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Alcholism med development contract awarded to CDAP researcher

Staff Reports

Howard Becker, Ph.D., professor in the Center for Drug and Alcohol Programs in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and director of MUSC’s Charleston Alcohol Research Center, received a $3.5 million contract award over five years from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to support studies using preclinical models for testing novel drugs that might have potential for treating alcohol use disorders.

This competitive contract award is connected to the Medications Development Program at NIAAA. Becker has developed models of dependence and drinking that have not only advanced our understanding of consequences of heavy drinking, but also provide a platform for evaluating potential mediations.  

This research award falls directly in line with the overall theme of the Charleston Alcohol Research Center, which addresses research on treatment and treatment implications for alcohol use disorders.  

“The Center focuses on pre-clinical evaluations of novel therapeutics and has always been engaged in translational research – embracing a ‘bench to bedside’ approach that integrates experimental studies, clinical laboratory studies and clinical trials,” Becker said.

Alcoholism is a serious disease that affects the lives of millions of Americans. More than half of all adults have a family history of alcoholism or problem drinking. Excessive alcohol use contributes to illness in each of the top three causes of death:  heart disease, cancer and stroke. Recent research indicates that alcoholism and alcohol abuse alone cost the nation’s economy approximately $185 billion each year in medical consequences, lost earnings, reduced workforce productivity, accidents, violence, and premature death.

This project will play a role to NIAAA’s goal of developing new treatment strategies for individuals suffering with alcohol use disorders.

The Charleston Alcohol Research Center provided the foundation to successfully compete for this award. Led by Becker, researchers at the Center are at the forefront of the alcohol research field, making significant research contributions and leading the way towards developing safer and more effective treatments for alcohol use disorders and alcoholism.


September 26, 2014



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