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Alcoholism and Addictions

Extensive, cutting edge investigation is underway in the Department of Psychiatry in the area of alcoholism and addictions.  The majority of the research is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, including the NIAAA funded Alcohol Research Center.  Scientists collaborate with other Departments within the School of Medicine and with other universities and research institutes around the world.  We are involved in an extensive basic research project to identify brain mechanisms of alcohol dependence and participate in a national program on the genetics of alcoholism.  Department of Psychiatry faculty have established strong collaborative research ties with industry in the area of alcoholism and addictions research and have partnered with industry in preclinical drug testing and drug development research.  Research focuses on understanding the neurobiological and genetic determinants of addictions as well as neurodevelopmental origins of addiction.

Clinical research methods include: controlled setting for alcohol administration; EEG/ERP; neuroimaging (PET/MRI); computerized alcohol administration; and candidate genes for alcoholism and psychopharmacologic trials.

Learn more about our current research studies.

Faculty conducting clinical research on alcoholism and addictions:

John Nurnberger, M.D., Ph.D.
Sean O'Connor, M.D. 

Preclinical research methods include: genetic rodent models of alcoholism and animal models of cocaine and nicotine addiction, operant procedures; intracranial and intravenous self-administration; microdialysis; behavioral pharmacology; single-cell recording and microiontophoresis; EEG/ERP; computerized alcohol administration; genomics; proteomics; development of protocols to elicit specific patterns of drinking; and monitoring of autonomic function.

Faculty conducting preclinical research on alcoholism and addictions:

Richard Bell, Ph.D.
R. Andrew Chambers, M.D.
Eric Engleman, Ph.D.
William McBride, Ph.D.
Zachery Rodd, Ph.D.
Sandra Morzorati, Ph.D.
Cristine Czachowski, Ph.D.