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Research Abstracts Online
January 2010 - March 2011

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences
Department of Food Science and Nutrition

PI: Chi Chen

Metabolomic Investigation of Biosignatures of Chronic Cocaine Exposure

The overall objective of this research is to identify and characterize endogenous small-molecule metabolites in the peripheral system that can indicate prior chronic drug exposure or drug addiction. Because of their apparent values for revealing the status of drug abuse and monitoring the progression of drug addiction, biomarkers and biosignatures of chronic drug exposure have been pursued using biochemical, genomic, proteomic, and neuroimaging approaches. However, the establishment of convincing and applicable biomarkers and biosignatures of chronic drug exposure is still a challenge. This project is based on the fact that besides the neurological changes that lead to abnormal function in the central nervous system, drug abuse and addiction also significantly affect the metabolic system. All these disturbances change the chemical composition of peripheral systems. Therefore, small-molecule biomarkers representing different aspects of chronic drug exposure can be potentially identified in the peripheral system using metabolomic approaches to examine animal models related to drug addiction.

Group Members

Xiaolei Shi, Graduate Student
Dana Yao, Research Associate