This is a Type 2 application for a Senior Scientist and Mentoring Award from NIAAA in response to PA-09-076. The application seeks to extend funding, for a second five-year period, for the grant, """"""""Alcohol and Adult Development: Etiology, Consequences, and Diagnosis"""""""" (K05AA017242). The Candidate, Kenneth J. Sher, Curators'Professor of Psychological Sciences at the University of Missouri (MU), proposes to provide a period of research mentoring to three outstanding, tenure-track scientists at MU. All of these mentees have excellent publication records as independent scientists but still have to transit one or more key research milestones to reach their full potential as investigators. John Kerns, is a clinical psychologist and neuroscientist who studies the relationship between brain function and cognition. Most of his prior work has been in the area of cognition in schizophrenia. However, he is working increasingly in the area of alcohol and neurocognition and currently has an R21 grant from NIAAA to study the short-to-intermediate effects of extreme drinking episodes on brain structure and function. Primary mentoring goals for Dr. Kerns is to increase his knowledge of alcohol science and scholarship and to help him transition to R01 support to extend his current research program on the effects of extreme drinking. Matt Martens, is a counseling psychologist with primary interests in brief motivational treatments for high-risk drinkers. Although Dr. Martens has had two R21 grants from NIAAA, he has not yet been successful in obtaining R01 support to enable him to take on more ambitious projects. Like Dr. Kerns, a primary goal is to provide mentoring in the areas of framing research questions and effective grantsmanship so that he can be more successful competing for R01-type funding. Ian Gizer is a clinical psychologist with postdoctoral training in genetics. He is a very early career scientist, having just finished his postdoctoral training in 2010. Although the most junior of the three, he is PI on a multiple PI grant from NIDA that was written while he was still a postdoc. However, in order for him to be successful in his tenure track position, he will need to demonstrate the ability to set up an independent research program at Missouri, mentor graduate students and postdocs, and obtain R01 (or equivalent) support independent of senior colleague collaborators. For all applicants, mentoring will involve providing guidance and support with respect to grantsmanship and development of mentees'research programs and also on more general professional development. Particularly attention will be given to working with mentees on their own effectiveness as mentors to graduate students and postdoctoral trainees. The candidate plans to continue to pursue a broad research program that seeks to characterize core etiological processes in alcoholism with particular emphasis on understanding the life course of alcohol use disorders (AUDs) in the context of comorbid psychopathology and human development. In addition, the Candidate proposes to undertake a new research program, begun in the first budget period, to develop new approaches to classifying and modeling alcohol-use disorders and related psychopathology.

Public Health Relevance

This is a Type 2 application for a Senior Scientist and Mentoring Award from NIAAA in response to PA-09-076. The application proposes to mentor three outstanding young scientists in alcohol research and career development and to provide support for the applicant's broad research program on the etiology of alcohol dependence, the nature of alcohol-related consequences, and on improving the diagnosis of alcohol-related psychopathology. Each of these goals is critical to the Nation's health since excessive alcohol use and alcohol use disorders are major public health problems and effective prevention and treatment requires enhanced understanding of the nature and classification of these conditions.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Research Scientist Award (K05)
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Study Section
Biomedical Research Review Subcommittee (AA)
Program Officer
Scott, Marcia S
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University of Missouri-Columbia
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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