Preventing Underage Drinking

A webinar series sponsored by the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Prevention of Underage Drinking (ICCPUD)


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Webinar # 2Brain Research and Underage Screening – Getting Informed, Preparing to Act

When: March 7, 2013, 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. ET

Who: The following experts will present:

  • Kenneth R. Warren, Ph.D., Acting Director, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA);
  • Aaron White, Ph.D., Program Director, College and Underage Drinking Prevention Research, NIAAA; and
  • Vivian B. Faden, Ph.D., Director, Office of Science Policy and Communications, NIAAA.

Why: Nearly 10 million 12- to 20-year-olds in the United States are underage drinkers, with serious negative consequences for individuals, families, and communities. This webinar series will feature national leaders and experts discussing the nature and extent of the problem, lessons from recent research, and evidence based strategies for addressing underage drinking.

What: In the second webinar in the series, Dr. Kenneth Warren will provide a brief introduction to the problem of underage drinking, briefly summarizing some of the information from the first webinar. Next, Dr. Aaron White will discuss alcohol’s effects on the developing brain, and present information on the prevalence and biology of blackouts and alcohol poisoning. And to round out the presentations, Dr. Vivian Faden will discuss the contextual factors surrounding youth drinking and the importance of screening youth for alcohol use, risk for use, and alcohol related problems.

Following the presentations, Dr. White and Dr. Faden will engage with participants in a live question-and-answer period.

Evidence-based prevention of underage drinking—Selected references

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Speaker Bios

Kenneth R. Warren, Ph.D. is the acting director for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). He joined the NIAAA in 1976 as a staff member of the then Division of Research. He later became chief of the Biomedical Research Branch, and then deputy director of the Division of Extramural Research. From 1984 to 2005 he directed the Office of Scientific Affairs, which is responsible for peer reviews, grants management, committee management, scientific communications, and activities of the NIAAA National Advisory Council and Extramural Advisory Board. From 2002 to 2007, Dr. Warren served as the associate director for Basic Research. He has often served as the editor of the triennial Reports to Congress on Alcohol and Health, and has been particularly active in research on the effects of alcohol use during pregnancy, including fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). Dr. Warren initiated NIAAA's research program on fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) over 30 years ago. He currently chairs the government-wide Interagency Coordinating Committee on FASD.

A graduate of the City College of New York, Dr. Warren earned his doctorate degree in biochemistry from Michigan State University in 1970. He subsequently undertook postdoctoral positions at the University of California, Los Angeles and at University of Michigan Mental Health Research Institute before joining the Federal government in a research position at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in 1974.

Aaron White, Ph.D. is Program Director, College and Underage Drinking Prevention Research, NIAAA. Dr. White oversees NIAAA-funded studies on college and underage drinking prevention.  He earned a Ph.D. in Biological Psychology from Miami University (OH) where he studied the brain mechanisms underlying alcohol-induced amnesia (“blackouts”).  He completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Psychiatry Department at Duke University Medical Center and served as an Assistant Professor there until joining NIAAA in 2008. His research at Duke focused on the impact of alcohol on adolescent brain function and development, with an emphasis on the brain circuits underlying learning and memory. He also published numerous studies on the epidemiology of blackouts on college campuses, extreme levels of drinking by college students, and how students define and pour servings of alcohol. Dr. White helped create AlcoholEdu, an online, interactive college alcohol education and prevention program completed by more than 3 million students to date.  He is an accomplished speaker and author, with experience presenting nationally and internationally on topics related to alcohol and youth.

Vivian B. Faden, Ph.D. is Director of the Office of Science Policy and Communications and Associate Director for Behavioral Research at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Dr. Faden also leads the NIAAA’s Underage Drinking Research Initiative. In this role, she sets research priorities in the area of underage drinking, which include engaging the healthcare system in dealing with the problem, furthering our knowledge about the effects of adolescent alcohol use on the developing brain, and promoting screening among youth for underage drinking and alcohol-related problems. She served as one of two scientific editors of The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking. Dr. Faden has published in peer-reviewed journals in the areas of prenatal alcohol effects, underage drinking and alcohol epidemiology. She is a licensed psychologist and a certified school psychologist and has done clinical work with children and adolescents in a variety of settings. Dr. Faden currently serves as Federal liaison to the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Substance Abuse.