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National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

Science Symposium at NIH Commemorates 50 Years of Advancing Alcohol Research


Press Contact:
NIAAA Press Office
(301) 443-2857

December 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 

NIAAA at 50 logo and background

To celebrate this milestone anniversary, NIAAA will host a virtual scientific conference, “Alcohol Across the Lifespan: 50 Years of Evidence-Based Diagnosis, Prevention, and Treatment Research,” on the afternoons of November 30, 2020, and December 1, 2020. The symposium will feature presentations by top researchers on the history and current state of alcohol research, as well as discussions of new research opportunities to advance the field.

Created in 1970, NIAAA is the world’s largest funder of alcohol research—supporting innovative basic, translational, and clinical research to advance the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of alcohol use disorder (AUD) and alcohol-related problems across the lifespan. With its broad research portfolio NIAAA’s work focuses on health topics that touch the lives of almost every family and community across America.

“We are proud of the tremendous scientific progress that NIAAA has fostered over the past five decades,” said NIAAA Director George F. Koob, Ph.D. “We know more about how alcohol affects the brain and body than ever before, and we have better interventions to prevent and treat alcohol misuse. We look forward to even greater progress and advances in alcohol-related research in the years ahead.”

When: Monday, November 30, 2020, and Tuesday, December 1, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. ET


(Please note that each day of the symposium has a unique videocast link)

More Information: More information about the symposium is available at the NIAAA 50th Anniversary Symposium webpage. The videocasts will include closed captioning. Individuals with disabilities who need additional reasonable accommodations to view this event should contact Joanna Mayo, 301-443-3860, or visit For TTY callers, please call the above number through the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339. 

Background: On December 31, 1970, Congress passed the Comprehensive Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Prevention, Treatment, and Rehabilitation Act of 1970, the legislation that created NIAAA, which is the Nation’s lead agency for alcohol research. 
NIAAA’s multifaceted research portfolio focuses on a wide array of health topics, such as: why some people develop alcohol use disorder; how alcohol misuse affects individuals and society; how underage drinking impacts brain development in adolescents; and how we can improve prevention, treatment, and recovery programs. 

For information about NIAAA milestones since its inception, visit the NIAAA 50th Anniversary webpage

About the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA): 
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health, is the primary U.S. agency for conducting and supporting research on the causes, consequences, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of alcohol use disorder. NIAAA also disseminates research findings to general, professional, and academic audiences. Additional alcohol research information and publications are available at Follow us on Twitter and Instagram. 

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): 
NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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