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Welcome to the Vanderbilt Center for Addiction Research

Discovering new roads to recovery

Addiction places an enormous stress on our society. There is increasing public understanding that addiction is a disease, yet the prevalence of addiction’s impact continues to grow at an alarming rate. New strategies both to reduce the initiation of problematic drug/alcohol abuse and to help individuals struggling with addiction are desperately needed.


Addiction is a disease of the brain. The field of neuroscience has recently undergone a technological revolution, affording us an unprecedented opportunity to develop a deep understanding of the mechanisms that underlie this disease. Founded in 2016 within the Basic Sciences of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, the Vanderbilt Center for Addiction Research (VCAR) seeks to take advantage of these new technologies to discover mechanisms by which addiction develops, and to use these discoveries to benefit society. These discovery and translation efforts involve scientists across our University and Medical Center campuses.


Major goals of VCAR:

  • Determine key molecular mechanisms that contribute to the most pernicious aspects of addiction: uncontrolled behavior and drug/alcohol relapse

  • Develop new strategies to treat addiction using the unparalleled drug development infrastructure at Vanderbilt

  • Provide near-peer outreach strategies to educate middle-school aged students on the incredible nature of their brain as an organ, and how it is uniquely vulnerable to drugs of abuse at their age.

Contact Us

Vanderbilt University
875 Light Hall
Nashville, TN 37232


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