Addiction Research

Clinical Research

VISTA Research

Because VISTA brings together clinical specialists from across multiple departments and disciplines at VUMC, our research is highly pragmatic and is largely focused on innovations in service delivery, implementation, and best practices in provider education. Here are some examples of our current efforts:

Bridging Recovery Initiative Despite Gaps in Entry (BRIDGE)

Brief description: Randomized controlled trial of Bridge Clinic compared to usual community care for patients with opioid use disorder admitted to Vanderbilt University Hospital
Lead investigator: David Marcovitz, MD
Article(s) / Poster(s): Study protocol paper is current under review

Preliminary Results of a Hospital Misuse Protocol

Brief description: Retrospective review and provider survey data related to the first 47 patients at Vanderbilt University Hospital included in a new Hospital Substance Misuse Protocol
Lead investigator: Lee Dockery, MD
Article(s) / Poster(s): Poster presentation at VPH Academic Psychiatry Day, 6/18/21

A Bridge Clinic-supported Paradigm for Outpatient Parenteral Antibiotic Therapy (OPAT)

Brief description: Naturalistic observational study of the first 12 months of an innovative approach to outpatient management of patients discharging from a general hospital with OPAT and following at a multispecialty, multidisciplinary Bridge Clinic
Lead investigators: Kris Kast, MD and Katie White MD, PhD
Article(s) / Poster(s): Pending

Implementation of extended release buprenorphine (Sublocade) in an outpatient co-occurring disorder clinic

Brief description: Pre-post analysis of provider utilization of extended release buprenorphine (Sublocade) in an outpatient co-occurring disorder clinic following an educational intervention and addition of a supportive toolkit.
Lead investigator: India Reddy, MD, PhD
Article(s) / Poster(s): Pending

Launch of an Co-Occurring Disorder Curriculum for Outpatient Psychiatry Residents focused on Landmark Studies in Addiction Psychiatry

Brief description: Pre-post analysis of resident knowledge, skills and attitudes surrounding a novel adult learning curriculum in which PGY3 residents present landmark studies in addiction psychiatry to a multidisciplinary team including their peers
Lead investigator: Elise Scott, MD
Article(s) / Poster(s): Pending

Martin Laboratory  

Dr. Martin's research and scholarly interests include the molecular basis, diagnosis, and treatment of drug use disorders with an emphasis on substance-induced mental disorders and co-occurring psychiatric disorders. This includes investigations of the molecular biology of thiamine; magnetic resonance spectroscopy and functional magnetic resonance imaging to elucidate the pathogenesis of addiction and alcohol-induced brain damage; the clinical pharmacology of addictive substances; pharmacogenomic factors in treatment of opioid dependence and psychiatric disorders during pregnancy.

Basic Research

Winder Laboratory

Addiction is understood as a long-lasting change in brain function outlasting withdrawal.  Relapse driven by learned associations (cue, context) as well as by mental state transitions (stress, anxiety) can occur long after obvious negative consequences of cessation of drug intake have stopped.  Thus, intense focus is being placed on neural mechanisms driving drug “craving” sensation and initiation of relapse to intake after extinction.  Our lab takes a combination of brain slice electrophysiological and biochemical approaches coupled with behavioral analysis in mice to begin to determine the lasting changes produced by drugs of abuse that induce relapse behavior.