Overall Center Abstract: The Charleston Alcohol Research Center has had, and continues to have, alcohol treatment as the Center's overarching theme. Our Center continues to embrace a multidisciplinary approach to accomplish its objectives, with basic scientists working side-by-side with psychiatrists or clinical psychologists on athematic program of research. Junior investigators recruited into the Center are """"""""teamed"""""""" with more experienced investigators to provide them with a unique mentoring opportunity aimed at arming them with the necessary experience to become independent researchers. For this application, the research teams have taken advantage of developing or refining cutting-edge technologies (e.g., brain imaging, genetics, in vivo microdialysis, multi-array recording, and laboratory paradigms to study stress-alcohol interactions and/or voluntary drinking) to address their specific research questions. In the next five years, the Research Components are tied together by either a focus on neuroanatomical and/or neurochemical adaptations that accompany the transition from controlled to uncontrolled drinking, the neurocircuitry underlying reward processes, or trait personality factors that may mediate the risk for development of alcohol dependence or the response to medication. Pharmacotherapy, or implications for pharmacotherapy, remains the major focus of the Charleston Alcohol Research Center, and is the area where we have developed a national/international reputation. The Research Components are supported by two Cores and two other components. The Administrative Core provides the leadership and infrastructure to facilitate the mission of the Center as a Whole;the Shared Core provides and manages common services needed by the researchers to maximize resources and increase productivity;the Pilot Project Component attracts new talent or new ideas to the Center;and the Research Translation/Information Dissemination Component accomplishes the aim and responsibility of a Center for information dissemination on advances in alcohol research to the general public, as well as to health care providers.
Overall Center Project Narrative: Alcoholism remains a major public health concern. Advances in neuroscience and genetics will help inform treatment-related research and will help identify risk factors, at the behavioral as well as neurochemical level, that indicate a risk for the development of alcohol dependence. This information will be useful for testing prevention as well as intervention strategies that, when transferred to clinical practice, will ultimately decrease the burden of excessive alcohol use on the individual, as well as on society.
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