North Carolina Central University (NCCU) and the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine have been awarded $7.5 million to examine factors causing alcohol-related health disparities in African-Americans.
The grant from National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded $6 million to NCCU and $1.5 million to the Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies, a research center at UNC School of Medicine.
The grant covers a five-year period and provides a boost to an ongoing collaboration between the institutions as they examine alcohol-related pathologies, which are more prevalent among African-Americans.
Dr. George Koob, director of the NIH/National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, visited NCCU’s Julius L. Chambers Biomedical/Biotechnology Research Institute (BBRI) and the Biomanufacturing Research Institute and Technology Enterprise (BRITE) research labs on Nov. 18.
During his visit, Koob discussed the cooperative agreement and its benefits with research professionals from NCCU and UNC.
“The partnership gives aspiring scientists an opportunity to examine the effects of alcohol and to receive training in the field of alcohol pathologies,” said Koob. “Students will conduct research to produce breakthroughs in science to increase better health and fewer effects of diseases in communities.”
Researchers from both institutions are studying the molecular mechanisms of fetal alcohol pathology, alcoholic liver disease, and alcohol-related cancers, including breast cancer. The investigators also will examine adolescent binge drinking and the effects of alcohol and marijuana on brain stem cells and neurotoxicity.