The Rutgers Addiction Research Center (RuARC): Our nation is in the midst of an unprecedented opioid epidemic. More people died from drug overdoses in 2014 than in any year on record, 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, ARC will be composed of faculty across all Rutgers schools and campuses 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. ARC 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.
The Brain Health Institute (BHI) is currently recruiting a Director for the ARC. In addition, an Assistant Professor and an Associate Professor being currently recruited by BHI will be affiliated with the ARC. BHI is seeking support in the form of an endowment to create and sustain the ARC. Initial private philanthropy to create the ARC will provide essential funds to develop robust multi-disciplinary addiction research, treatment, and education programs that will strategically position Rutgers scientists as leaders in addiction research and medicine. ARC sustainability will be a direct outcome of these initial funds, providing necessary preliminary research findings and program outcomes to apply for state and federal (National Institutes of Health, National Institutes on Drug Abuse, United Stated Department of Defense, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, etc.) center, multi-investigator research, teaching, and program grant awards. In addition, building partnerships with biotech/ pharma companies to discover new diagnostics and treatments, and partnering with other research institutions, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and advocacy groups will result in new and continuing financial support for ARC sustainability and expansion.