Experts Identify Key Questions to Tackle in NC Opioid Research Agenda

A collaborative process between academic and non-profit researchers, including those from the North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences (NC TraCS)  Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC),  and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has resulted in a prioritized list of research questions aimed at strengthening North Carolina’s response to the opioid epidemic.

ITM Researcher Building First Treatment for Cocaine Addiction

What could be the first medical treatment for cocaine addiction is being created by Institute for Translational Medicine (ITM) researchers Ming Xu, PhD, and Xiaoyang Wu, PhD. Their research edits a patch of normal skin using an engineering technology that puts an anti-cocaine gene into skin stem cells. This system allows Xu and Wu to take a small section of skin, add the anti-cocaine gene to the skin’s cells, and then put it back onto the patient through a process called grafting, a routine procedure where a piece of skin is added onto the body.

Multi-Institutional Workshop Identifies the "Known Unknowns" of Opioid Crisis

The concepts of known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns apply not only to intelligence and politics, but to any discipline where the gathering of knowledge is paramount. An all-day, multi site workshop on the devastating opioid crisis was held to discuss these concepts. The event, called "Developing a Research Agenda for Addressing the Opioid Epidemic in NC," was held on May 16, 2018 at the Research Triangle Park (RTP) Conference Center in Durham. Participants included doctors and researchers from UNC, Duke, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services and more.

Columbia University Responds to the Opioid Crisis

On June 22, 2018 the Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research hosted a symposium to stimulate collaborations among researchers, industry partners and the community to advance new efforts to address the opioid crisis. More than 200 attendees gathered for the Columbia Opioid Symposium titled “New Collaborations Towards New Solutions”.

Many research strategies related to the opioid crisis focus on increasing access to effective treatments for opioid use disorders, but it’s also vital to prevent addiction before it starts. The Michigan Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network (Michigan OPEN), which aims to develop a preventive approach to the opioid epidemic, recently hosted a drug take back event that collected and disposed of one ton of pills, including 54,000 opioid pills.

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