Camden Opioid Research Initiative

Our Mission

In response to the growing opioid crisis, three partners in Camden, New Jersey -- the Coriell Institute for Medical Research, Cooper University Health Care, and Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU) -- have formed the Camden Opioid Research Initiative (CORI). Our institutions will draw on their expertise to investigate the factors that contribute to opioid use disorder (also known as opioid dependence or addiction) and overdose, and how genetic and non-genetic information can be used in the prevention or treatment of this disease.

As a leader in the field of personalized medicine, Coriell has a decade of experience in analyzing genetic, medical, and lifestyle data to empower people to make informed decisions about their health. Its partners in CORI, Cooper University Hospital and CMSRU, bring expertise in addiction and neuroscience as well as clinical excellence.

Through CORI, we are leveraging our joint expertise in biobanking, personalized medicine, chronic pain management, addiction treatment, and substance abuse research to gain a better understanding of opioid use disorder and opioid-related deaths to fight one of the most urgent public health emergencies facing our nation.

Our Approach


Opioid Research Biobank

A new, first-of-its-kind biospecimen collection established from patients who have died from opioid-related deaths and their consenting family members. De-identified samples and corresponding health records and genetic data will be collected from people who have lost their life because of opioid use disorder and their first and second degree relatives.
Opt in

Optimizing Pain Treatment In New Jersey (OPTIN) Study

A clinical study in chronic pain patients in which genetic and non-genetic data will be examined in relation to long-term outcomes to determine the potential utility of genetics in preventing new cases of opioid use disorder in pain management patients.
Medication assisted treatment

Genomics of Opioid Addiction Longitudinal Study (GOALS) Study

A clinical study in addiction patients to investigate the role patients’ genetics can play in determining optimal treatment regimens in medication-assisted treatment (MAT). According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, MAT is “the use of FDA- approved medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a “whole-patient” approach to the treatment of substance use disorders.”  MAT is the most effective method to treat addiction according to many experts in the field. Long-term outcomes will be studied to determine if this genetic data could be useful in improving treatment outcomes for patients with opioid use disorder seeking MAT.


It has long been known that a person's individual genetic makeup affects the way their body metabolizes certain drugs and their risk for developing a use disorder. For instance, one person's body may take a very long time to process a drug and remove it from their system, causing the drug's effect to last longer and be stronger than intended. Conversely, another individual might metabolize the drug very quickly, preventing the drug from having an effect. This is true for opioids as well. What might be an insignificant dose for one person may have serious consequences for another individual. Additionally, differences in the opioid receptor, or differences in genes in reward pathways in the brain, can impact a person’s risk for developing a dependence on opioids.

Currently, we are not accepting volunteers for the biobank. We're currently focused on building our collection of data and samples of overdose victims to offer to researchers. Volunteers for the clinical studies will be recruited from Cooper University Health Care sites in southern New Jersey.

All personal and identifying information, like the donor’s name and address, is stripped from the samples we receive. Certain relevant characteristics — including age and gender — will be kept, but the samples are de-identified to protect the privacy of the sample donors. An external institutional review board (IRB) will review and audit the studies to ensure sample donors are protected.

Yes. There are several organizations across New Jersey that provide services - medical and social - to individuals suffering from opioid use disorder. You can find more information on our resources page or at

Contact Us

Press inquiries and general requests for more information can be sent to If you believe in our mission and would like to contribute financially, please contact