UNC Health Talk

UNC and NCCU awarded $7.5 million for alcohol health disparities research

Nov. 13, 2015

DURHAM/CHAPEL HILL – Researchers at University of North Carolina School of Medicine and North Carolina Central University have been awarded $7.5 million to continue an ongoing collaboration between the institutions aimed at understanding and reducing alcohol-related pathologies among African-Americans. The award, from National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is for $6 million to NCCU and $1.5 million to UNC over a 5-year period. This funding will continue a research program investigating the molecular mechanisms of fetal alcohol pathology, alcoholic liver disease, alcohol-related cancers, including breast cancer, and the effects of alcohol and marijuana on brain stem cells and neurotoxicity.

Gregory Cole, PhD, Chair of Biological & Biomedical Sciences at NCCU, and Fulton Crews, PhD, Director of UNC Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies, are lead investigators of the project.

“The UNC-NCCU partnership will promote, support, and mentor research on alcohol pathology creating an active NCCU program that will involve students and prepare them to become leading scientists in the future,” Crews said.

This partnership opens UNC research laboratories, core facilities and libraries to NCCU faculty, improving opportunities for developing productive research laboratories at NCCU and providing NCCU students with opportunities to work with some of the world’s leading alcohol researchers.

George F. Koob, PhD, Director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, will visit the UNC-NCCU program on Nov. 18 to help kick off the successful renewal of this important collaborative partnership.

“The UNC-NCCU partnership has been critical in establishing alcohol research as a focus at NCCU, providing new and exciting opportunities to students and faculty creating beneficial collaborations with UNC Bowles Center faculty. We are thrilled to be able to welcome Dr. Koob to our campus so that he can see firsthand the strides we are making in alcohol research that focuses on the health disparities of this disease,” Cole said.

About NCCU
North Carolina Central University prepares students to succeed in the global marketplace. Flagship programs include the sciences, technology, nursing, education, law, business and the arts. Founded in 1910 as a liberal arts college for African-Americans, NCCU remains committed to diversity in higher education. Our alumni excel in a wide variety of academic and professional fields. Visit www.nccu.edu.

About UNC Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies
The UNC Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies (BCAS) is a UNC School of Medicine research Center that is one of fourteen National Research Centers funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), a part of the National Institutes of Health. The mission of the Center for Alcohol Studies (CAS) is to conduct, coordinate and promote basic and clinical research on the causes, prevention and treatment of alcoholism and alcoholic disease. The BCAS has been a world leader in the search for the causes of alcoholism, alcoholic liver disease and fetal pathology as well as improving intervention and treatment for alcohol abuse and alcoholism.