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New research from the Morrow lab

March 2, 2018

New research from the Morrow lab: Have you ever wondered why symptoms such as anxiety and seizures are associated with alcohol withdrawal? These symptoms are caused in part by reduced activity of the GABA-A receptor, encoded by the Gabra1 gene, which is downregulated by excessive alcohol intake. Using pharmacology, genetics and epigenetics, the Morrow Lab … Continued

New Publication from Robinson Lab

February 9, 2018

Is nicotine a “gateway drug” that leads to abuse of other addictive drugs? The Robinson Lab tested whether nicotine exposure starting in adolescence promoted alcohol drinking in female rats, hypothesizing that the pharmacological effect of nicotine on the brain would result in greater motivation to drink alcohol. In contrast, they found that nicotine exposure per … Continued

New Publication from Besheer Lab

February 9, 2018

Through innovative research, the Besheer Lab has identified a novel brain circuit that regulates alcohol drinking. This lab studied the role of the frontal cortex, including the insular cortex, in alcohol use by monitoring rats’ ingestion of alcohol. They found that blocking projections from the insular cortex to the nucleus accumbens, a key brain area … Continued

New Publication from Crews Lab

February 9, 2018

What are the effects of alcoholism on the immune system? Drs. Crews, Zou and Coleman researched the responses of the neuroimmune system to alcohol.  They found that a pro-inflammatory protein complex – the HMGB1-IL 1b complex – is more common in people who suffer from alcohol-use disorder. By studying this complex in brain cultures, they … Continued

Congratulations to Dr. Scott Swartzwelder on receiving the 2017 Bowles Award

October 10, 2017

Dr. Scott Swartzwelder, (shown on the right) professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences, has received the 2017 Bowles Award from the UNC School of Medicine’s Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies. The award honors distinguished researchers who have made significant contributions to understanding the causes, prevention and/or treatment of … Continued

BCAS Welcomes Susan Smith to UNC

September 28, 2017

Dr. Susan Smith, a world renowned expert in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) research has joined UNC as Deputy Director of the Nutrition Research Institute. Her work focuses on risk factors for development of FASD as well as strategies for treatment in both children and adults who suffer with FASD. Dr. Smith will join the … Continued

Joyce Besheer receives NIH grant to study brain circuits affected by PTSD and alcohol use

September 21, 2017

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has awarded a $1.9 million, 5-year grant to Joyce Besheer, PhD, of the Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies, to study the underlying neuropathy of post-traumatic stress disorder and alcohol abuse. click to enlarge Joyce Besheer, PhD Post-Traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating and enduring disorder that … Continued