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Local Scientists to Launch Alcoholism Study

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

The nation’s leading center on alcoholism has awarded a $38 million research grant to a local scientist. Dr. George Koob of the Scripps Research Institute will use the money to launch a new five-year study. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has the story.

Dr. Koob’s study will attempt to identify the molecular basis of alcoholism. He says researchers will try to figure out what genes and differences in the brain make some people more prone to alcoholism. Koob says family history plays a role.

Individuals who have a history of alcoholism in their family will discover that many of them have an innate, low sensitivity to alcohol. In other words, they can drink a lot before they get intoxicated. And we think that may be a key to some of these vulnerabilities.”

Dr. Koob says 26 investigators nationwide will conduct the study. He says this collaborative effort will allow better sharing of resources and information. Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.

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