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  •  Laboratory of Behavioral and Genomic Neuroscience 
    The Laboratory of Behavioral and Genomic Neuroscience specializes in using animal models to determine how exposure to stress and drugs of abuse affect an individual’s capacity for high-level cognitive and so-called executive functions. Executive functions include the ability to inhibit inappropriate behaviors such as aggression and excessive fear, and the capacity for controlling and  avoiding potentially self-destructive activities which capacity is often compromised  in drug and alcohol addiction.   
  • Laboratory of Cardiovascular Physiology and Tissue Injury
    The Laboratory of Cardiovascular Physiology and Tissue Injury seeks to identify new therapeutic targets against various forms of tissue injury, associated with increased oxidative/nitrosative stress and inflammation, using clinically relevant animal models of disease (e.g., ischemia reperfusion injury, cardiomyopathies, nephropathies, heart failure, diabetic complications, cardiovascular aging, and alcohol induced cardiovascular and liver injury and neuroinflammation).
  • Laboratory for Integrative Neuroscience  
    The goal of the Laboratory of Integrative Neuroscience is to understand the genetic, molecular, and neurological determinants of the cognitive and behavioral bases of alcoholism.  In particular, the Laboratory studies the genetic and molecular mechanisms that influence neural circuit morphology, circuit plasticity, and a range of alcoholism-related behaviors. The Section on Synaptic Pharmacology focuses on gene transcription, protein expression and cellular imaging.
  • Laboratory of Liver Diseases  
    The goal of the Laboratory of Liver Diseases is to elucidate the molecular pathways that underwrite the propagation of alcoholic and non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases, and to identify therapeutic targets that can be used to reverse the course of these diseases.  The Laboratory is especially interested in role of inflammation in liver disease, as well as the mechanisms that protect the liver from chronic alcohol exposure.
  • Laboratory of Biophotonics and Quantum Biology  
    The goal of the Laboratory of Biophotonics and Quantum Biology (LBQB) is to develop advanced imaging and spectroscopy techniques for studying protein-protein interaction under physiological conditions and for developing second-generation biosensors. We are particularly interested in developing new tools and approaches using fluorescent proteins for studying proteins that modulate synaptic behavior.
  • Laboratory of Molecular Signaling
    The goal of the Laboratory of Molecular Signaling is to understand the metabolism of poly unsaturated fatty acids in the brain.  The Laboratory is particularly interested in how the accumulation and metabolism of docosahexaenoic acid in the brain promotes cognitive and memory functions, and how the inhibition of these metabolic processes contributes to psychiatric disorders.
  • Laboratory of Membrane Biochemistry and Biophysics
    The goal of the Laboratory of Membrane Biochemistry and Biophysics is to understand how chronic alcohol use affects the structure and function of cellular membranes.  The Laboratory is particularly interested in the role of docosahexaenoic acid on membrane function.  The Section on Nuclear Magnetic Resonance studies how polyunsaturated fatty acids influence cellular functions by altering the biophysical properties of lipid membranes and by interacting with membrane proteins.  The Section of Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology focuses on the involvement of two enzymes in the metabolism of ethanol, increased oxidative/nitrosative damage, and signaling mechanisms during cell death.  The Section on Nutritional Neuroscience examines the impact of omega-3 highly unsaturated fatty acids on the development of substance use and psychiatric disorders.
  • Laboratory on Neurobiology of Compulsive Behaviors
    Research in this laboratory is focused on understanding the effects of drugs of abuse on synapses and neuronal connectivity with the purpose of revealing the cellular mechanisms that control reward-motivated behaviors and compulsive drug seeking
  • Laboratory of Neurogenetics
    The goal of the Laboratory of Neurogenetics is to identify genetic variations that contribute to the inheritance of alcoholism and related addictive and psychiatric disorders.  The Laboratory uses a number of genetic, genomic, behavioral, and bioinformatic techniques to identify associations between genotypic variations and intermediate phenotypes that are involved in disease progression.  The Section on Human Neurogenetics focuses on genotypic analyses, while the Section on Comparative Behavioral Genomics concentrates on the behavioral consequences of genetic variation.
  • Laboratory of Neuroimaging
    The Laboratory of Neuroimaging uses neuroimaging technologies to understand the molecular mechanisms of compulsive disorders.  The laboratory is especially interested in comparing the way that drugs of abuse (such as alcohol and cocaine) and non-drug reinforcers (such as food and gambling) influence reward processes in the brain.
  • Laboratory of Physiologic Studies
    The goal of the Laboratory of Physiological Studies is to understand the molecular and cellular bases of alcohol-induced organ damage.  The Section on Neuroendocrinology focuses on the biology of endogenous cannabinoids and receptors, and their role in energy metabolism and cardiovascular regulation.  
  • Chemical Biology Research Branch (joint lab with NIDA)
    The goal of this Section, which is jointly administered by NIAAA and NIDA, is to develop a wide range of new compounds for clinical and research purposes.  The Section focuses on novel analgesics, antagonists of the Toll-like 4 receptors, agonists of the corticotropin releasing hormone, and interleukin-6 agonists.
  • The focus of the Section of Comparative Behavioral Genomics is the examination of intra- and inter-specific variation in genomic sequence and epigenetic effects as they relate to variation in behavioral traits that are known risk factors for alcohol use disorder (AUD). 




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  • The goal of the Office of the Clinical Director's Clinical Core Laboratory (CCL) is to provide a shared laboratory space for NIAAA researchers in the Clinical Research Center to facilitate human alcoholism research. 
  • This unit conducts both functional and structural brain imaging studies related to alcoholism. These include the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) techniques, positron emission tomographic (PET) studies, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. 
  • Section on Human Psychopharmacology 
    The Section on Human Psychopharmacoplogy conducts studies characterizing the pharmacokinetics and CNS pharmacodynamics of alcohol in humans using behavioral, neuroendocrine, electrophysiological and functional imaging measures.
  • Section on Clinical Genomics and Experimental Therapeutics 
    The CGET conducts pre-clinical studies and translational clinical studies with focus on genomics and epigenetics related to the pathophysiology and treatment of alcohol use disorders and addictions.