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business of health
August 25, 2022

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Johns Hopkins receives $1.6 million NIH grant to commercialize innovations to treat substance use disorders

Why it matters:

Carey Business School faculty will create a cutting-edge pathway for substance use disorder researchers to develop new treatment options thanks to a $1.6 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which does not typically award grants to business schools

Johns Hopkins Carey Business School faculty, along with School of Medicine colleagues, will create a cutting-edge pathway for substance use disorder researchers to develop new treatment options thanks to a $1.6 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which does not typically award grants to business schools.

The Innovations for Substance Use Disorders program will include a new curriculum and Carey Business School Executive Education certificate program designed to empower researchers to scale up their innovations and bring them to market. The result would be new resources to prevent, diagnose, and treat individuals with substance use disorders.

The U.S. Surgeon General estimates that alcohol misuse has a $249 billion economic impact, while illicit drug use accounts for $193 billion. About 27 million people in the United States report using illicit drugs or misusing prescription drugs; nearly a quarter of adults and adolescents reported binge drinking in the past month. NIDA, which is part of the National Institutes of Health, estimates that only about 10 percent of people in the U.S. who have been diagnosed with a substance use disorder within the last year received any treatment.

“There has been critical underinvestment in substance use disorders, and our proposal seeks to support disruptive innovations that will turn the tide and stimulate progress,” said Philip Phan, PhD, principal investigator and the Alonzo and Virginia Decker Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at Carey Business School. “Our multi-disciplinary approach combines the strengths of business and medicine here at Johns Hopkins, as well as leveraging the biomedical and technology resources from the region.”

The Innovations for Substance Use Disorders graduates will gain skills to apply for translational funding, license intellectual property, and launch companies. They will also be part of a virtual community of researchers and practitioners transforming the culture of academic scientists, turning discovery into application. The program will work with well-established substance use disorder researchers and clinicians.

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NIH defines a substance use disorder as a mental condition that affects a person’s brain and behavior, leading to the inability to control the use of substances including illegal drugs, alcohol, and medications.

“This exciting program really leverages the unique expertise we have across Johns Hopkins and will help accelerate innovation in the substance use field that will hopefully uncover new ways to care for our patients,” said Kelly Dunn, PhD, MBA, MS, co-principal investigator and associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

In addition to Professor Phan and Professor Dunn, Supriya Mushaw, PhD, senior lecturer at Carey Business School, and Patrick Finan, associate professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, will develop and run the Innovations for Substance Use Disorders program.

The team will develop online materials over the next year for the entrepreneurship education program proposed in the grant. Enrollment planned for fall 2023.

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