The Neurochemistry Winter Conferences are designed to provide high-standard scientific conferences combined with advanced training for young researchers, with a specific focus each year. In the field of drug abuse research, the last decade has seen the highly profitable cooperation between gene targeting, neuroimaging, and more traditional neurochemical / neuroanatomical /electrophysiological approaches on one side and behavioral experiments on the other side, leading to important advances in the understanding how different neuronal systems contribute to the reinforcing effect and the abuse liability of addictive drugs. However, a number of issues are still unresolved. The workshop proposes to bring together experts from all cutting-edge experimental approaches to drug abuse and dependence to discuss the benefits and shortcomings of each experimental paradigms in the expectancy of cross-fertilization. Most drug abuse research has been conducted in the U.S.A. resulting in a focus on drugs that are more prevalent there. Consequently, a number of drugs of abuse that constitute more of an "European problem", such as MDMA ("Ecstasy"), have been under-researched.
The European-added value of the topic and for the participants consists on it focus on European research efforts and drugs of abuse that are prevalent in Europe (without neglecting the contribution of the scientific community in the U.S.A.) thus giving credence to and foster the future development of a stronger European drug abuse research task force. The disciplines represented by the invited keynote lectures are gene targeting, neuroimaging, neuranatomy, neurochemistry, electrophysiology, behavioral research in animals and humans, and clinical research. The programme will be supplemented by contributions of young scientists (oral communications and posters) and by specific symposia, which will be selected from proposals (call deadline October 2001) and panel discussions to enable sufficient options for interactions between young scientists, keynote speakers and other participants.