The general design of the field work for the VCU Student Survey (VSS) is simple. For each new freshman cohort, we will attempt to obtain a completed questionnaire early in the fall of their freshman year and a saliva collection for DNA. Then we will obtain a second questionnaire in the spring of their freshman year. Using funds from the prior years of this MERIT award, we have funded the first questionnaire and DNA collection in the 2011 freshman cohort this fall and will complete with available funds their second questionnaire in Spring 2012. In this extension, we will ascertain new freshman cohorts in 2012 and 2013 and then follow-up these three cohorts yearly through the completion ofthis project in 2017. Our goal for this extension is to further our knowledge ofthe genetic and environmental risk factors for problem drinking in late adolescence and the progression in young adulthood from problem drinking to full blown AUDs. Our 6 specific aims are: 1) to ascertain new Freshman VCU cohorts in 2012 and 2013 with computer based questionnaires &DNA collections and, along with the 2011 cohort already studied, follow them with yearly surveys up through Fall, 2016. 2) To complete our GWAS analysis of AUDs in the Irish sample and participate in meta-analysis of AUD GWAS sponsored by NIAAA;3) To conduct extensive epidemiological and longitudinal analyses in the VSS with the goal of clarifying the action and interaction of key risk and protective factors for early problem drinking and to compare and contrast these results with those obtained using parallel measures in the ALSPAC cohort;4) To genotype the VSS samples using the Affymetrix Exome + 50K custom SNP array, an efficient means to assess functional variation systematically across the MAF range as well as important candidate variation targeted by prior studies. 5) To screen at the level of SNPs, genes and gene networks, the association between molecular variation in the VSS and risk for early drinking problems and symptoms of AUDs and to compare these results with those obtained with parallel measures in the ALSPAC cohort;6) To develop models integrating molecular variants and environmental risk factors in predicting early drinking problems and symptoms of AUDs in the VSS.

Public Health Relevance

Our goal for this extension is to further our knowledge of the genetic and environmental risk factors for problem drinking in late adolescence and the progression in young adulthood from problem drinking to full blown AUDs

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT) Award (R37)
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No Study Section (in-house review) (NSS)
Program Officer
Parsian, Abbas
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Virginia Commonwealth University
Schools of Medicine
United States
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