Administrative Core

George F. Koob, Ph.D.
Committee on the Neurobiology of Addictive Disorders
The Scripps Research Institute

2U01 AA013517     27 September 2001 - 31 August 2016

The purpose of the Consortium for the Integrative Neuroscience Initiative on Alcoholism (INIA)-West is to identify the molecular, cellular, and behavioral neuroadaptations that occur in specific brain neurocircuitries that result in excessive alcohol consumption.  More specifically, the focus of this multidisciplinary initiative will be on the molecular and cellular neuroadaptations in the brain reward circuits associated with the extended amygdala and its connections. The overall hypothesis for INIA-West is that genetic differences and/or neuroadaptations in this circuitry are responsible for the individual differences in vulnerability to the excessive consumption of alcohol. The overall goals of INIA-West are to identify the neurocircuitry and neurobiology responsible for excessive alcohol intake, and to provide the foundation to enable translation of the basic neuroscience findings to the human clinical condition. To accomplish these goals, the following Specific Aims are outlined: (1) To identify specific clusters of genes whose expression is regulated by alcohol and which are responsible for INIA-developed models of excessive alcohol consumption, (2) To confirm gene targets nominated by expression assays or other methods, by use of transgenic, knockout, inducible knockouts, site-specific knockouts, RNAi, and in situ hybridization, (3) To attract new and innovative investigators to the field of alcohol research. The structure of INIA-West is envisioned as two domains (Binge and Dependence) that integrate across three levels of analysis: molecular, cellular, neurocircuitry. Distributed Core facilities are proposed that transcend domains and include the Gene Array Cores, Animal Models Cores (rat and mouse) and the Neurocircuitry Cores. Each Domain is comprised of 10-12 U01 proposals and 1-2 Developmental U01 proposals. A Pilot Project program is proposed to identify exciting new areas of research and the continual recruitment of new investigators to the alcohol field. The INIA program will be directed by an Administrative Core in close cooperation with the Executive Committee, Steering Committee, and with the continual advice of the Scientific Advisory Board.

Structure and Organization of the Administrative Coordinating Core

Overview of the Core:

The primary purpose of the Administrative Core is to provide an efficient administrative infrastructure, and clear communication between all components of the consortium. A major role of the Core will be to provide administrative support to the Steering Committee, and assist the Committee in tracking progress towards the achievement of the consortium program goals. It will arrange regular meetings of the Steering Committee, the Advisory Committee and the annual meeting of the Participating Investigators. It will closely coordinate with the Neuroinformatics Core to ensure effective communication within the project. It will generate periodic reports, and disseminate the progress and discoveries to the scientific public.

Organizational Structure:

As shown in the chart below (Figure 3), the Administrative Core provides administrative support to the Steering Committee, and on behalf of the Steering Committee, provides support to the consortium as a whole.

Roles of Core Personnel:

1. Director – Dr. George F. Koob

The Director of the Administrative Core, by mandate of the RFA, is the Principal Investigator of the project and consortium coordinator, George Koob PhD, is Professor and Chair of the Committee on the Neurobiology of Addictive Disorders at the host institution, The Scripps Research Institute. As Chair of the Steering Committee and Coordinator of the Administrative Core at TSRI, he will integrate the various administrative functions of the project to meet project needs.

2.  Scientific Director and Co-Chair of the Steering Committee – Dr. Adron Harris

The Scientific Director and Co-chair of the Steering Committee is Dr. Adron Harris, Director of the Waggoner Center for Alcohol and Addiction Research at the University of Texas.  Dr. Harris is responsible for overseeing and supervising the research of the Consortium to coordinate scientific goals and priorities. Dr. Harris also serves as Co-Chair of the Steering committee, and will replace Dr. Koob as Chair if the Consortium Coordinator is incapacitated for some reason.

3. Administrative Core Coordinator Lisa Maturin

Lisa Maturin's responsibilities include all communication through the administrative core, dissemination of program information, preparing all reports, and liaison between the participating investigators, the Steering Committee and the Consortium Core. All INIA correspondence, mail and emails will be logged and tracked. She is responsible for setting up and coordinating everything associated with meetings of INIA including travel, accommodations, selection of sites and dates. She is also responsible for preparing the annual budget and renewal application of the Administrative Core, the Pilot project component and the overall coordination of the Consortium renewal.

4. Administrative Specialist Mike Arends

The full time Administrative Specialist, Mr. Michael Arends has extensive experience as a technical writer and assists the Director in preparing meeting materials and preparing drafts of reports and press releases. He plays an active role in coordinating activities among all projects with anticipated extensive interactions with the Neuroinformatics Core to obtain information related to track progress in the program. He provides detailed tracking and organization of all forms of correspondence through the Administrative Core.  He maintains all publication records and provides a substantial resource of library and internet research to all INIA investigators as needed.  He maintains an up-to-date computerized database directory of contact information for all possible collaborators, consultants, and institutions necessary for the successful and efficient integration of the Consortium.

Administrative Management Plan

Organizational Structure:

The administrative management of the project is organized around the Steering Committee, which is the governing body of the project and is chaired by the Principal Investigator (see chart below). Administrative support is provided by the Administrative Core. As detailed above for the Scientific Organization of the project, the Steering Committee oversees and tracks the progress of the Scientific Core Resources and the participating investigators , see Figure 4. The Scientific Advisory Committee of outside experts will convene annually at a meeting of all participating investigators to keep appraised of the progress and make recommendation to the Steering Committee and NIAAA (see Program Management).

The Steering Committee at first consisted of the Principal Investigator and eight additional participating investigators who are collectively well known for their scientific and organizational leadership in this field. Each of them has also assumed other key leadership responsibilities in the program, as a Coordinator of the Scientific Cores. As a result, all Core Resources and Subgroups have representation on the Steering Committee. Each member of the Steering Committee will allocate 5-10% of their effort to perform these administrative responsibilities. The NIAAA representative is Dr. Sam Zakhari. An additional four members have been appointed as to ensure that each major component of the project is represented. The Steering Committee has substantial responsibilities for oversight and integration of the program covering both Administrative Management and Program Management (see Program Management). Administrative management responsibilities include:

1) Oversight of staffing of and operations of the Core resources,
2) Annual review of the budget and redistribution of resources as appropriate, and
3) Annual review of scientific progress.

It is recognized at the outset that it would be inefficient for the Committee to make all decisions as a group. Certain decisions are delegated. For example, organization and functioning of the Cores will be delegated to the Core Coordinators. Considering requests of Core Resources for a specific Core are delegated to a Sub-Committee consisting of the Core Coordinator, the sub-Core Director and one other Committee Member not involved in that Core. In all cases, the Steering Committee is kept well informed, and if problems arise, it will take the appropriate action for resolution. The Steering Committee, at a minimum, conducts monthly teleconference meetings with agendas and all materials distributed in advance. At least two meetings will be held each year with all members physically present.

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