Neuroscience of Addiction (Venice, Italy) CANCELED
Offered in partnership with the Neuroscience School of Advanced Studies
September 27 – October 4, 2020 
Application & Materials Deadline: June 1, 2020


David Belin, University of Cambridge, UK
Christopher Evans, University of California, Los Angeles, USA
Brigitte Kieffer, Douglas Research Centre at McGill University, Montreal, Canada
Mark Von Zastrow,University of California San Francisco 


COVID-19: UPDATE May 25, 2020: It is with considerable regret that we announce the cancellation of this course for 2020 but we are working to reschedule to similar dates in 2021.


See the roll of honor - who's taken the course in the past

Drug addiction is the most costly neuropsychiatric disorder faced by our nation. Acute and repeated exposure to drugs produces neuroadaptation and long-term memory of the experience, but the cellular and molecular processes involved are only partially understood.

The primary objective of the proposed workshop is to provide an intense dialogue of the fundamentals, state-of-the-art advances and major gaps in the cell and molecular biology of drug addiction. Targeted to new or experienced investigators, the workshop will combine formal presentations and informal discussions to convey the merits and excitement of cellular and molecular approaches to drug addiction research. With the advent of genomics and proteomics, an extraordinary opportunity now exists to develop comprehensive models of neuroadaptative processes fundamental to addiction, withdrawal, craving, relapse to drug use and general brain function.

A range of disciplines and topics will be represented, including:

Noninvasive brain imaging to identify drug targets and adaptive processes

Neuroadaptative processes at the molecular and cellular level

Neural networks and their modulation

Relevance of genotype to susceptibility and drug response

Tolerance and adaptation at the cellular level

Approaches to exploiting the daunting volume generated by neuroinformatics

This workshop will provide an integrated view of current and novel research on neuroadaptive responses to addiction, foster discussion on collaboration and integration, provide critical information needed to construct a model of addiction as a disease and novel molecular targets for biological treatments. Beyond the plane of scientific endeavor, the information is vital for formulating public policy and for enlightening the public on the neurobiological consequences of drug use and addiction.

This workshop is designed to generate interest in this level of analysis, open conduits for collaborations and present novel routes to investigating the neurobiology of addictive drugs.

Prior Year Speakers:
Veronica Alvarez, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIH)
Joseph Cheer, University of Maryland School of Medicine
David Goldman, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIH)
Yasmin Hurd , Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Peter W. Kalivas , Medical University of South Carolina
Paul J Kenny, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Hedy  Kober, Yale University
George  Koob, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIH)
Aashish  Manglik, University of California, San Francisco
Marisela  Morales, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH)
Eric Nester, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
James Otis, Medical University of South Carolina
Marina  Picciotto, Yale University
Mark Von Zastrow, University of California San Francisco
Jan Witkowski, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

The course will be held on the academic island of Isola San Servolo, Venice, Italy (photos). The private island is less than a ten minute waterbus ride with frequent service from central Venice (transportation). All participants will be provided with accommodation on the island, in walking distance from the lecture hall and cafeteria.

This course will be partially supported with funds provided by the US National Institute of Drug Abuse (Grant#  5 R13 DA019791)

Scholarship funds are available for partial support of tuition, room and board on a merit basis. Please apply in writing when you apply stating the need for financial aid.

Cost (including board and lodging): $2,850  (payable to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory)

No fees are due until you have completed the full application process and are accepted into the course. Students accepted into the course should plan to arrive in Venice on the evening of Sunday September 27, and depart by lunchtime on Sunday October 4

Before applying, ensure you have 1) Personal statement/essay; 2) Letter(s) of recommendation; 3) Curriculum vitae/resume (optional); 4) Financial aid request (optional). More details

If you are not ready to fully apply but wish to express interest in applying, receive a reminder two weeks prior to the deadline, and tell us about your financial aid requirements, click below: