Led by Daniele Piomelli, PhD, professor of anatomy and neurobiology at UCI School of Medicine, and director of the newly created UCI Center for the Study of Cannabis, the grant will fund a systematic series of preclinical studies to determine whether cannabis’ active ingredient, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), during adolescence causes persistent changes in endocannabinoid (ECB) signaling, synaptic plasticity and behavior. The research will be conducted by a group of principal investigators from UCI including Marcelo Wood, PhD, Christine Gall, PhD, Gary Lynch, PhD, and Stephen Mahler, PhD. The grant is UCI’s only NIDA Center of Excellence.
ICAL will seek to answer two specific questions:
- What are the long-term effects of adolescent exposure to THC on brain function and behavior?
- What are the molecular mechanisms underlying such effects?