This Mentored Research Scientist Development Award will prepare the Candidate for career goals focused on the interplay of genetic and environmental factors as they influence remission and relapse among women with alcohol use disorders and the course of alcohol and drug use among their offspring. The Candidate's immediate career goals are to: (1) become proficient in designing and conducting clinical, including observational, research, (2) gain knowledge of genetic influences on alcohol use disorders and training in molecular genetics, (3) define alcohol use phenotypes and associated environmental measures for use in examining genetic and environmental influences on recovery and relapse among women, and (4) develop advanced quantitative skills in statistical genetics and structural equation modeling. The research plan is designed to characterize patterns of alcohol use and to examine predictors of remission and relapse among women with severe alcohol use disorders, in secondary analysis of data from a high-risk family study of alcoholism (Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism [COGA]) and in new data to be collected from women with convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). New data collection will provide the Candidate with experience in engaging in research a population that is historically difficult to locate and retain, an important first step towards the long-term goal of enrolling offspring and collecting DMA.Alcohol use phenotypes and environmental influences which can maximize the ability to examine gene-environment interplay as it influences women's remission and relapse will be defined through careful integration of the research and training plans, utilizing new data and secondary analysis of data from COGA and from twin samples available through the Midwest Alcoholism Research Center. The Washington University Department of Psychiatry and the Midwest Alcoholism Research Center provide a training environment with access to mentors with expertise in psychiatric genetic epidemiology and statistical and molecular genetics. In addition, the Candidate has enlisted the help of co-mentorswith expertise in clinical and treatment research and in working with DUI populations.

Public Health Relevance

Alcohol dependence among women has profound consequences on women and on their children. There is evidence that today's young women are more likely to become dependent on alcohol than women of older generations, yet most alcohol research is focused on men. This research study will focus specifically on women to better understand how environmental and genetic factors contribute to women's alcohol use and to their recovery, and to improved outcomes for them and their children.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Research Scientist Development Award - Research & Training (K01)
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Study Section
Health Services Research Review Subcommittee (AA)
Program Officer
Hilton, Michael E
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Washington University
Schools of Medicine
Saint Louis
United States
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