Director’s Welcome

picture on woman in white and brown and white fur dog
Sara Jo Nixon, Ph.D. Director, UF CARE, Distinguished Professor & Co-Vice Chair, Department of Psychiatry and Rainyday’s Finding Commonground (Henry)

Welcome to the UF CARE website! I can’t believe it’s been ~ 5 years since we posted the first Director’s Comments. Without doubt, some updating is appropriate. As one of the oldest continuing University-wide Centers at UF, we have survived precarious research funding, challenging periods of recruitment, and variable prioritization of addiction science in educational, research, and policy initiatives.

Objectively, CARE has more than “merely” survived. In 2018, we received 5 years of supplemental support for programming and development. I am delighted that we enjoy the continuation of time-limited supplemental support in 2023. At this writing, our membership includes faculty from 7 colleges and 16 departments across both the main and HSC campuses; including ~ 50 faculty (Full) members and~ 100 trainee and staff (Affiliate) members! The diversity of addiction science at UF remains a key strength with research domains ranging from molecular neuroscience and drug discovery through epidemiology and clinical trials. Our scientists probe the neurobiological and psychosocial correlates and consequences of addictive disorders and their comorbid conditions, interrogate factors underlying risk and resiliency in diverse populations, track use of novel/new substances in diverse communities, query the impact of substance use across the life-span, and seek to lessen the burden of substance misuse and addictive disorders through development of pharmacologic and behavioral interventions. In short, we are a group of highly diverse investigators who are committed to the breadth of addiction science.

I hope you’ll check out the information regarding our monthly seminar and annual symposium programs. Both programs are designed to reflect the diversity of our membership including both “more” basic and “more” applied speakers. COVID-19 taught us some things about ZOOM that we’ve put to good use by expanding the range of invited speakers from across the country. Our Annual Symposium programming also evolved. The 2023 program included a Community Networking Event, competitive symposium panels, and greater engagement of collaborators from other FL Universities. (More under the Events Tab: Monthly Seminars and Annual Symposium).

Our programming for trainees includes access to competitive travel awards. It also includes a competitive dissertation grant award program that provides up to $7,500 in support for dissertation projects. (See recent winners and details under the Education Tab: Travel & Dissertation Awards).

Implementing these programs requires strong administrative support and committee engagement. We’ve posted the current in the Committee tab.

You’ll also notice that we have links to participating departments, current addiction-related training grants, and funding sources. [We warn that this information defies efforts to keep it up to date.] AND, if you are interested in receiving our monthly newsletter, please click here to complete the sign-up form.

Finally, as I am sure you are aware, addiction and related disorders represent a significant threat to individuals, families and their communities. It is only through collaborative efforts that we can expand understanding and effect change. We are fortunate to have time-limited support from the McKnight Brain Institute, the College of Medicine Office of Research Affairs, the Department of Psychiatry, the College of Pharmacy, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. However, to sustain our unique capacity to address these issues, we must also rely on donations from the larger community. These donations are handled through the UF Foundation, and are tax deductible within current legal constraints. No matter the amount of your gift, it will be appreciated! (UF Foundation Donation Page) Again, thank you for visiting our website! And please do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions or need additional information.

Sara Jo Nixon, PhD, Director
Distinguished Professor