Team awarded $973,000 from National Institutes of Health National Institute on Drug Abuse
Drug overdose continues to be a leading cause of injury-related death in the United States, and approximately 2.7 million people have an OUD, according to NIDA. Evidence suggests that substance use disorders can be hereditary, although the specific genes that contribute to OUD risk are not known.
The project, led by Vanessa Troiani, Ph.D., will develop phenotypes, or profiles of observable characteristics, using prescription data, clinical diagnoses and other features that can be extracted from health system data. These profiles will be analyzed to identify genes that are associated with risk for OUD. The study will use data from two major biobanks, Geisinger’s MyCode Community Health Initiative and Vanderbilt University’s BioVU.
“To date, electronic health record data has not been widely used for studying the genetics of substance use disorders or even psychiatric disorders, more generally,” Dr. Troiani said. “Data from existing health system records with large biobanks offer a powerful opportunity to improve our understanding of the genetic factors that may increase risk for developing opioid addiction.”
This project is part of the Integrative Omics Center for Accelerating Neurobiological Understanding of Opioid Addiction (ICAN), a multi-site opioid research network. Findings from this study will be combined with those of other ICAN projects, including studies on mouse models of OUD and genetic expression studies from the brains of individuals who have died from opioid overdose, to identify novel gene networks that will inform future research into the neurobiology of OUD.
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