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Waggoner Center for Alcohol and Addiction Research

Experienced investigators from the College of Natural Sciences, College of Liberal Arts, Cockrell School of Engineering, Dell Medical School, Hicks School of Social Work, and the College of Pharmacy explore alcohol and drug actions at the molecular, electrophysiological and behavioral levels. Collaborations with engineers and scientists who are not currently alcohol researchers allow the development of new tools and research approaches not possible in any one laboratory.

Substance use disorders produce enormous suffering and are caused by both environmental and genetic factors. The effects are felt worldwide, in all societies. Economic losses due to substance use disorders are greater than those caused by cancer, AIDS, or heart disease. Lost productivity, the burden on the health care system, and other factors caused by alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs are estimated to cost the U.S. $600 billion annually. The emotional stress on family members and friends of the afflicted is incalculable.

In 2017, there were an estimated 18.7 million people in the U.S. who suffered from a substance use disorder 1. Among these, alcohol use disorder was the most common, afflicting 15.1 million people. Despite this high prevalence, federal support for research on alcohol use disorder is the lowest for any major public health problem. Research in this field has the potential to impact not only the lives of those afflicted, but also their family members - an estimated 126 million Americans.

Dramatic scientific advances over the past two decades have revolutionized our understanding of substance use disorders. Foremost among these developments is the clear understanding that these disorders are treatable diseases of the brain. The Waggoner Center for Alcohol and Addiction Research was created to research these neurobehavioral disorders.

Progress in addiction research requires education and focused training of future scientists in state-of-the art approaches to the problem. Members are committed to this endeavor, developing new courses in the neurobiology of substance use disorders for undergraduate and graduate students. Additionally, the University has designated substantial endowment funds to train graduate students in this research field.

1Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Admin., 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. https://www.samhsa.gov/data/nsduh/reports-detailed-tables-2017-NSDUH

ALDRICH, RICHARD W
Richard W Aldrich
Professor
Karl Folkers Chair in Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research II

Molecular mechanisms of ion channels and signaling molecules.
512-232-6246
NHB 4.504
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ATKINSON, NIGEL S
Nigel S Atkinson
Professor
Molecular mechanisms underlying alcoholism
512-232-3404
PAT 228
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BLEDNOV, YURI
Yuri Blednov
Research Scientist
512-232-2520
MBB 1.124
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EBERHART, JOHANN K
Johann K Eberhart
Associate Professor
512-232-8340
PAT 522
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Ferguson, Laura
Laura B Zeavin
Research Affiliate
Guzman, Dawn Marie
Dawn M Guzman

INS Graduate Student - Pierce Lab
HARRIS, R ADRON
R A Harris
Professor
M. June and J. Virgil Waggoner Chair in Molecular Biology

Investigating molecular mechanisms responsible for alcoholism and drug dependence.
512-232-2514
MBB 1.124
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IYER, VISHWANATH R
Vishy Iyer
Professor, Professor of Oncology
512-232-7833
MBB 3.212A
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JACOBVITZ, DEBORAH B
Deborah B Jacobvitz
Phyllis L. Richards Endowed Professor in Child Development
Amy Johnson McLaughlin Administrative Chair in Human Ecology | Phyllis L. Richards Endowed Professorship in Child Development | Sonia Wolf Wilson Regents Administrative Professorship in Human Ecology | Elizabeth Tarpley Regents Fellowship in Textiles and Clothing

512-232-5879
SEA 2.414
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JOHNSTON, DANIEL
Daniel Johnston
Professor, Director (Academic)
Karl Folkers Chair in Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research

Cellular neurophysiology–information processing and storage in single neurons and small neural networks; memory, epilepsy.
512-232-6564
NHB 2.504
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Lambeth, Philip
Philip S Lambeth
Graduate Student Fellow
INS Graduate Student - Gonzales Lab
MARTIN, STEPHEN F No
Stephen F Martin
Professor
M. June and J. Virgil Waggoner Regents Chair in Chemistry

512-471-3915
WEL 5.416
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MAYFIELD, ROY D
Roy D Mayfield
Research Scientist
512-232-7578
MBB 1.124
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Messing, Robert
Robert Messing
Professor, Director (0379)
MIHIC, S J
S J Mihic
Associate Professor
M. June and J. Virgil Waggoner Professorships in Molecular Biology

Developing a better understanding of how ligand-gated ion channels function
512-232-7173
MBB 1.148
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MORIKAWA, HITOSHI
Hitoshi Morikawa
Associate Professor
M. June and J. Virgil Waggoner Professorships in Molecular Biology

Neurobiology of reward learning and addiction
512-232-9299
PAT
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Park, Annie
Annie Park

INS Graduate Student - Atkinson Lab
Pierce, Jonathan
Jonathan Pierce
Associate Professor
M. June and J. Virgil Waggoner Professorships in Molecular Biology

The genetic mechanisms that govern behaviors and contribute to neurological disorders.
512-232-4137
NMS 5.116
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Pomrenze, Matthew
Matthew B Pomrenze

INS Graduate Student - Messing and Marinelli Labs
Warden, Anna
Anna S Warden
Volunteer
INS Graduate Student - Adron Harris Lab