East Baltimore, Maryland
Posted 9 months ago

The BPRU Student Internship Program is designed to provide direct experience in behavioral pharmacology and human research studies to interested students and recent graduates. For over 15 years the research internship program at BPRU has provided valuable research experience to over 150 students interested in clinical research. Many of our students go on to graduate level academic programs and about one-half of our full-time research staff are former students. Students can expect to receive hands-on training in human subjects research, including training in Good Clinical Practices (GCPs), research ethics, clinical trial design, data collection, and behavioral assessment. Qualified students are encouraged to apply to internships for the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters.

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What is the Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit?

The Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit is a clinical research program that examines and studies substances of abuse. Located at the Bayview Medical Campus in East Baltimore, BPRU is part of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. BPRU is composed of teams of research staff who coordinate clinical trials under the direction of Principal Investigators.

With the supervision of investigators, postdoctoral researchers, and research coordinators, student interns assist in data handling, data collection, and subject recruitment. These teams conduct studies with both healthy and treatment-seeking research participants involving a vast array of substances (opioids, sedative-hypnotics, stimulants, hallucinogens, marijuana, nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, etc.). 

BPRU is one of only a handful of laboratories in the country that directly studies such a variety of drugs, as well as administers them to human research participants within a controlled environment.

Major themes of BPRU research include:

  • Clinical pharmacology of abused substances and of medications for treating substance abuse and dependence;
  • Behavioral and pharmacological treatments for substance use and abuse, and integration of these two approaches;
  • Abuse liability assessment of psychoactive substances;
  • Behavioral and neuropsychiatric assessment of drug abusers and healthy volunteers, including psychiatric comorbidity and cognitive and psychomotor functioning.

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