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Click HERE to see the Information Dissemination Core outreach activities for Brain Awareness Week

UNC Alcohol Research Center


Information Dissemination Core

Primary Investigator: Dr. Donita Robinson


Co-Investigators: Dr. Fulton Crews and Dr. Joyce Besheer

The Information Dissemination Core of the UNC Alcohol Research Center (ARC) integrates with the educational mission of the Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies (BCAS) as a part of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Through this Core, ARC scientists impact specific groups within UNC as well as broad groups across the State of North Carolina through partnerships with State agencies and other non-profit organizations. This Core builds upon the strategic position of the BCAS within UNC, the School of Medicine and North Carolina. Research translation and education on alcohol binge drinking and neurobiology to youth, young adults and parents as well as policy makers create an exceptional NIAAA Comprehensive Center Core that expands its impact through strategic partnerships. We also actively train our students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty in community outreach and dissemination of their BCAS research on alcohol pathology. Overall, these activities maximize the impact of the ARC to promote healthy behavior and substance abuse prevention. To meet these objectives, we propose to fulfill the following aims:

Aim 1: Disseminate current research on the neurobiological consequences of adolescent binge drinking to the State of North Carolina. To meet this aim, the Information Dissemination Core will partner with state-wide agencies and curate content for use in community outreach. Activity 1.1: Partner with the North Carolina ABC Commission, The Governor’s Substance Abuse and Underage Drinking Prevention and Treatment Task Force, and the state-wide Talk It Out campaign to promote parental education on underage drinking. The role of the Core is to provide current and accurate scientific information translated to lay language. Further, ARC involvement in the development of public announcements with alcohol research findings will inform many across NC. Activity 1.2: Provide presentation materials on the consequences of underage drinking, including accurate, accessible scientific evidence and Talk It Out testimonials, for outreach to the NC community (PTAs, civic groups, etc.) in English and Spanish, allowing use by any BCAS scientist at community events. Activity 1.3: Provide information on the consequences of adolescent binge drinking and alcohol neurobiology on the BCAS website in English and Spanish. Recent discoveries will be presented in lay terms and disseminated to state-wide partners and community leaders. Measures of success for these activities include metrics of access to websites and lecture materials; broadcast of public service announcements and news releases; number of presentations to community groups around NC by BCAS scientists; audience feedback.


Aim 2: Provide education on the neurobiology of alcohol use to students at UNC and the broader community at risk for alcohol-related harm. To meet this Aim, ARC faculty will continue to provide leadership and expertise in the neurobiology of alcohol use to UNC students. Accurate and accessible information on alcohol use and its consequences will be provided to students at risk for binge drinking and alcohol harm. Activity 2.1: Provide presentation and Q&A to college students who are firsttime offenders with alcohol-related charges, in partnership with Carpe Diem, a UNC-affiliated alcohol education program. Activity 2.2: Provide presentation and Q&A to UNC sorority and fraternity members. This isaccomplished by partnering with the UNC Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life and Community Involvement. Measures of success for these activities include assessment from participants on learning objectives and perceived benefit; follow-up surveys from Carpe Diem students; number of lectures and participants.

Aim 3: Train BCAS scientists in community outreach and dissemination. To meet this aim, ARC faculty will train and equip scientists for outreach, promoting a culture of scientific and community engagement for BCAS scientists and trainees that they can carry forward in their careers. Activity 3.1: Provide training to BCAS scientists in community outreach and dissemination to broad audiences. The training will provide scientists with the tools to engage a lay audience in hands-on exhibits, brief presentations and both one-on-one and group interactions. Activity 3.2: Develop interactive learning modules that promote scientific literacy and enthusiasm for neuroscience and implement them at local venues (NC Museum of Life + Science, UNC Morehead Planetarium & Science Center, UNC Science Expo). Measures of success for these activities include number of BCAS scientists participating in organized outreach events; number of BCAS scientists organizing their own outreach events; quantitative assessment of BCAS scientists for comfort and knowledge of community outreach; number of visitors at outreach events; publication and dissemination of outreach strategy and curriculum.

The UNC ARC continues to be a regional and national resource in alcohol pathology that exactly fits the NIAAA criteria for a Comprehensive Alcohol Research Center, due in part to the exceptional activities of the
Information Dissemination Core. Collaborative partnerships for the dissemination of scientific insight on alcohol drinking across the lifespan, including adolescence, optimize our impact on public knowledge and health.