FAS Researchers Honored at RSA Meeting

Volume 21, Number 2, September 2010


TK Li, MD, with Kathy Sulik, PhD

    Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies (CAS) researcher Kathleen K. Sulik, Ph.D., presented the T.K. Li Lectureship plenary address at the Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA) meeting in San Antonio, Texas, on June 27, 2010. Her talk, “Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Research to Prevention,” focused on her laboratory’s imaging-based investigations of alcohol-induced birth defects, as well as the birth defects prevention-directed middle and high school curricula that she and her colleagues have developed.

   Sulik is a professor in the UNC Department of Cell and Developmental Biology and the Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies. Her work aims to achieve a better understanding of the mechanisms, pathogenesis, and pathology associated with a variety of environmentally-induced and genetically-based birth defects. She hopes to use her findings to develop preventive measures relative to these defects.

   The Lectureship that opens the RSA conference is named for T.K. Li, M.D., former director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and honors his sustained commitment to excellence in alcohol research and its dissemination in practice and policy. It is a great honor to be selected to give this plenary lectureship. Dr. Sulik gave an inspiring presentation of her discoveries and fetal alcohol exposure prevention efforts.

   CAS Postdoctoral Fellow Shonagh O’Leary-Moore, Ph.D., received both a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Study Group (FASDSG) Merit Award and a Memorial Award from RSA at the June meetings. The FASDSG Merit Award is presented to a graduate student, postdoc or fellow, who is a member of FASDSG, for outstanding research in the field of FASD. One Award is presented each year at the annual FASDSG meeting and includes a travel stipend. RSA Memorial Awardees are chosen among students or postdocs who have presented in RSA symposia. The award comes with a travel stipend, funded by donations to honor RSA members who have passed away within the past 5 years.

   O’Leary-Moore came to the UNC Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies in 2007 for postdoctoral training in teratology under Kathy Sulik and continues to apply neuroimaging techniques, including diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), to the study of fetal alcohol exposure.

   The CAS congratulates Drs. Sulik and O’Leary-Moore on these honors.