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.