The New Mexico Alcohol Research Center (NMARC) is a comprehensive, multidisciplinary program focused on fetal alcohol-related behavioral deficits. NMARC's prevailing philosophy is that significant progress towards the dual goals of better diagnoses and inventions for the behavioral deficits associated with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) requires a well-coordinated effort integrating basic research advances that elucidate the mechanistic consequences of fetal ethanol exposure with combined neuropsychological and functional neuroimaging studies in human subjects with FASD. A research center organization that maximizes the coordination and communication across lines of investigation provides the best long-term prospect for overcoming the ongoing challenges of diagnosing fetal alcohol-induced behavioral deficits and devising more effective interventions to ameliorate these deficits. The NMARC is a composite of established fetal alcohol research investigators with a history of collaborative research interactions complemented by the addition of outstanding investigators from other fields whose expertise and contributions can synergize the center's research environment and facilitate progress towards achieving NMARC's strategic objectives. The strategic objectives of the NMARC program are to: 1) Advance our understanding of the teratogenic consequences of fetal ethanol exposure on the neurobiologic mechanisms that negatively impact behavior, both in rodents and humans, 2) develop more effective approaches for diagnosing subjects with FASD, through the use of combined neurobehavioral and functional neuroimaging assessments, as well as through the prospect of developing more sensitive and reliable biomarkers capable of detecting functional brain damage earlier in life, and 3) develop more effective interventions for fetal alcohol-related behavioral deficits. More efficacious interventions may require a combination of neurobehavioral, educational and pharmacotherapeutic approaches to ameliorate the often subtle, but long-lasting impact of these deficits on affected offspring. This NMARC P20 application consists of seven components including two cores (Administrative and Pilot Projects) and five "R03-level" Developmental Research components. Each of the three preclinical research components, the two clinical projects and the two pilot projects represent novel experimental approaches that will address at least one of the three strategic objectives of mechanisms, diagnoses or interventions. Likewise, a "pipeline" of future pilot project ideas described in the Pilot Project Core ensures continued pursuit of the NMARC's strategic objectives over the five year P20 project period. Oversight of the NMARC operation will be provided by the Administrative Core and the NMARC Executive Committee. Assessment of and advocacy for the NMARC's achievements along with guidance in operational matters will be provided by an Internal Advisory Committee consisting of five senior administrators in the UNM's Health Science Center, Main Campus and The MIND Institute. An External Advisory Committee of three internationally renowned fetal alcohol researchers will advise the NMARC Executive Committee and component investigators and monitor NMARC's progress towards the achievement of its specific aims and strategic objectives.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Exploratory Grants (P20)
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Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZAA1-AA (10))
Program Officer
Matochik, John A
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University of New Mexico
Schools of Medicine
United States
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