Dr. Howard Becker is the Center Director. He is a biopsychologist with a sustained commitment to alcohol research. His area of expertise is in animal models of alcohol dependence and withdrawal, where he is a leading expert. He is funded both by National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and the Veterans Administration for his research efforts.
He has a leadership role in the Integrated Neuroscience Initiative on Alcoholism-Stress Consortium (INIA-Stress), the NIAAA-supported collaborative research effort focusing on the interaction of stress and alcohol; was recently awarded a contract from NIAAA for the testing of novel compounds in established animal models of drinking and dependence; was awarded an R01 from NIAAA to examine the role of glutamate in the development of alcohol dependence; and recently received American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding. Dr. Becker has served the alcohol field by being a member of numerous scientific review committees for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and for the Veterans Affairs office, and he served on the Board of Directors of RSA.
Dr. Becker has broad expertise in neuroscience as well as an appreciation for the utility of animal models in understanding alcohol dependence. During his 25 years at MUSC, Dr. Becker has worked well with both basic and clinical researchers, a relationship that has been further strengthened by the Center and the resulting interactions and collaborations that occur on a daily basis.