The core mission of the Addiction Institute at Mount Sinai is to improve patient care through enhanced research. A key focus of our research efforts is to expand insights about human biology and population health among individuals with addictive disorders, and to develop novel treatment interventions grounded on sound scientific evidence. Addiction, like other psychiatric illnesses, is a brain disorder. As such, a major component of the basic, translational, and clinical research we conduct is within the neuroscience field and related disciplines anchored within the Friedman Brain Institute at Mount Sinai. The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is one of the most internationally renowned institutions for neuroscience research with outstanding scientists in the field of addiction. Our research seeks to reveal the neurobiology underlying different factors contributing to the addiction phenotype such as reward sensitivity, compulsive behavior, inhibitory control, craving, and negative emotional states. Our research also investigates genetic contributions to addiction that not only relate to drug use vulnerability, but even to treatment response. Understanding the impact of drug use and environmental factors on epigenetic mechanisms, i.e., non-genetic factors that influence long-term molecular changes in the brain relevant to addiction risk, are also an integral part of our research objectives. At the Institute, we aim to leverage the knowledge gained from basic and translational research to inform human clinical studies and the development and implementation of novel, effective treatments.
Our research efforts are comprehensive in scope, using integrated research strategies across multiple disciplines including brain imaging, genomics, population health service research, and clinical trials with pharmacological agents and behavioral interventions. Addiction has devastating consequences on physical health; we believe that the best outcomes for our population can only be achieved through collaborative research efforts across disciplines in related fields such as infectious disease (e.g., HIV, hepatitis), cardiovascular illness, and cancer. Particularly for this population, the development of new medication is critical for providing clinicians, patients, and families access to greater clinical tools to ensure effective treatment. We thus work closely with the Drug Discovery Institute at Mount Sinai to bring cutting-edge medications and therapies to our patients. Last but not least, understanding the impact of drugs on the developing adolescent brain is critical for developing early intervention strategies for the disorder; the prevention of addictive disorders, therefore, is an agenda that is tightly linked to many of our health service research initiatives.
The pervasive nature of addictive disorders in our society emphasizes the great need for new research strategies to reduce relapse and improve health. Our Institute is grounded on the fact that addiction is treatable. Aligning our research and clinical programs as we have provides us with a unique opportunity to enhance evidence-based addictions management throughout the Addiction Institute at Mount Sinai.
Areas of clinical, treatment services, and translational research include:
- Medication Development with Clinical Trials
- Clinical Trials Network (CTN)
- Adolescent Health
- Infectious Disease
- Cardiovascular Comorbidity