The UNC Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies (CAS) is one of fourteen National Research Centers funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). CAS faculty members are invited to speak at state, national and international conference, and our scientists have received NIH MERIT and Career Awards.
For more than 26 years, CAS has been a leader in the search for the causes and prevention of alcoholism and has worked to improve intervention and treatment for alcohol abuse and alcoholism. Significant contributions of CAS include:
The discovery of multiple genes induced by ethanol alterations in key signaling pathways.
The discovery that ERK1/2 and PKCe are key kinases that regulate alcohol self-administration and relapse.
The discovery that stress and cytokines sensitize ethanol withdrawal-induced anxiety leading to persistent negative affect behaviors.
The discovery that ethanol dependence modifies phosphorylation and cell surface expression of GABAA receptors in a PKC dependent manner.
The discovery that reactive oxygen species and NFkB are key elements of both adult brain and fetal alcohol toxicity.
The discovery that ethanol induces proinflammatory cytokines in brain.
The development of a maternal oral intake FASD model that showed that dietary D-SAL reduces the incidence of major malformations induced by ethanol.
The discovery that alcohol has unique actions on different brain regions which most likely underlie the development of alcoholism.
The development of a simple and highly effective diagnostic tool, known as the CAGE Questionnaire, to identify alcoholism without putting people on the defensive or prompting denial. For more than 20 years, the CAGE has been taught to medical students, physicians and other health care professionals. It has been utilized in many health care settings around the world. The Center for Alcohol Studies continues to train health care professionals to diagnose alcoholism and to detect alcohol abuse.
Contributions in the discovery of medications which can reduce relapse rates by turning off the brain's reward center to reduce craving. More than a decade after the Center's first studies in this area, ReVia (naltrexone) was given FDA approval -- the first drug approved for the treatment of alcoholism since Antabuse. The Center for Alcohol Studies is dedicated to improving treatment outcomes for people with alcoholism.
The Center is funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) to develop the next generation of addiction medicine researchers. Center faculty train future physicians, dentists, pharmacists and researchers in the identification, prevention, and treatment of substance abuse and alcoholism. Training for our scientists includes programs in basic laboratory science, addiction biology, neuropharmacology, alcoholic liver disease, alcohol-related birth defects, clinical research, and substance abuse treatment therapy.
The Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies is dedicated to the prevention of substance abuse, alcoholism and fetal alcohol syndrome through education and advocacy. CAS Faculty developed curricula for NC educators to use in teaching the effects of alcohol. Additionally, faculty serve on state and national organizations involved in the prevention and treatment of substance abuse and abuse-related birth defects. Faculty advise state legislators regarding drunk driving laws, treatment for the state prison population, and other substance abuse related matters.
Educational speakers are available for civic, social and community organizations.