Nicotine Use and Dependence

MENLO PARK, Calif., - SRI International, an independent
nonprofit research and development institute, today announced that new
research on nicotine dependence is featured in National Cancer Institute’s
Tobacco Control Monograph 20, Phenotypes and Endophenotypes: Foundations for
Genetic Studies of Nicotine Use and Dependence. Gary E. Swan, Ph.D., director
of SRI’s Center for Health Sciences, was the senior scientific editor of the

“It was an honor to work with a broad range of experts to develop a greater
understanding of behavioral genetics and how these findings can improve public
health approaches to tobacco control,” said Dr. Swan. “By understanding the
role of genetics in the context of nicotine dependence, more effective
treatment and prevention programs can be developed.”

New studies by researchers from SRI’s Center for Health Sciences are described
in the monograph, including an analysis of subgroups among adolescent tobacco
users. This research shows that the subgroup that started smoking at a younger
age and maintained a high level of tobacco use is at high risk for adult
nicotine dependence. The monograph also presents the first example of a
metabolism ontology-a formal system to represent causal relationships between
the administration of nicotine and its subsequent metabolism through the
action of various genes. The monograph further summarizes work from the
first-ever twin study of nicotine metabolism, work that was published
previously and conducted by scientists working at SRI and elsewhere in the
United States and Canada.

In the monograph, a review of current studies of tobacco use in twins and
families is presented. The review concludes that nicotine dependence is a
complex trait with genetic and environmental underpinnings that requires a
cross-disciplinary approach to research to improve understanding of this
behavior and its relationship to outcomes such as smoking cessation.

National Cancer Institute Tobacco Control Monograph 20 is available at:

About SRI’s Center for Health Sciences
SRI’s Center for Health Sciences uses a multidisciplinary research approach to
address complex challenges that arise at the interface of the basic sciences,
clinical medicine, health care economics, and the regulatory and legal
environments. Its staff includes experts in medicine, psychology, sleep,
genetic epidemiology, biostatistics, psychophysiology, biomedical legal
issues, and public health.

About SRI International
Silicon Valley-based SRI International is one of the world’s leading
independent research and technology development organizations. SRI, which was
founded by Stanford University as Stanford Research Institute in 1946 and
became independent in 1970, has been meeting the strategic needs of clients
and partners for more than 60 years. Perhaps best known for its invention of
the computer mouse and interactive computing, SRI has also been responsible
for major advances in networking and communications, robotics, drug discovery
and development, advanced materials, atmospheric research, education research,
economic development, national security, and more. The nonprofit institute
performs sponsored research and development for government agencies,
businesses, and foundations. SRI also licenses its technologies, forms
strategic alliances, and creates spin-off companies. In 2008, SRI’s
consolidated revenues, including its wholly owned for-profit subsidiary,
Sarnoff Corporation, were approximately $490 million.

SOURCE SRI International

Dina Basin of SRI International, +1-650-859-3845, [email protected]

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