This is a competitive renewal application for an Alcohol Training Program in Neurosciences at the University of New Mexico (UNM-ARTN). This program is currently ending Year 9 of support. It has had a tremendously positive impact on graduate education at our institution and has increased visibility of alcohol research across campus. The program provides multidisciplinary training that includes molecular biological, biochemical, electrophysiological, imaging, and behavioral techniques. The focus of the UNM-ARTN program is to provide training in alcohol neuroscience research. Our group has strengths in three areas of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder research: 1. Basic mechanisms involved in ethanol neuroteratogenesis;2. Biomarkers of prenatal alcohol exposure;and 3. Therapeutic interventions to ameliorate FASD-related cognitive deficits. In addition, we are investigating the short- and long-term effects of ethanol on mature neuronal circuits in different brain regions. A total of 9 faculty members from the Departments of Neuroscience and Psychology will be directly involved in the program as core faculty. These faculty members are well-funded and productive, and have extensive collaborative interactions in terms of research grants, publications, and mentoring of graduate students. Students will be from the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program of the Health Sciences Center and the Cognition, Brain and Behavior Program of the Psychology Department. The program will support 4 Ph.D. students per year. The program will be overseen by Drs. Valenzuela (Director) and Perrone-Bizzozero (Associate Director), a steering committee composed of members of the training faculty, and an external advisory committee. Our trainees have been very successful in terms of obtaining individual predoctoral fellowships, presenting at scientific meetings, and publishing in well-respected journals. Our goal is to continue to provide high quality graduate students with the necessary training to prepare them for a successful future career in alcohol research.
This is a competitive renewal application for a program that will support training of graduate students for careers in alcohol neuroscience research. Alcohol abuse and addiction is a major public health problem that is responsible for a large number of illnesses, injuries, and deaths in the United States.
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