This proposal reflects the continuation and evolution of an NIAAA-funded alcohol training program in operation since 1971, which has provided 266 fellows with training and support. The program's chief goal is to continue to support a program designed to embark trainees on a path of active research in alcohol studies, by offering applicants with backgrounds in public health, psychology, sociology, social welfare, economics, and related professional disciplines the opportunity to carry out their own research and grant-writing with the support of a collegial and highly interactive environment of researchers and faculty actively working in the alcohol field. Our program specifically focuses primarily on training in the incidence, prevalence, and etiology of alcohol abuse, dependence, and related problems, and secondarily on alcohol-related health services (both formal and informal) and alcohol policy research. In the current round, we particularly emphasize training in health disparities related to these areas. This emphasis capitalizes on the very strong and growing base of available Training Faculty and fellowship applicants with interests and expertise in alcohol- related health disparities. Fellows learn from an intensive period of residence and involvement in the research environment and activities of the Alcohol Research Group, a long-standing (35-year) NIAAA National Alcohol Research Center. ARG's research focii reflect the Program aims and include the social epidemiology of alcohol problems and alcohol-related health services and policy research, with a strong emphasis on documenting and explaining racial/ethnic, socioeconomic, gender, and sexual orientation disparities. Fellows also benefit from participation in mentorship, research, and training opportunities at the Training Program's collaborating institutions (i.e., the School of Public Health at UC Berkeley; the Department of Psychiatry and the Institute for Health Policy at UCSF; and Kaiser Permanente's Division of Research). Three postdoctoral and 3 predoctoral fellows are supported by our program annually, with most in residence for 2 years. Predoctoral fellows complete an alcohol-related dissertation, while postdoctoral fellows publish papers, conduct new research, and submit NIAAA grant applications. Fellows are advised and actively mentored by our 19 Training Grant Faculty, housed both at ARG and at collaborating institutions. All trainees attend and contribute to a weekly Advanced Alcohol Research Seminar, a formal course offered at ARG via UC Berkeley's School of Public Health. Other program components include graduate courses at UC Berkeley, a twice- monthly Grant-writing Seminar, visiting speakers, in-house statistical and other trainings, and training in the responsible conduct of research, among others. The proposed continuation, if funded, would make our program the only known NIAAA-funded T32 training program to focus on alcohol-related disparities, and would thus contribute to NIH's mission to eliminate health disparities. Training Directors are Drs. Sarah Zemore and Lee Ann Kaskutas, both Senior Scientists at ARG.

Public Health Relevance

The purpose of our Training Program, in operation since 1971, is to provide research training in critical areas of alcohol studies for scholars and professionals with research backgrounds in public health, psychology, sociology, and other social sciences. Because of its complexity and multi-disciplinary nature, the alcohol field is challenging for the typical doctoral student and evn Ph.D. graduate. The present proposal describes a coherent, rigorous, and highly evolved program of training in the alcohol field that addresses this problem, offering training particularl in alcohol epidemiology, services, and policy research-all with a disparities focus. Trainees are equipped by their experience to obtain NIH funding and make productive contributions in their careers to the growth of knowledge concerning alcohol problems.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZAA1)
Program Officer
Breslow, Rosalind
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University of California Berkeley
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Public Health
United States
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