of opioid addiction. Housed within the Rutgers Brain Health Institute, RARC will be composed of faculty across all Rutgers schools and campuses. Currently there are more than 30 faculty with expertise in addiction prevention, research, treatment, education, and public policy, especially including Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Jersey Medical School, School of Arts and Sciences, Center for Alcohol Studies, Center for Tobacco Studies, School of Public Health, School of Social Work, School of Nursing, University Behavioral Health Care, School of Pharmacy, and the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research. RARC will be the only comprehensive addiction center in NJ with the capacity to impact the addiction epidemic through the diverse strengths of its members by integrating the following cutting edge approaches:
- Precision Medicine research and knowledge development that crosses multiple disciplines and addresses individual differences and needs in addiction treatment
- Treatment and care of individuals and families coping with addiction
- Public policy innovation and reform aimed at preventing development of drug use and at more effective avenues for addicts to obtain treatment.
- Training of tomorrow's research, clinical, and criminal justice workforces in all aspects of addiction science.
We are excited to announce that following a nationwide search, Dr. Danielle Dick, PhD will be joining Rutgers in Januray 2022 as the inaugural Director of RARC. She will also hold the Greg Brown Endowed Chair. Dr. Dick has had continuous funding for over 20 years, with >40 grants from the National Institutes of Health, private foundations and state grants. Over the course of her career, she has had >25 million dollars in grant funding from NIH and private foundations. She has published >335 peer review scientifc articles (h-index =82, i10 index = 274), and has been named as one of the top 1.5% most highly cited researchers globally across all fields of science (Ioannidis et al, PLOS Biology, 2019).
Her program of research broadly focuses on characterizing genetic contributions to substance use disorders, and applying basic, etiological research findings to inform prevention and intervention. Her research projects span three primary areas: (1) identifying genes involved in substance use and related behavioral health challenges; (2) characterizing the risk associated with identified genes, across development and in conjunction with the environment; and (3) translating basic research findings into improved prevention and intervention.