Stimulus Package Funds Tramadol Research

University of Kentucky researcher William W. Stoops has received a $1.17 million, two-year grant from stimulus funding to the National Institutes of Health, funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Stoops, an assistant professor in the UK College of Medicine's Department of Behavioral Science and the UK Center for Drug and Alcohol Research, will study the pharmacological effects of tramadol, a synthetic opioid that does not appear to be abused at the same rate as other natural, semi-synthetic and synthetic analgesics derived from opium alkaloids.

Stoops' research could help determine key factors needed to develop other opioid analgesics with reduced potential for misuse and abuse.

The grant will support four current faculty and three staff members as well as fund three positions for either current staff or to-be-hired staff.

“These funds will allow us to conduct several novel research projects that will answer important questions relating to prescription opioid abuse, a growing problem in Kentucky. At the same time, we are using this money to stimulate the local economy by keeping people in jobs or making new hires,” Stoops said.

For more information on the NIH's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding, visit To track the progress of Health and Human Services activities funded through the recovery act, visit To track all federal funds provided through the recovery act, visit