Alcohol Abuse Prevention

In the U.S., excessive alcohol use is the third leading preventable
cause of death, and each year is responsible for approximately 79,000
deaths and 2.3 million years of potential life lost.1 The need for
alcohol abuse prevention research in the State of Texas is underscored
by our alarmingly high statewide rate of alcohol-related motor vehicle
fatalities – a rate which exceeds that of all other large population
states. Recently recruited faculty members in the School provide the
Health Science Center with a competitive advantage for expanding our
portfolio of funded research activity in alcohol abuse prevention. Dr.
Dennis Thombs, Professor and Chair, and Dr. Scott Walters, Professor,
have recently joined the Social and Behavioral Science faculty in the
School. Both have a track record of NIH-funded, community-based research
in alcohol abuse prevention. Furthermore, Dr. Thombs has developed
collaborative research relationships with a number of GSBS faculty
members that have led to the development of grant applications. These
faculty include: Dr. Rhonda Roby (Department of Forensic and
Investigative Genetics), Dr. Laszlo Prokai (Department of Molecular
Biology and Immunology), Dr. Michael Gatch (Department of Pharmacology
and Neuroscience), and Dr. Marianna Jung (Department of Pharmacology and
Neuroscience).  Dr. Thombs believes that additional collaborative
alcohol research activity will develop with TCOM faculty in the near
future, e.g., Dr. Vicki Nejtek (Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral
Health).   Reference:  Kanny, D., Liu, Y., & Brewer, R.D. (2011).
Binge drinking – – United States, 2009. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 60(01): 101-104.

Key SPH Faculty Members: Dr. Dennis Thombs, Dr. Scott Walters