This proposal for a T32 training grant is to provide support for pre and postdoctoral trainees in the field of alcohol research at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. We are a group of outstanding, well-funded alcohol investigators with a solid funding base in basic, clinical, human populations research that has been successful for fourteen years in training young scientists to become independent investigators. Our research is carried out in a highly collaborative, multidisciplinary manner so that trainees not only receive the training necessary to become independent investigators, but also as members of interdisciplinary teams of the kind that will increasingly characterize their future research careers. The research training faculty do work that is highly translational. First, virtually all of our studies employ alcohol self-administration. It also spans the scale from mice and rats, through monkeys and individual humans, to human populations. Many of our studies examine the same end points and employ the same behavioral models in multiple species. Training consists of rigorous didactic work along with intensive laboratory-based research. It is augmented by a robust curriculum in career development, including teaching and writing courses, and ethics. There are multiple opportunities for students to hone their presentation skills, including journal clubs and required research seminar presentations at least twice or more each year, depending on which graduate program they are in. We require our students to apply for individual NRSA support both to free up slots on the training grant and to help them hone their skills in grant writing. Training also benefits from distinct school resources that include a Translational Science Institute that offers courses in translational Research, a primate center with several populations of monkeys including a fully pedigreed and genotyped vervet colony, and state of the art imaging. We have also formed a partnership with a local treatment center that will give our students clinical exposure to enhance their understanding of the disease of alcoholism and ground their research in he real world.
The incidence of alcohol abuse and alcoholism remain high in the United States. New drinking patterns, including excessive binge drinking by young people, increase risk of adverse consequences. This training program will supply the United States with highly trained alcohol researchers who are poised to address the serious problems presented by alcoholism.
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