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The National Alcohol Research Center at PHI's Alcohol Research Group Receives Another Five Years of Funding

February 21, 2016 | Alcohol Research Group

The Alcohol Research Group (ARG), a program of the Public Health Institute, is pleased to announce it has received a $7.3M grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) to support the continuation of its National Alcohol Research Center. The funds will be dispersed over a five year period beginning this year through to 2020.

The grant supports four core components and three research projects that focus on addressing alcohol-related health disparities in order to identify and reduce the effects of economic or social disadvantage on public health outcomes. The Administrative Core provides management, direction, and coordination of the Center and its enrichment and training programs that support emerging investigators.  The Statistics and Data Services Core provides statistical and data-related services to the Center’s work, while the Pilot Studies Core will see the initiation of innovative studies involving early career scientists to help develop their research skills and generate new ideas. 

Funding also supports the National Alcohol Research Resources Core which enables researchers to conduct the National Alcohol Survey (NAS), a cross-sectional alcohol-epidemiological survey every five years and undergirds Center research projects.  With a future wave scheduled to begin in 2018, the NAS will celebrate forty years of monitoring our nation’s drinking patterns and its associated problems in various sub-populations. 

With special expertise in the study of disparities related to race/ethnicity, socioeconomic disadvantage, gender, and sexual minority status, ARG scientists will also develop projects that include investigation of disparities in alcohol-related injuries and health problems; a geographic area comparison of alcohol and drug use, problems, and treatment among Latino groups in the US-Mexico border region; and assessment of differential effects of alcohol-related policy interventions on alcohol outcomes and treatment utilization across racial/ethnic and socioeconomic groups.

“To our knowledge, we’ll be the first Alcohol Research Center to focus on health disparities,” says William C. Kerr, Center Director and Senior Scientist.  There’s a large knowledge gap about how social and economic differences between populations affect their drinking and other types of substance use. With this new funding we hope to provide findings relevant to addressing these differences.” 

ARG’s Alcohol Research Center remains dedicated to disseminating its findings to those who can benefit from its research, including policymakers, practitioners and the public. NIAAA has funded the Center since 1977.

About the Alcohol Research Group

ARG was established in 1959 to conduct and disseminate high-quality research in epidemiology of alcohol consumption and problems including alcohol use disorders, alcohol-related health services research, and analyses of alcohol policy and its impacts.  ARG’s mission focuses on better understanding the public health implications of alcohol use patterns and associated problems. Additionally, it disseminates these findings, as well as trains future generations of public health researchers to become independent scientists in the field of alcohol studies.

More information about the organization, its scientists and research projects can be found at www.arg.org.

Media seeking interviews with Center Director and Senior Scientist, William C. Kerr, may contact him at the Alcohol Research Group, a program of the Public Health Institute, by email (wkerr@arg.org) or telephone (510-898-5841).

Information about NIAAA-funded research centers can be found on their website: http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/research/major-initiatives/niaaa-funded-research-centers

About NIAAA’s Alcohol Research Centers

From the NIAAA website: NIAAA has established a nationwide program of Alcohol Research Centers. The Alcohol Research Centers’ Program complements and is interrelated with all other research support mechanisms and scientific activities that investigate the causes, diagnosis, treatment, control, prevention, and consequences of alcohol abuse and alcoholism.

The Alcohol Research Centers provide long-term support (typically 5 years) for interdisciplinary research that focuses on particular aspects of alcohol abuse, alcoholism, or other related problems. This program encourages outstanding scientists from many disciplines to provide a full range of expertise, approaches, and advanced technologies for developing knowledge in these areas. A primary goal of each NIAAA-funded Center is to become, through excellence in scientific research, a significant regional or national research resource. In addition, each Center affords research training opportunities for individuals from various disciplines and professions.