Dr. Kevin Freeman, Psychiatry & Human Behavior
Dr. Kevin Freeman, Psychiatry & Human Behavior
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UMMC receives $2.85 million dollar grant from NIH for drug-discovery research to curtail prescription opioid abuse

By: Kevin Freeman, Ph.D, Psychiatry & Human Behavior

The office of Senator Cindy-Hyde Smith recently announced in a press release that UMMC will receive funding from the NIH (NIDA) to continue ongoing work to discover and develop next-generation opioid medications that may treat pain without producing the abuse liability that leads to habit formation and addiction. The renewal of this R01 grant was awarded to Dr. Kevin Freeman, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, and it will provide five years of funding to advance research on pain therapeutics that has been ongoing at UMMC since 2015. The project, titled “Deterrents for prescription opioid abuse,” will investigate the effectiveness of a range of new experimental medications that, when combined as formulations with standard opioids, may selectively diminish the rewarding effects of prescription opioids while preserving or possibly augmenting their pain-decreasing effects. The grant will continue a long-standing collaboration between Dr. Freeman and co-Investigator, Dr. Bruce Blough, a medicinal chemist at the Research Triangle Institute in North Carolina. It will also continue a program of research that has supported the research training of numerous graduate and medical students at UMMC as well as many undergraduates across the state of Mississippi.


For more information: UMMC Awarded Prescription Opioid Abuse Resarch Grant