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The mission of the Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies (BCAS) is to conduct, coordinate, and promote basic and clinical research on the causes, prevention, and treatment of alcohol use disorder (AUD) and alcohol-related disease.

The tragedy of AUD in our society is so great and the need for better therapeutics is so dire that we strive to find new and effective therapies for AUD in our lifetime. Currently, the Bowles Center has 14 faculty from eight different departments involved in research, teaching and service. In addition, research assistant professors, along with postdoctoral fellows, research associates and graduate students, create a highly interactive research community and exciting environment for basic and clinical discovery related to the brain disease of AUD.

Research in the Center is extremely strong in the areas of drinking and relapse behavior; molecular adaptations to alcohol that underlie tolerance, dependence and protracted withdrawal; alcohol cell signaling; and alcohol toxicology across the lifespan. The Center has international leaders in the study of ion channel regulation, protein kinases, neurodegeneration, fetal teratogenesis, genetics and behavioral pharmacology.

All faculty within the BCAS are also tenure-track faculty at UNC and contribute to the teaching, service and research missions of UNC. In addition, the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program within UNC Health is an addiction treatment clinic where BCAS clinical faculty provide service.

Training researchers of the future also is a vital part of the BCAS. Our training program is designed to promote the development of promising postdoctoral research associates as independent investigators and future university faculty members who will investigate the pathogenesis of alcohol abuse and AUD using modern molecular, genetic, biochemical and imaging techniques. Many go on to very productive research careers, at UNC or other universities, and in the private and nonprofit sectors.

The Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies at UNC is a fun and exciting place for biomedical/translational research. We strive to reduce the burden of AUD in our society.

Thomas Kash, PhD
Director, Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies