Maine lab receives federal funding for substance use disorder research


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently gave Maine’s The Jackson Laboratory $212,500 for substance-use-disorder research.

Funding is through HHS’ National Institute on Drug Abuse.

The lab is using mice to try and determine how genetics make some people more vulnerable to substance use disorders, and researchers have identified genetic variants associated with addiction susceptibilities.

“Time is of the essence with addiction, and support like this is crucial to advancing much-needed research,” LuAnn Ballesteros, The Jackson Laboratory vice president of external and government affairs, said. “This is an important step in propelling our work forward to help Mainers and people around the world impacted by addiction.”

“The important work being done at Jackson Lab is making great strides to conquer drug use and addiction disorders that affect far too many families in Maine,” U.S. Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME) said in a joint statement. “We welcome this continued investment to help support Jackson Lab’s efforts to understand, prevent, and treat substance use and protect our communities.”

One of the top causes of death in Maine in 2019 was drug overdose.

The previous year, there were more than 67,000 drug overdose deaths nationwide.