The International Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism (ISBRA) Congress is the premier worldwide scientific meeting devoted to alcohol research. While its roots are in the biomedical aspects of alcohol research (molecular and cellular level biology), over the last decade the Congress has evolved and provided a venue for all areas of alcohol research, including psychosocial, biobehavioral, and epidemiological studies, as well as intervention and clinical research. ISBRA Congresses are held biennially and since the founding of ISBRA, meetings have been held in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom, and the United States. For the 16th Congress in 2012, ISBRA will be meeting in Sapporo, Japan. While the Congress is convened every twelve years in the Pan-Pacific Region, this will be the first time the Congress has met in Sapporo. The venue will provide an attractive opportunity for scientists from around the world to come together to present and discuss current research. In the past, this Congress has a major impact on alcohol research in many countries, including those having significant alcohol research programs and just as important, to those with developing programs. The scientific program will be developed to feature topics that are highly relevant to the international alcohol research community and provide opportunities for discussion of existing and new collaborative research proposals. This application requests funds to offset Congress expenses for 85 scientists. Funds will be targeted to U.S. scientists speaking at this meeting and foreign scientists who otherwise might not be able to attend. A substantial amount of funding is targeted to younger investigators, who typically do not have the resources to attend an international meeting. The publication of the Congress proceedings increases the usefulness of the conference to basic researchers and to the clinical and treatment communities by providing widespread distribution and an archive of the presentations;therefore partial Congress program costs are requested. Administrative personnel salary support and a small amount of supplies are included in the budget request. Alcohol use and abuse is one of the world's leading health risks, resulting in over 2 million deaths each year, and is a factor in over 60 major diseases. It plays a significant role in cirrhosis, epilepsy, traffic accidents, poisonings, cancer and violence. Furthermore, it impacts people at a relatively young age, thus leading to its number 3 ranking in terms of risk for disease and disability. It is an international problem, and one that is increasing, particularly in developing countries and countries whose economies are rapidly growing. Solving the multitude of problems related to alcohol abuse and alcoholism needs the involvement of scientists from all countries so that advice and knowledge can be provided to policy makers, and new research ideas can be pursued. The ISBRA Congress provides a forum for these issues on an international level.
Alcohol abuse is an international problem and a major public health issue in many parts of the world as alcohol accounts for nearly 4% of all deaths. Furthermore, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), alcohol consumption ranks as the world's 3rd risk factor for disease and disability, and in middle-income countries, it is the greatest risk. This grant will support attendance at the 16th Congress of the International Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism (ISBRA), the premier worldwide scientific forum on biomedical and psychosocial aspects of alcohol abuse.