The Senior Scientist Research and Mentorship Award is targeted for "outstanding senior scientists who have demonstrated a sustained level of high productivity conducting biomedical research" in order to protect their time to continue research while mentoring the "next generation" of investigators. With more than 25 years of experience in clinical alcohol research (over 20 clinical trials, seminal work in craving (OCDS), biomarkers of drinking (CDT), neuroimaging, and more recently in genetic and pharmacogenomics), over 15 years of continued R01 funding, 16 years of being a Scientific Director of an Alcohol Research Center, with 245 peer reviewed publications, and international recognition, the candidate meets and exceeds the requirements as an outstanding senior scientist. He has been elected to high leadership positions of leading academic/research societies, a previous leader of the COMBINE Study, and is sought out as a mentor for his expertise in bridging the gap between basic and clinical research. He has accomplished this while maintaining an active training program in alcohol research, including 20 years as Director or Co-Director of an NIAAA-sponsored T32 Research Training Grant. He has personally mentored 34 professionals (23 MDs and 11 PhDs), 20 of those in the past 4 years. Many have secured career development and independent alcohol research funding and remain tied to the alcohol field. His understanding of both the mechanisms of, and applications to, the treatment of alcohol disorders is atypical and rare. This award is important to the candidate for two major reasons. First, it will provide him with protected time to keep his alcohol research career on the cutting edge by enabling him to continue formal and informal training in genetics (e.g. epigenetics), proteomics (e.g. glycoproteomics), and new/advanced neuroimaging skills (fMRI connectivity analysis, diffusion kurtosis, and H1-magnetic resonance spectroscopy), apply these essential areas of science to his own alcohol research (as outlined), and communicate new discoveries to the alcohol treatment field in general. Second, this award will provide the candidate with protected time from additional clinical and administrative duties to apply his vast experience and newly acquired skills to his mentoring activities and the development of younger clinical- scientists. With the NIH and the American Association of Medical Colleges highlighting the large, unmet need in the U.S. for clinical and translational researchers (especially in the area of genomics) and with millions of Americans suffering from alcohol disorders, who are underserved and who cost the US economy over $200 billion each year, there is a need to push clinical research forward, a need to ensure our senior scientists are on the cutting edge in their own research, and a need to train future scientists to carry on this research to find effective treatments. This K05 Senior Scientist Career and Mentoring Award will allow this to happen.
Genomics, Proteomics and Neuroimaging technologies have opened new vistas for advancing the understanding of the biology of alcohol effects and alcohol dependence in humans. This K05 award will allow a preeminent alcohol research clinical scientist to gain new skills in these areas and to mentor the next generation of alcohol clinical and translational researchers.
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