Substance Use Disorders (SUD)

Workgroup Chairs: Arpana Agrawal, Howard Edenberg, Joel Gelernter

The SUD workgroup has been a part of the PGC since 2014. Our group focuses on the study of use and misuse of alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, opioids, tobacco and other illicit substances. We receive funding support from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA; via the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism).

Drs. Agrawal, Edenberg and Gelernter chair our group. A representative from every study contributing data to our groups serves on the Steering Committee. Raymond Walters, PhD, serves as the lead analyst for the group. Benjamin Neale, PhD, is statistical advisor to the group. Our current goals are to conduct genomewide meta-analyses of substance-related phenotypes utilizing a variety of harmonization methods that allow us to leverage diagnostic data as well as indices of heavy or maladaptive use (e.g. heavy drinking, IV drug use). In addition to the study of individual substances, we focus on genetic contributions to cross-substance and cross-disorder relationships.

Members of the workgroup stay connected through regular conference calls that occur the 2nd Monday of every month and via regular email. SUD also hosts phone calls that connect a broader community of addiction researchers to experts in genomic methods.;

We welcome your participation and are eager to collaborate with investigators who might be willing to share raw genotypic data or effect sizes. If you are interested in learning more about our group, please contact Arpana Agrawal, Howard Edenberg, or Joel Gelernter.

Select Publications

First GWAS of alcohol dependence:

Walters et al. 2018. Transancestral GWAS of alcohol dependence reveals common genetic underpinnings with psychiatric disorders. Nature Neuroscience 21(12):1656–1669. PMID: 30482948


Coming Soon! (updated 5/1/2016)