Alcohol Research Training in Neurosciences
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has awarded The University of Texas at Austin an Institutional Research Training Grant.
The Alcohol Training Grant provides stipends for seven predoctoral and two postdoctoral fellows who will be broadly and intensively trained to conduct research on alcoholism. Training areas span the breadth of state-of-the-art approaches including molecular biology and genetics, electrophysiology, cellular imaging, neurochemistry and behavior. Research models include both animal and human. The training program promotes and supports collaborative research in the following areas:
Molecular biology – studies of the function of voltage- and ligand-gated ion channels in cellular expression systems (Mihic, Harris, Atkinson), development of new transgenic animal models (Harris, Mihic, Atkinson), and identification of ethanol responsive genes (Harris, Mihic, Atkinson).
Genetics – genotyping of human and animal subjects (Fromme, Harris).
Electrophysiology and microscopic imaging – whole cell and intracellular methods in single cells and in brain slices (Morrisett, Mihic, Harris, Morikawa).
Neurochemistry – intracellular and extracellular signaling mechanisms with an emphasis on phosphorylation (Morrisett, Mayfield), release and transport of glutamate, dopamine, and other neurotransmitters (Gonzales, Harris, Duvauchelle, Mayfield), and expression of synaptic proteins (Mayfield, Morrisett).
Behavior – analysis of the effects of ethanol on motor function, reinforcement, anxiety, and withdrawal (Duvauchelle, Harris, Gonzales).
Psychosocial – psychological approaches to understanding human drinking patterns (Fromme) and the interaction of genotype and alcohol drinking in humans (Fromme, Harris)
Postdoctoral fellows typically choose a project at the onset of their training. Predoctoral trainees will rotate through the laboratories of selected faculty members prior to choosing an advisor for dissertation research. Predoctoral students are required to complete a series of core course requirements covering ethanol’s actions on the central nervous system, scientific ethics, experimental design, and statistical analysis. Our training program has a 20 year history of recruiting and training minority students and this will continue to be a focus. The training faculty have an excellent history of collaboration and sharing of laboratory space and equipment. The research laboratories are well equipped with state-of-the-art techiques and instrumentation for a range of neurochemical and behavioral testing.
For more information and details about application procedures, contact Rueben Gonzales, Training Grant Director.