National Alcohol Research Center

National Alcohol Research Center logo

Since 1977, the Center has been funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and housed within the Alcohol Research Group. With a focus on disparities, the Center studies bio-psycho-social determinants of addictive processes involving alcohol and other drugs and conducts the US National Alcohol Survey every five years.


Completed Projects

Disparities in Alcohol-related Risks for Injury, Diabetes and Cardiovascular Morbidity and Mortality

This project looks at health disparities in alcohol-related injuries and chronic conditions. Analysis of alcohol’s role in risks for these health issues among disparate populations helps our understanding of how to reduce alcohol-related disparities through policy, prevention and treatment. Data is used to assess major causes of illness, injury, disability and death in areas of the US where significant alcohol-related racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities occur. Director: William C. Kerr

Statistical and Data Services (SDS) Core

SDS serves as the primary source for biostatistical consulting, analyses, training, and database management for Center projects and ARG scientific staff. Three biostatisticians with varying expertise in cutting-edge methods support the research process including hypotheses generation, survey design and monitoring, database development, and analysis formulation and implementation. Hands-on workshops ensure the latest techniques are applied. Director: Meenakshi Sabina Subbaraman, PhD

Graduate Research Training in Alcohol Problems: Alcohol-Related Disparities

This fellowship program’s goal is to develop independent alcohol researchers who can contribute to the growth of knowledge in alcohol studies in areas including epidemiology, treatment, and policy. The program recruits and trains promising behavioral and epidemiological pre- and post-doctoral fellows with a focus on alcohol-related disparities. Our program has supported over 230 trainees since 1977. Director: Sarah E. Zemore, PhD

Pilot Studies Core

This Center Core funds a 5-year program of pilot studies designed to extend the Center’s research methods and agenda as well as directly enable NIH grant applications relevant to our focus on alcohol-related disparities. The program fosters innovative research while addressing the research and career development needs of our Center’s most promising junior investigators. Director: Sarah E. Zemore, PhD

National Alcohol Survey (NAS) Resource Core

The NAS conducts periodic surveys of alcohol use by US adults. Recent design refinements in the 2019-20 NAS include address-based sampling and recruitment to an online survey. It also include large African American and Hispanic oversamples. The team prepares analytic datasets that include geo-referenced contextual data drawn from census and other archival sources. The NAS has been conducted since the mid-1960s. Co-directors: Katherine Karriker-Jaffe, PhD and Thomas K. Greenfield, PhD

Hotspots: Understanding Areas of Concentrated Alcohol and Drug Problems at the US-Mexico Border

This Research Project extends analyses of the US-Mexico Study of Alcohol and Related Conditions (UMSARC), a large epidemiological study conducted from 2011-13 that targeted the border region and sampled both the US and Mexico. Project aims are to better characterize, contextualize, and explain the observed geographic variation across UMSARC sites toward a better understanding of how and why substance use problems cluster in some, but not all, border areas. Director: Sarah E. Zemore, PhD

Differential Effects of Alcohol-related Policy across U.S. Population Subgroups

Broad, evidence-based public health interventions may not benefit all segments of the population. Drawing upon different national data sets, this study examines the impacts of alcohol control policies and recent healthcare policies on racial/ethnic, gender, and age subgroups. It aims to estimate the reduction in disparities associated with hypothetical policy changes implemented across the U.S. Director: Nina Mulia, DrPH

Collage of staff pictures from the National Alcohol Research Center

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