I have almost 40 years of experience in the field of alcoholism research, with much of my work focusing on the molecular sites and mechanisms of alcohol action in brain. My group has extensive experience with mouse behavioral models of alcohol consumption and dependence and was involved in some of the initial studies of the neuroimmune basis of alcohol dependence. Profiling brain gene expression is key to understanding addiction, and we were among the first to study the human brain transcriptome. We have implemented microRNA profiling and next-generation sequencing to extend our studies of molecular remodeling by alcohol in human and mouse brain. We study the genetic overlap in human alcoholics and animal models of alcohol dependence and examine the neurobiological systems involved. My research encompasses the fields of genomics, behavior, systems biology, and bioinformatics. Overall, my work has combined functional, structural, behavioral, and genomic approaches to define sites of alcohol action. Currently, I am Associate Director of the Waggoner Center for Alcohol and Addiction Research at The University of Texas at Austin and previously served as Director for 20 years. I am also the Consortium Director for the Integrative Neuroscience Initiative on Alcoholism (INIA)-Neuroimmune, where our goal is to identify and test candidate drugs that may be repurposed to treat alcohol use disorders.
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