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Education/Outreach

VCAR Postdoc/Student Journal Club

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The VCAR journal club represents an opportunity for Vanderbilt trainees with diverse research backgrounds to teach and learn from each other while discussing recent publications within the field of addiction research. Monthly meetings comprised solely of students and postdocs provide a supportive environment to ask questions, build confidence, learn, and establish relationships within the Vanderbilt addiction research community that may foster future collaborations.  Vanderbilt trainees will need to successfully integrate multiple cutting-edge techniques to interrogate CNS function across molecular, cellular, genetic, and circuitry-based levels in combination with animal models possessing strong validity to human aspects of addiction.  The goal of this journal club is to develop an appreciation for the complexities of different research techniques and models, critically evaluate their strengths and limitations and learn how each can be applied alone or in combination to pursue specific research questions. Each semester follows a general theme but strives to cover multiple substances of abuse, species, and research techniques.

 

Focus:

Spring 2017: “Seminal Studies in Addiction Research: Past and Present.”

Fall 2017: TBD

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Vanderbilt School for Science and Math (SSMV)

The VCAR has partnered with the Vanderbilt School for Science and Math (SSMV) to engage aspiring local high school seniors in an outreach initiative aimed at educating middle school students on the neurobiology of drugs of abuse using a near-peer strategy of presentation. SSMV students work together with VCAR members to develop and implement a classroom interaction that consists of small group sessions, a powerpoint presentation, and audience participation using internet-based strategies. The goals of these presentations are 1) to expose middle school students to the prospects of careers in science, 2) to educate them on basic properties of the brain, and 3) to give them the beginnings of an understanding of the risks of early drug use.