Lab to study impact of genetics, microbiome on substance use

October 13, 2018 GMT

BAR HARBOR, Maine (AP) — A Maine laboratory will receive nearly $4 million to study the role of the microbiome and genetics in substance use disorders.

The human microbiome is the full assortment of bacteria, viruses and other microbes than inhabits the human body. Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, which got the grant, says there’s mounting evidence that the microbiome of the gut plays a big role in behavioral response to addictive drugs.

Jackson professor George Weinstock says the study will be the first to delineate “the genetic basis of drug addiction” by considering both “genetics and the gut microbiome.” He says the work could lead to new insights into drug addiction, and provide a new path to therapies.

The grant is from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. It’s a five-year grant.