The overall goal of our research has been to identify markers or reliable patterns of markers of vulnerability to alcoholism. Utilizing a research design that required families to be ascertained through two alcoholic brothers has enabled us to collect marker data for families exhibiting a severe form of alcoholism (early onset, multiple affected relatives). The research has concentrated on obtaining both clinical and laboratory measures for nuclear families of probands identified through treatment centers and extensive clinical information about the extensive pedigrees of these families (average pedigree contains 30 individuals). Marker data from three generations: proband and siblings, his parents, his children and siblings' children have revealed some intriguing results. We plan to further specify the mode of transmission of alcoholism through the enlargement of our core sample to include 50 new families. In addition, we plan to refine our studies of markers (information processing characteristics, particularly auditory and visual event-related potentials, and cardiac activity in varying tasks), and assessment of temperament and clinical diagnosis. Segregation analysis of diagnosed alcoholism within families will bc performed for these new families as a reliability check, and the families combined to improve our ability to differentiate between competing transmission models. Secondly, we plan to pursue the relationship between temperament and attentional processing capacity in young children. Third, we plan to build the foundation for a comprehensive prospective longitudinal follow-up of children between the ages of 8-13 years.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
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Clinical and Treatment Subcommittee (ALCP)
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University of Pittsburgh
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Sharma, Vinod K; Hill, Shirley Y (2017) Differentiating the Effects of Familial Risk for Alcohol Dependence and Prenatal Exposure to Alcohol on Offspring Brain Morphology. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 41:312-322
O'Brien, Jessica W; Hill, Shirley Y (2017) Neural predictors of substance use disorders in Young adulthood. Psychiatry Res Neuroimaging 268:22-26
Hill, Shirley Y; Rompala, Gregory; Homanics, Gregg E et al. (2017) Cross-generational effects of alcohol dependence in humans on HRAS and TP53 methylation in offspring. Epigenomics 9:1189-1203
Hill, Shirley Y; Lichenstein, Sarah D; Wang, Shuhui et al. (2016) Volumetric Differences in Cerebellar Lobes in Individuals from Multiplex Alcohol Dependence Families and Controls: Their Relationship to Externalizing and Internalizing Disorders and Working Memory. Cerebellum 15:744-754
Hill, Shirley Y; Sharma, Vinod; Jones, Bobby L (2016) Lifetime use of cannabis from longitudinal assessments, cannabinoid receptor (CNR1) variation, and reduced volume of the right anterior cingulate. Psychiatry Res Neuroimaging 255:24-34
Hill, Shirley Y; Jones, Bobby L; Steinhauer, Stuart R et al. (2016) Longitudinal predictors of cannabis use and dependence in offspring from families at ultra high risk for alcohol dependence and in control families. Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet 171B:383-95
Hill, Shirley Y; Jones, Bobby L; Zezza, Nicholas et al. (2015) ACN9 and alcohol dependence: family-based association analysis in multiplex alcohol dependence families. Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet 168B:179-87
Hill, Shirley Y; O'Brien, Jessica (2015) Psychological and Neurobiological Precursors of Alcohol Use Disorders in High Risk Youth. Curr Addict Rep 2:104-113
O'Brien, Jessica W; Hill, Shirley Y (2014) Effects of prenatal alcohol and cigarette exposure on offspring substance use in multiplex, alcohol-dependent families. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 38:2952-61
O'Brien, Jessica W; Lichenstein, Sarah D; Hill, Shirley Y (2014) Maladaptive decision making and substance use outcomes in high-risk individuals: preliminary evidence for the role of 5-HTTLPR variation. J Stud Alcohol Drugs 75:643-52

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