UAMS Addiction Training Program Awarded $2.1 Million

By Tim Taylor

The award marks the second time the program has been renewed by NIDA, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), since it began at UAMS in 2009. The program has received a total of $6 million in NIH funding. The award provides stipends as well as tuition and training-related and travel expenses for eight to 12 trainees in the area of addiction research.

The NIDA addiction research training program is one of only two NIH T32 awards in Arkansas, the other one housed within the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology in the UAMS College of Medicine. NIDA funds 55 similar T32 training programs across the country.

“The T32 is a wonderful career development tool designed to create well-trained scientists who are increasingly placed in leading academic faculty positions,” said Clint Kilts, Ph.D., director of the program since 2012, and a professor in the College of Medicine Department of Psychiatry.

Kilts pointed to the 14 former program trainees who have gone on to become faculty members, including six at UAMS, as an example of the T32’s impact in creating the next generation of leaders in addiction science and medicine.

“It’s the unique trainee outcomes that matters in the end,” said Kilts, also director of UAMS’ Brain Imaging Research Center. “The participants are very team oriented and that will help them build significant collaborative teams in the future capable of providing prevention and treatment solutions for the immense public health problem posed by addiction.”

The UAMS NIDA T32 training program is unique in that it relies on a connected network of 25 faculty members from six departments at UAMS — Psychiatry, Pharmacology and Toxicology, Pharmacy Evaluation and Practice, Pharmaceutical Science, Neurobiology and Developmental Neuroscience, and Health Behavior and Health Education, to mentor the young research scientists. The UAMS program is further unique in its simultaneous, multi-level training of predoctoral students, postdoctoral fellows, medical students and psychiatry residents.


UAMS is the state's only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS' clinical enterprise including its hospital, regional clinics and clinics it operates or staffs in cooperation with other providers. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. U.S. News & World Report recognized UAMS Medical Center as a Best Hospital for 2021-22; ranked its ear, nose and throat program among the top 50 nationwide for the third year; and named five areas as high performing — colon cancer surgery, diabetes, hip replacement, knee replacement and stroke. Forbes magazine ranked UAMS as seventh in the nation on its Best Employers for Diversity list. UAMS also ranked in the top 30% nationwide on Forbes’ Best Employers for Women list and was the only Arkansas employer included. UAMS has 2,876 students, 898 medical residents and six dental residents. It is the state's largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children's, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.