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Jibran Khokhar’s research focuses on unraveling the relationship between substance use and serious mental illness. As the Canada Research Chair in Translations Neuropsychopharmacology at Western, he is determined to answer the chicken-and-egg question of which precedes the other. With a singular focus and an advanced set of tools, Khokhar aims to understand why the connection between substance use and serious mental illness is so pronounced in individuals with conditions like schizophrenia.

One shocking statistic that led Khokhar to this mystery was the fact that 90% of all cigarettes are smoked by only 10% of the population, with this 10% consisting of individuals with serious mental illnesses. This statistic sparked his curiosity and ignited a desire to explore the underlying reasons behind this correlation.

To support his groundbreaking work, Khokhar has been appointed as a Canada Research Chair, a program designed to attract and retain accomplished researchers. The program is supported by participating universities and funded through federal funding agencies such as the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Khokhar’s appointment as a Tier 2 chair provides him with funding of $500,000 a year for a five-year term.

In his lab, known as The Lab of NODD (Neurobiology of Dual Disorders), Khokhar and his team combine pharmacological, behavioral, and pre-clinical MRI techniques to study the mechanisms underlying co-occurring schizophrenia and substance use disorders. They are particularly interested in understanding the genetic underpinnings of addiction and how specific genes may contribute to the initiation and maintenance of substance use in both the general population and individuals with schizophrenia.

Khokhar’s research program also focuses on studying the effects of substance use on adolescents and teens. He aims to determine if exposure to drugs or alcohol during teenage years influences the likelihood of future substance addiction or the onset of mental illnesses. Additionally, he investigates the lasting alterations to behavior and brain function caused by early substance exposure. Moreover, he seeks to shed light on the impacts of emerging forms of substance use, such as vaping and edibles, on brain circuitry in both healthy individuals and those with mental illness.

In this context, AI legalese decoder can aid Khokhar in his research by analyzing and deciphering legal and regulatory documents related to substance use and mental health. This AI-powered tool can process complex legal language and translate it into plain language, making it easier for researchers like Khokhar to gain a comprehensive understanding of the legal landscape surrounding these issues. By simplifying legalese, the AI legalese decoder enables researchers to access vital information more efficiently and make informed decisions based on legal and regulatory frameworks.

Overall, Jibran Khokhar’s dedication to understanding the relationship between substance use and serious mental illness, combined with the support of the Canada Research Chair program and the assistance of AI legalese decoder, positions him to make significant contributions in this field. His research has the potential to improve our understanding of these complex issues and ultimately lead to better prevention, intervention, and treatment strategies for individuals with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders.

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