UNC Alcohol Research Center
MOLECULAR AND CIRCUIT PATHOGENESIS OF ALCOHOL ADDICTION
Primary Investigator: Dr. Fulton T. Crews
Co-Investigator: Dr. A. Leslie Morrow
The NIAAA Alcohol Research Center (ARC) within the Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies (BCAS) at the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine will foster and conduct interdisciplinary and collaborative research on alcohol use disorders with a specific emphasis on molecular and circuit pathogenesis underlying these disorders. The Administrative Core provides leadership in research, research methodology development and information dissemination on a wide variety of topics relevant to the NIAAA’s mission. The Administrative Core recruits outstanding scientists, provides scientific leadership enhancing collaboration, integration and cross fertilization of research programs and optimizes resource utilization. The ARC provides essential support that allows the BCAS to expand the scope of research activities to build upon discoveries that impact our understanding of alcohol-induced pathology. In turn, the BCAS provides additional support to further the aims of the ARC, such that the investment of NIAAA is multiplied by UNC resources. The UNC ARC fulfills and exemplifies the goals of an NIAAA ARC program. The specific aims of the Administrative Core are to:
- Provide scientific and administrative leadership for the ARC. The goal of this aim is to inspire and support the continuing development of the UNC ARC by providing strong scientific and administrative leadership. Furthermore, the Administrative Core is responsible for overseeing scientific rigor and data reproducibility (e.g., use of different species, sexes, drinking models, circuits and brain regions) among projects.
- Monitor and enhance collaborative interactions among all ARC cores and research projects. Interaction and integration are key to building a center program that is greater and more productive than the sum of its components. The Administrative Core facilitates this process by the organization of meetings, training and creative personnel management.
- Optimize synergy and sharing of multidisciplinary resources, services and scientific expertise among the ARC Scientific Core and components. This aim focuses upon the coordination of efforts to facilitate research. We accomplish this through effective organization and management of our Scientific Resource Core. The Core provides valuable resources and expertise, allows state of the art procedures to be conducted efficiently and cost-effectively and encourages faculty to collaborate.
- Organize seminars, conferences and workshops to stimulate exchange of scientific information among the BCAS faculty and staff. The ARC hosts the BCAS seminar program, as well as the Bowles Lectureship, supports the introduction of minority scientists to alcohol use disorder research and participates in graduate and postdoctoral training of young scientists. This exemplifies the goals of an NIAAA ARC program.
- Disseminate new research knowledge to academic, student and lay communities. The goal of this aim is to lead community, regional and national educational initiatives. We provide updates on our BCAS web site, and disseminate current research to UNC classrooms, sororities and fraternities, treatment programs, local PTAs and the state of NC. We partner with the NC Governor’s Task Force on Underage Drinking to educate parents (in English and Spanish). We train BCAS fellows in community outreach and research dissemination at local venues including museums, the UNC planetarium and UNC science events.
- Engage in community outreach activities designed to improve awareness, prevention and treatment of alcohol use disorders. This aim furthers the goals of prevention and treatment of alcohol use disorder through community outreach activities. We conduct an annual tour of local treatment facilities for our trainees, integrate our educational and scientific activities with the UNC Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program (ASAP), conduct tours of the Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies and maintain a development office for educational activities, fund-raising and community outreach.
- Support regional and national research initiatives aimed at improving research, prevention and treatment of alcohol addiction. This aim is accomplished by all ARC faculty in their work on NIAAA-funded projects, service to the NIAAA on study sections, service to the field by editorial activity and advisory committee appointments. These efforts contribute to the advancement of the alcohol addiction field.
The ARC has grown and developed UNC BCAS alcohol research, supporting alcohol research faculty that are among the best in the world. The administrative core is designed to maximize research rigor, significance, innovation, collaboration and productivity to advance the research aims and to use scientific knowledge to improve health by educating health professionals, parents, college students, and youth.