Neuroimmune Mechanisms Contributing to Addiction Neurobiology
- Brain Function and Alcohol Use Disorders

The purpose of this workshop / webinar is to highlight recent progress in the understanding of neuroimmune mechanisms contributing to brain function and alcohol dependence. It is becoming increasingly clear that alcohol and other drugs of abuse modulate neuroimmune signaling. However, it remains unclear how these neuroimmune alterations contribute to addiction neurobiology.  Recent studies have demonstrated that neuroimmune signaling play an important role in modulating synaptic function, neurodevelopment, and neuroendocrine function, and that microglia bi-directionally interact with neurons and shape neuronal connectivity. These findings provide an important frame work in understanding the role of neuroimmune modulation in the neurobiology of addiction. This workshop will bring together scientists from both alcohol and other research fields to highlight recent science advances, identify research gaps, and discuss possible challenges in this area.  It will also refine ideas for future research direction and encourage collaboration cross research entities. The workshop will be also held as a webinar event (, which allows broader accessibility. This workshop is organized by the Division of Neuroscience and Behavior, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).

View the webcast on the NIH Videocast site:

View the complete agenda at

Featured Speakers:

  • Adron Harris, Ph.D. Director, Waggoner Center for Alcohol & Addiction Research, University of Texas at Austin
  • Fulton Crews, Ph.D., Director, Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Marisa Roberto, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Committee on the Neurobiology of Addictive Disorders, Scripps Research Institute.
  • Wen-Biao Gan, Ph.D., Professor, Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine, New York University
  • Staci Bilbo, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Psychology & Neuroscience, Arts & Sciences, Duke University
  • Rajita Sinha, Ph.D., Professor, Dept. of Psychiatry, Director of Interdisciplinary Stress Center, Yale University School of Medicine

Panelists: Drs. Dorit Ron, Kathy Grant, David Lovinger, Cynthia Kane, Dipak Sarkar, and Gyongi Szabo

NIAAA Contact:
Changhai Cui, Ph.D.
Division of Neuroscience and Behavior, NIAAA