Excessive alcohol consumption is third among the causes of preventable death in the United States (CDC, 2004). To reduce this heavy toll on the health of the nation, we need to develop a better understanding of the biological, psychological, and social factors that lead to alcohol-related morbidity and mortality, as well as to develop and test new techniques for prevention and intervention. Most of this work will be accomplished by our next generation of alcohol researchers. The IART program has sucesfully trained postdoctoral fellow since 1982. Of the 34 fellows who have completed the program, 29 (85%) are in academic or senior research positions. Alcohol research requires investigators who are trained in the most current and sophisticated methods and who understand the application of these methodologies to the questions and design issues that are specific to alcohol research. The Interdisciplinary Alcohol Research Training (IART) program is in an excellent position to train students to apply these skills to research. They have access to the combined faculties of the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC), the Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH), the Medical School, as well as the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. This unusual open access to resources, combined with the presence of outstanding research within each of these divisions, has resulted in a very rich training environment. Training in the IART program involves active participation on research projects with faculty mentors supplemented by courses in Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Addiction Medicine, Psychiatric and Behavioral disciplines. Faculty are selected for the IART program based on their established careers in research and must have demonstrated mentoring and teaching skills. These faculty members are diverse and multidisciplinary. The IART program is committed to training researchers who will demonstrate excellence and innovation in their research careers. This application is a competing renewal of T32 AA07453. We request support of two postdoctoral trainees per year over the next five years. This is the same number we have trained per year in the last 9 years. We have found that this number is attainable, efficient, best complements the resources within the existing university training programs, and assures filled slots with exemplary candidates.
Excessive alcohol consumption is third among the causes of preventable death in the United States. To reduce this heavy toll on the health of the nation, the next generation of alcohol researchers needs to be trained in the most current and sophisticated scientific methods to understand and to reduce alcohol abuse, dependence, and alcohol related mortality. This proposal is to train these individuals in an ongoing program that has a history of successfully training researchers in alcohol research.
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