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The NIAAA is the lead agency for U.S. research on the causes, consequences, prevention and treatment of alcohol use disorder and alcohol-related problems.

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

Division of Neuroscience and Behavior (DNB)

The Division of Neuroscience and Behavior (DNB) promotes research on ways in which neuronal and behavioral systems are influenced by genetic, developmental, and environmental factors in conjunction with alcohol exposure to engender alcohol use disorder.

Consortia and Centers

Funding Opportunities (NIH Initiatives)

Division of Neuroscience and Behavior (DNB) participates in many funding opportunities issued by cross-NIH initiatives. Current funding opportunities can be found in the following links.

National Institutes of Health (NIH) BRAIN Initiative
NIAAA Program Lead: Changhai Cui

Blueprint for Neuroscience Research
NIAAA Program Lead: Changhai Cui

Collaborative Research on Computational Neuroscience (CRCNS)
NIAAA Program Lead: John Matochik

NIH Helping to End Addiction Long-term® (HEAL) Initiative
NIAAA Program Lead: Mark Egli

Consortia and Centers

Collaborative Studies on Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA)

COGA is a comprehensive research project on the inherited aspects of alcohol use disorder (AUD) with the goal of identifying genes that influence an individual’s risk of developing alcohol problems, and understanding how that risk unfolds across the lifespan.

Integrative Neuroscience Initiative on Alcoholism (INIA)

  • INIAstress Consortium
    INIAstress is made up of researchers across the country who study alcohol abuse and stress interactions in using cross-species and computational modeling approaches.
  • INIA Neuroimmune Consortium
    INIA-Neuroimmune is a multi-disciplinary, collaborative research consortium investigating immune and inflammatory pathways in the brain to discover new treatments for alcohol use disorder.

Neurobiology of Adolescent Drinking in Adulthood (NADIA) Consortium
The NADIA Consortium studies the persistent effects of adolescent alcohol exposure on adults and explores the brain mechanisms that are at the root of these effects ultimately to inform and advance social and health care initiatives.

National Consortium on Alcohol and Neurodevelopment in Adolescence - Adulthood (NCANDA-A)
The 5-site NCANDA consortium examines effects of alcohol use on the developing adolescent brain, and examines brain characteristics that predict alcohol use problems. The consortium has developed a core battery, including structural and functional brain scans and cognitive testing, for use at all five sites.

Research Centers

DNB manages the following Research Center Grants as part of NIAAA’s Alcohol Research Center Program.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does your research proposal align with the NIAAA mission?

Answer: We advise you to contact a Program Director listed either below or on a particular Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to discuss your research interests before preparing your application. This will not only help determine whether your proposal is of interest to NIAAA, but will aid in the preparation of your grant application.

Who should I contact within the Division about my research proposal?
Answer: Below is a list of Program Directors and their areas of research interests. The best way to contact a Program Director whose interest aligns with your own is via email. Alternatively, if you would like to speak by phone, please indicate this in an email and a Program Director will contact you soon thereafter.

What is the process for applying for funding?

Answer: When submitting a grant application to NIAAA, extramural researchers can find instructions in the Notice of Funding Opportunity to which they are applying. See the NIAAA application process homepage for information about grant applications, the peer review process, and understanding how applications are selected for funding.

Our Staff

Name Position Focus Area*
Antonio B. Noronha, Ph.D.
Director, Division Neuroscience & Behavior 
Mark D. Egli, Ph.D.
Deputy Division Director
Behavioral Science; Pain and alcohol interactions; Preclinical Therapeutics Discovery; Workforce Diversity
Mohammed Akbar, Ph.D.
Program Officer
GPCR Signaling; Metabolism and Stress; Neurodegeneration; Neuroendocrinology; Neuronal Signaling
Nagaraja Sethuraman Balakathiresan, Ph.D.
Program Officer
Alcohol Interaction with TBI, PTSD, Psychological Disorders and Depression; Biomarkers; Cellular and Molecular Mechanism of PTSD and TBI
Changhai Cui, Ph.D.
Program Officer
Molecular neuroscience; Neurocircuits; Neuroimmune Interactions; Neuromodulation; Neurotechnology; Signaling transduction
Ivana Grakalic, Ph.D.
Program Officer
Aggression; Behavioral Control; Comorbidity and Polysubstance Use; Learning & Memory; Women’s health
Shailesh Kumar, Ph.D.
Program Officer
Neural and genetic mechanisms of sleep and Alcohol Use Disorder
Qi-Ying Liu, MD, M.S.
Program Officer
Cellular Neurobiology & Neurocircuitry; Neuroadaptation; Neuromodulation; Synaptic Plasticity
Dominique Lorang-Leins, Ph.D.
Program Officer
Animal Genetic Models; Genomics and Epigenetics; GxE; Molecular Neurobiology and Genetics
John A. Matochik, Ph.D.
Program Officer
Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience; Computational Neuroscience; Neuroimaging
Abbas Parsian, Ph.D.
Program Officer
GxE; Human Genetics & Genomics; Integrated Genetics/Genomics; Next Generation Sequencing
Elizabeth Powell, Ph.D.
Program Officer
Biomedical Engineering; Computational Neuroscience; Data Science; Developmental Neurobiology; Diversity; Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)

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