Skip to main content

We’ve updated our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy. By using this site, you agree to these terms.

Team awarded $973,000 from National Institutes of Health National Institute on Drug Abuse

DANVILLE, Pa. – Geisinger has been awarded $973,000 from the National Institutes of Health National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to study the association between genomics and opioid use disorder (OUD).

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 NIDAEvidence 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.

About Geisinger
Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1 million people it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 10 hospital campuses, a health plan with more than half a million members, a research institute and the Geisinger College of Health Sciences, which includes schools of medicine, nursing and graduate education. With more than 25,000 employees and 1,700+ employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania by billions of dollars annually. Learn more at or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Geisinger Logo

For media inquiries:

Ashley Andyshak Hayes
Marketing Strategist
Marketing & Communications


Content from General Links with modal content