Faces of Drug Abuse Research: Jean Lud Cadet, M.D.

Jean Lud Cadet, M.D. [ PubMed, GoogleScholar, DepartmentalPage ] is the Chief of the Molecular Neuropsychiatry Research Branch in the Intramural Resarch Program at the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Within this branch he heads the Molecular Neuropsychiatry section which has maintained major interests in dissecting the toxic effects of methamphetamine, cocaine and MDMA on the brain using rodent models. He has a recent review article Epigenetics of Methamphetamine-Induced Changes in Glutamate Function that you might find of interest.

PhotoCredit: ASBMB

PhotoCredit: NIDA IRP

According to an interview with the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Dr Cadet received his MD degree from Columbia University and completed residencies in Psychiatry at Columbia University and in Neurology at Mount Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Cadet indicates in the interview that it was chance notice of an announcement for a fellowship in Pharmacology at the NIMH IRP (which he secured and spent time as a Neuropsychiatry Fellow) that cemented his interest in research. Going by the PubMed record, it was during this time that Dr. Cadet became interested in movement disorder related to dopamine disruptions which foreshadowed his eventual interest in damage to dopaminergic functions caused by stimulant drugs. After the Fellowship, Dr. Cadet became Assistant Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at Columbia University and then subsequently moved to the NIDA IRP in 1992.

Dr. Cadet is also the Associate Director for Diversity and Outreach within the NIDA IRP and, per an interview with the ASMBM Dr. Cadet states:

As the Associate Director for Diversity and Outreach, my greatest passion is the recruitment of young scientists from under-represented populations into various NIH programs. I have been in charge of recruiting summer students into the NIDA-IRP since 1995. I am also the chair of the Diversity and Outreach Committee (DOC) that is actively recruiting young scientists from under-represented groups. This committee has recently reached out to Patterson High School, a neighborhood high school. Two Patterson junior students are now serving internships in basic science laboratories at the NIDA-IRP. Using funds that were recently provided by the Scientific Director of NIDA-IRP, the DOC has also established a competitive application process that has helped to recruit 6 post-baccalaureate and/or post-doctoral fellows within the NIDA-IRP. I am relentless in my pursuit of Diversity within the NIDA-IRP and my activities together with those of DOC members are helping our intramural program to serve as a beacon to be followed by others.

I thank you Dr. Cadet for both furthering our understanding of the ways in which exposure to stimulant drugs of abuse can disrupt the brain and your efforts to extend opportunities within science to those who are of underrepresented racial or ethnic backgrounds.

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Post-baccalaureate program at NIDA IRP

Prior entries in this series overview the contributions of Yasmin Hurd, Carl Hart, Chana Akins and Percy Julian.

5 responses so far

  • Grumble says:

    Hey DM, how about doing one of these profiles about Carl Hart, who has a new book coming out? I'd be curious about what you think of the book, too (once it's out), and of his opinion towards drugs in general.

  • drugmonkey says:

    You mean like this one Grumble?

    Yes, very much looking forward to the arrival of my copy and hoping to catch up with Dr. Hart at this summer's CPDD meeting. I may have some comments afterwards.

  • Grumble says:

    Ha, I guess that's why there's a "search" function.

  • drugmonkey says:

    It's also in the footer to this post although I notice I linked to something other than my actual entry on Dr. Hart.

  • drugmonkey says:

    It is worth noting that Dr. Hart is currently on the Board of Directors of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence and on the National Advisory Council for the National Institutes on Drug Abuse.

    This is a note for those types who think that all drug abuse science is one big prohibitionist conspiracy, this is fairly high level representation for a guy whose book is described in review blurbage as

    "A hard-hitting attack on current drug policy by Hart (Psychology and Psychiatry/ Columbia Univ.), a neuroscientist who grew up on the streets of one of Miami's toughest neighborhoods... Hart debunks claims that the use of crack cocaine is more dangerous than other forms of the drug and therefore should be punished more severely a distinction that penalizes ghetto users who are the most typical crack users... In his view, the focus on illegal drug trafficking "obfuscates the real problems faced by marginalized people," and neuroscientific research focuses too much on the action of neurotransmitters to explain addiction... An eye-opening,absorbing, complex story of scientific achievement in the face of overwhelming odds."
    Kirkus Reviews *Starred Review!*

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