William Kerr, PhD, is scientific director and director of the Alcohol Research Group’s NIAAA National Alcohol Research Center and its T32 training program at the University of California Berkeley. Dr. Kerr received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of California-Davis (1997). From 1997 to 2001 Dr. Kerr served as the Project Director of the Collaborative Alcohol Related Longitudinal Project in the Department of Social & Behavioral Sciences at UCSF before joining ARG.
He is recognized for his studies of alcohol use and problems, measurement methods, age-period-cohort studies on drinking pattern trends, mortality studies and policy analyses. He is currently the PI of multiple NIH funded R01 grants including a study of the legalization of cannabis in the state of Washington that continues a prior R01 on the privatization of the Washington state liquor monopoly in 2012. Dr. Kerr is also MPI of a project developing measures of secondhand harms from alcohol and drug use that will include a US survey to estimate these.
He has been Director of ARG’s Center on the Epidemiology of Alcohol Problems, which focuses on disparities, since 2016 where he currently co-leads the National Alcohol Surveys and a project on the drinking behavior of those with health conditions, building on prior studies of the effects of lifecourse drinking patterns on health outcomes. He also is a collaborator on a number of other grants including a study examining the role of alcohol in the recent US life expectancy decline, a study of policy effects on pregnant women’s drinking and pregnancy outcomes and a study on impacts of the COVID pandemic on drinking and related outcomes.
Dr. Kerr is an Associate Editor of Addiction, serves on the editorial board of Contemporary Drug Problems and on the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association (NABCA) Public Health Advisory Board.