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Cannabis Research Webinar Series

The Institute of Cannabis Research has hosted the Cannabis Research Webinar series since October 2020. The series focuses on allowing expert speakers on a variety of cannabis-related endeavors to present their research and information. Additionally, the Institute of Cannabis Research intends to engage cannabis researchers on a global scale by providing varying perspectives from the field.

Presenters for this webinar series have spoken on topics ranging from medical science and public policy, to industrial perspectives to funding opportunities. Currently, these webinars are co-managed by the Institute of Cannabis Research at CSU Pueblo and the Lambert Center at Thomas Jefferson University. This webinar series regularly schedules a presentation on the second Thursday of each month, held on Zoom. Recordings of the webinars are made available on our website shortly after the live presentation.

May 12th at 1:00PM MT -Dr. Cassandra Taylor, Title: Quality Considerations for Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Products for Use in Clinical Trials

Join the Institute of Cannabis Research, the Lambert Center, and guest presenter Dr. Cassandra Taylor for our monthly webinar on topics related to cannabis research.

Cassandra Taylor, Ph.D. is a Chemist at U.S. Food and Drug Administration within the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) and is a member of the Botanical Review Team (BRT) residing within the Office of Pharmaceutical Quality (OPQ) and serves as an expert resource on all botanical issues. Dr. Taylor received her B.S. in Chemistry from St. Francis University (2005), and her Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Maryland (2014). Dr. Taylor has evaluated over 100 botanical drug submissions across CDER’s clinical divisions, with a focus on cannabis submissions. She serves as a cannabis subject matter expert (SME) for CDER and across FDA, concentrating on the botanical and quality aspects of cannabis. Dr. Taylor is technical lead on the draft FDA guidance for industry titled “Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Compounds: Quality Considerations for Clinical Research.” She leads and coordinates the CDER Cannabis working group and leads many cannabis initiatives within CDER and FDA. Dr. Taylor is an active SME in the FDA cross-agency cannabis working group, Cannabis Products Committee (CPC). She collaborates with colleagues across FDA to help close substantial knowledge gaps about the science, safety, and quality of cannabis and cannabis-derived products.

Previous Webinars

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    April 14th at 1:00PM MT -Dr. Marsha Rosner, Title: "Cannabidiol inhibits SARS-CoV-2 replication through induction of the host ER stress and innate immune responses"

    Dr. Rosner is the Principal Investigator at the Rosner Laboratory and the Charles B. Huggins Professor of the Ben May Department of Cancer Research at the University of Chicago. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Harvard University, and her Ph.D. degree in biochemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a student of Professor Har-Gobind Khorana, she then continued at MIT to pursue postdoctoral work as a fellow of the American Cancer Society in the laboratory of Dr. Phillip Robbins. Dr. Rosner joined the University of Chicago faculty as an Associate Professor in 1987 and was promoted to Full Professor in 1994, and currently teaches the Cancer Biology course.

    Dr. Rosner's laboratory currently focuses on understanding fundamental signaling mechanisms leading to the generation of tumor cells and their progression to metastatic disease, particularly in triple-negative breast cancer that lacks targeted therapies. Systems level approaches are used including activity-based proteomics, RNAseq, ChIPseq, and mass spectrometry as well as computational, molecular, biophysical, cellular and mouse model-based methodologies to identify and characterize key regulators of tumor growth and metastasis. As an additional tool, the laboratory has utilized a specific physiological suppressor of metastasis, Raf Kinase Inhibitory Protein (RKIP or PEBP1), and a downstream target of RKIP in cells, BACH1, to identify both molecular and cellular mediators of metastasis.

    Recent studies from the Rosner Laboratory have shown that regulators of metastasis control multiple processes within the tumor cell microenvironment including metabolism, redox state, extracellular matrix, and recruitment and programming of tumor-associated macrophages.

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    March 10th at 1:00PM MT -Dr. Simon Haroutounian, Title: "Cannabinoids for pain: Is effectiveness in the eye of the beholder?"

    Dr. Simon Haroutounian is the Chief of Clinical and Translational Research, Chief of Clinical Pain Research, and an Associate Professor of Anesthesiology for the Washington University Pain Center. Dr. Haroutounian obtained his BSc. Pharm and MSc. Pharm degrees, as well as his Ph.D., from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He has completed a Fulbright doctoral fellowship in pain outcomes research at the University of Utah, and a postdoctoral fellowship in clinical pain research at the Danish Pain Research Center in Aarhus, Denmark.

    He has been involved in numerous studies and initiatives for understanding the mechanisms of cannabinoid-mediated analgesia and synthesizing the evidence of the efficacy and safety of cannabis and cannabinoid-based medicine for the treatment of pain. 

    Dr. Haroutounian also serves on the International Association for the Study of Pain’s task force on cannabis and cannabinoid analgesia to systematically examine the evidence on analgesic pharmacology of cannabinoids and preclinical evidence on their efficacy in animal models of injury-related or pathological persistent pain; the clinical efficacy of cannabis, cannabinoids, and cannabis-based medicines for pain; harms related to long-term use of cannabinoids; as well as societal issues and policy implications related to the use of these compounds for pain management.

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    February 10th at 1:00PM MT -Dr. Yasmin Hurd, Title: “Cannabis and Neurodevelopmental Vulnerability: What do we really know”

    Dr. Yasmin Hurd is the Ward-Coleman Chair of Translational Neuroscience and the Director of the Addiction Institute, where Hurd is the only Black tenure-track basic science professor at Mount Sinai. Hurd holds appointments as faculty of Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City and is globally recognized for her translational research on the underlying neurobiology of substance use disorders and comorbid psychiatric disorders. Hurd's research on the transgenerational effects of early cannabis exposure on the developing brain and behavior and on the therapeutic properties of marijuana has garnered substantial media attention.

    Hurd's career began when she returned to her alma mater, Karolinska Institute as a faculty member and professor for 13 years before beginning her career at Mount Sinai. At Mount Sinai, Hurd is currently the Ward-Coleman Chair of Translational Neuroscience and the Director of the Addiction Institute of Mount Sinai within the Behavioral Health System.

    She is also the former director of the medical school's combined MD/PhD Medical Scientist Training Program. Hurd served on advisory boards including the Clinical Neuroendocrinology Branch, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) Board of Scientific Counselors and the Center for Scientific Review (CSR) advisory Council.

    Hurd is a professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, where she studies addiction in people and animal models. Her animal research has revealed that drugs like marijuana can have profound effects on the developing and fetal adolescent brain, including effects that can even extend to the future generations of drug-users. She is also a member of the National Academy of Medicine, American Society for Neuroscience, New York Academy of Sciences, and the College on Problems of Drug Dependence. Hurd's work has been cited more than 13,000 times, and she has an H-Index of 69.  Her work on the neurobiology of addiction, especially with regard to the effects of heroin and the developmental changes caused by cannabis, have been profiled in a variety of popular news and documentary sources. 

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    January 13th at 1:00PM MT -Dr. Staci Gruber - Title: “Medical Cannabis Use: What to Keep in Mind”

    Dr. Staci Gruber is the Director of the Cognitive and Clinical Neuroimaging Core at McLean Hospital’s Brain Imaging Center and an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Gruber’s clinical research focuses on the application of neurocognitive models and brain imaging to better characterize risk factors for substance abuse and psychiatric conditions. She has been studying the impact of cannabis on the brain for over two decades using neurocognitive, clinical, and diagnostic assessments and multimodal brain imaging techniques.

    Her work examining the etiologic bases of neural models of dysfunction in cannabis-using adolescents and adults has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals and been the basis of national and international symposia, documentaries, news stories, and press conferences, including features in the New York Times, NPR, and CNN’s documentary series “WEED” with Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Her ongoing initiative to educate policymakers, judges, attorneys, and the general public about the neurobiological differences between adults and adolescents as well as additional factors that contribute to the impact of cannabis on the brain has had both local and national impacts on policy formation. Dr. Gruber recently discussed these issues at the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control hearing entitled, “Marijuana and America’s Health: Questions and Issues for Policy Makers.”

    Dr. Gruber also recognized the importance of examining the impact of medical cannabis use on the brain, as there are many inherent differences between recreational and medical cannabis users. Accordingly, in 2014, she launched Marijuana Investigations for Neuroscientific Discovery (MIND), the first-ever program of its kind designed to clarify the specific effects of medical cannabis use. MIND utilizes valid, robust research models and supports numerous projects designed to address the impact of medical cannabis on a number of important variables including cognition, brain structure and function, clinical state, quality of life, pain, sleep, and other health-related measures. As the director of MIND, Dr. Gruber has generated major contributions to the field as the first investigator to assess medical cannabis patients longitudinally, first to acquire neuroimaging data in medical cannabis patients, and as Principal Investigator of the first-ever clinical trial of a whole plant-derived, high cannabidiol (CBD) product which she specifically formulated to treat anxiety. Additionally, novel clinical trials have been approved and are pending or currently underway.

     

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    December 9, 2021- Dr. Edgar Alfonso Romero-Sandoval: The legal cannabis market in the context of pain patients and community factors

    Dr. Romero-Sandoval received a medical degree from Centro Universitario de Occidente, Quetzaltenango (Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala) in 1999 and a Ph.D. degree in Neuroscience from Universidad de Alcalá de Henares, Spain, in 2003. He completed postdoctoral training at Wake Forest University, Winston Salem, NC (2003-2006) and Geisel Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, NH (2006-2007). Dr. Romero-Sandoval has held academic positions (2007-2012) at Geisel Dartmouth Medical School and served as Director of Research (2013-2017) at Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy in Clinton. Currently, Dr. Romero-Sandoval is an Associate Professor in Anesthesiology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. The Romero-Sandoval laboratory explores neuroimmune interactions in surgical and neuropathic pain but also in neuropathies induced by diabetes or chemotherapy. Additionally, Dr. Romero-Sandoval studies the endocannabinoid system and cannabinoids in the context of pain, and more recently his lab studies how the cannabis market in the U.S. is shaped and how this could affect patients that use cannabis as an alternative to current ineffective pain medications. The Romero-Sandoval laboratory uses highly translatable clinical approaches such as nanotechnology for potential cell-directed gene therapies or studies on marketing practices to develop more effective and safer strategies to treat chronic pain.
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    November 11, 2021- Dr. Angela Bryan: Implications of cannabis for obesity-related processes and behaviors: Anecdotes versus data

    Professor Bryan is an internationally renowned social and health psychologist known for her research on HIV/STD prevention, exercise promotion, healthy eating, and most recently, the public health implications of legalized cannabis. She is a Professor and Associate Chair for Faculty Development in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Colorado Boulder where she co-directs the Center for Health and Neuroscience, Genes, and Environment.

    Dr. Bryan completed her bachelor's degree in psychology at UCLA, and her Ph.D. in social psychology at Arizona State University and performed postdoctoral research at the Center for HIV/Health Intervention and Promotion in the Department of Psychology at the University of Connecticut. She has published well over 200 peer reviewed articles and has been continuously funded for over 20 years as a PI by various institutes at NIH including NIDA, NIA, NIAAA, NCI, and NINR.

    Dr. Bryan has merged her interests in health promotion and the possible harms and benefits of cannabis legalization into the work she will speak on today: the Implications of cannabis for obesity-related processes and behaviors.

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    October 14, 2021- Dr. Susan Weiss: "Cannabis Research and Policy: State of the Science"

    Dr. Susan Weiss is the Director, Division of Extramural Research at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which oversees NIDA’s extramural programs, operations planning, and trans-NIH initiatives, such as the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD®) and HEALthy Brain Child Development (HBCD) studies, and the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies® (BRAIN) Initiative. Dr. Weiss also serves as a senior science advisor to the NIDA Director and scientific liaison to the NIH, HHS, and other Federal Agencies. Previously, she served as the Chief of the Science Policy Branch and Acting Director of NIDA's Office of Science Policy and Communications.

    Before coming to NIDA, Dr. Weiss was the Senior Director of Research at the National Mental Health Association (now Mental Health America), and previously she directed a translational research program in the Biological Psychiatry Branch of the National Institute of Mental Health.

    Dr. Weiss received multiple awards, including NIH Plain Language Awards, NIH and NIDA Director’s Awards, and an Emmy for her contributions to the HBO Addiction Project. She has published more than 150 scientific articles and chapters, graduated from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and received her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Maryland.

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    September 9, 2021- Dr. Gillian Schauer: Delta-8 THC and other THC Analogs: Public Health and Safety Considerations

    Gillian Schauer, PhD, MPH, is the Executive Director of the Cannabis Regulators Association (CANNRA) and a Senior Consultant on cannabis policy, epidemiology, and research translation. Her consulting has included work with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and a number of U.S. states. Dr. Schauer is also affiliated as a Research Scientist at the Addictions, Drug & Alcohol Institute at the University of Washington. Prior to her work in cannabis policy, Dr. Schauer worked in tobacco prevention and control. She has more than 65 peer-reviewed publications on cannabis, tobacco, and co-use, and was a Senior Editor on the 2020 Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking Cessation. She has a PhD from Emory University in Behavioral Science, a Master of Public Health from the University of Washington, and a Bachelors of Science from Northwestern University. 

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    July 8, 2021 - Dr. Ziva Cooper, The ICR Monthly Webinar - Human Studies Probing Cannabis Constituents For Pain Relief: Looking Beyond Delta-9-THC

    Dr. Ziva Cooper is the Director of the UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative in the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences and Department of Anesthesiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine. Her current research involves understanding variables that influence both the therapeutic potential and adverse effects of cannabis and cannabinoids through double-blind, placebo-controlled studies.

    Current funded projects include 1) understanding differences between men and women in their response to the abuse-related and pain-relieving effects, and the role that circulating hormones and endocannabinoids contribute to these differences, 2) the potential for THC and CBD to reduce reliance on opioids, 3) impact of cannabis use on HIV-associated inflammation, and 4) the effectiveness of cannabidiol to address symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

    Dr. Cooper served on the National Academies of Sciences Committee on the Health Effects of Cannabis that recently published a comprehensive consensus report of the health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids. She is past president of the International Study Group Investigating Drugs as Reinforcers, a Board Director for the College on Problems of Drug Dependence, an Associate Editor of The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, and is on several Editorial Boards of journals including Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research and Neuropsychopharmacology.

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    June 2021 - Dr. Clayton W. Snell, A Deep Dive into Epidiolex

    Dr. Clayton W. Snell is the Senior Medical Science Liaison at Greenwich Biosciences (now part of Jazz Pharmaceuticals) and holds a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and possesses experience in professional medical affairs, healthcare services, and a demonstrated history in the pharmaceutical industry.

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    May 2021 - Ajay Nayak & George Hodgin, Academic and Business Perspectives of Compliance in Cannabis Research

    George Hodgin
    Title: Access to Federally Compliant Cannabis for Research
    George Hodgin is the Founder and CEO of Biopharmaceutical Research Company (BRC), an applicant with the Drug Enforcement Administration to produce federally compliant cannabis products for research. BRC holds several DEA Schedule I Registrations and engages in compliant cannabis research. He is a former Navy SEAL officer and alumnus of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. He was commissioned as an officer in the Navy in 2009, after earning a BA in Economics and Mandarin from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a Morehead-Cain scholar. George led SEALs in combat in counter-terrorism operations in Afghanistan and Southeast Asia. His hobbies include fly-fishing and hiking with his family and dog. He and his wife and two sons live in Carmel-By-the-Sea, California.

    Ajay Nayak
    Title: Navigating through cannabis research: an academic story of partnerships and collaborations
    Ajay Nayak is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia. He has an appointment in the Center for Translational Medicine and the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine at TJU. Ajay received his B.Sc. and M. Sc. In Microbiology from the University of Mumbai and came to the US in 2006 to pursue his doctoral degree from West Virginia University. Ajay was a civilian employee with the Federal government at CDC/NIOSH in Morgantown, WV. Ajay has been actively involved in cannabis research efforts for almost a decade. His primary areas of interest in the field of allergy. He is also interested in examining the physiological and pathophysiological effects of cannabis on human health. He is engaged in multiple collaborations both nationally and internationally to further cannabis research. His lab has an active research grant from NIH to develop diagnostic tools for determining cannabis allergies.

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    April 2021 - Dr. Cristina Sempio, Cannabinoids and Endocannabinoids in Human Breast Milk

    Cannabinoids and Endocannabinoids in Human Breast Milk

    The Institute of Cannabis Research’s monthly webinar for April 2021 featured Dr. Cristina Sempio. Dr. Sempio is a Research Instructor in the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. She earned her PhD in forensic sciences at the University of Verona (Italy), developing cutting-edge analytical methods for the screening and quantification of drugs of abuse in different biological matrices. After an internship at the National Institute on Drug Abuse under the supervision of Dr. Huestis, she joined the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus as a postdoctoral fellow. Dr. Sempio is currently collaborating on several CDPHE and NIH grants to elucidate the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids and their influence on the endocannabinoids system. Dr. Sempio supervises and manages the iC42 Clinical Research and Development’s clinical toxicology laboratory and is responsible for all industry collaborations and analytics for cannabis and hemp-based drug developments. Other projects ongoing in her laboratory investigate the effect of cannabinoids administration on endocannabinoids and lipid mediators. The registration link will be listed once it's ready.

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    Mar 2021 - Dr. Sara Jane Ward , Phytocannabinoids, Terpenes, and Neuropathic Pain

    The Institute of Cannabis Research’s monthly webinar for March 2021 featured Dr. Sara Jane Ward. She is the Assistant Professor from Temple University. Her research focuses on the behavioral pharmacological effects of the cannabinoid, serotonin, and opioid receptor systems on neuropathic pain and neuroprotection, learning and memory, and addiction. Her research makes use of rodent models of peripheral and central nerve injury, substance abuse, and cognition to explore the pharmacotherapeutic potential of cannabinoid, serotonergic, and opiodergic compounds alone and in combination on these behavioral endpoints. She presented a webinar titled "Phytocannabinoids, Terpenes, and Neuropathic Pain".

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    February 2021 - Dr. Ashley Brooks-Russell, Cannabis Impaired Driving and Questions About Tolerance

    The Institute of Cannabis Research’s monthly webinar for February 2021 featured Dr. Ashley Brooks-Russell from The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Dr. Brooks-Russell is an assistant professor and Director of the Program for Injury Prevention, Education and Research Program at the Colorado School of Public Health, CU Anschutz. She completed her Ph.D. in Health Behavior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NIH). Her recent work has focused on cannabis use and the association of policy changes with changes in cannabis use and related outcomes. She presented a webinar titled "Cannabis Impaired Driving and Questions About Tolerance".

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    December 2020 - Dr. Mahmoud A. ElSohly, Cannabis Derived Products from the University of Mississippi

    Cannabis Derived Products from the University of Mississippi

    Dr. ElSohly serves as Research Professor in the National Center for Natural Products Research, Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Professor of Pharmaceutics in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Mississippi. Dr. ElSohly is the director of the Marijuana Project at the University of Mississippi, which is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.​

    Dr. ElSohly holds more than 30 patents dealing with the processing, testing, and detection of drugs of abuse along with those dealing with biologically active natural products. He has authored over 250 scholarly articles and more than 200 presentations at scientific meetings of professional societies relative to drug discovery, analysis, and metabolism, and many of his articles deal with forensic issues of drugs of abuse. He was recognized by The Scientist (April 17, 1995), Science Watch (January 1995), and the Journal of Analytical Toxicology (October issue, 2004) for his accomplishments.​

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    November 2020 - Dr. David Shurtleff, Cannabinoid Research Funding Opportunities at NCCIH

    Cannabinoid Research Funding Opportunities at NCCIH

    David Shurtleff, Ph.D., is Deputy Director of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the leading Federal agency for research on integrative and complementary health practices. Dr. Shurtleff’s career at the NIH has focused on providing leadership and fostering an extensive research portfolio in the basic behavioral and neurosciences—cognitive studies, behavioral economics, decision theory, and risk-taking—and a broad spectrum of research that has contributed to cutting-edge research related to drug abuse, addiction, and their treatment. 

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    October 2020 - Dr. Stephanie McGrath, Cannabis Use in Pets

    Cannabis Use in Pets - Clinical Trials at Colorado State University

    The inaugural webinar featured Dr. Stephanie McGrath, Associate Professor, Neurology/Neurosurgery in College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Science at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

    Dr. McGrath addressed her groundbreaking studies in the use of cannabidiol (CBD) for dogs with epilepsy, as well as her recent work with how canine glioma cells respond to CBD.

Summer 2022

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$500 Scholarship Opportunity

Advising for summer courses is open. New and current students are eligible for a $500 summer scholarship if enrolled in 9 or more summer credits. 

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Registration for both summer and fall courses is open for continuing students. Students can register for classes in self-service Banner or reference the following instructions and resources.

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