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Graduation Medical Education (GME): Alcoholism
Ted George, MD
Entry Id: TP-2
Eligible candidates must have completed an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-accredited residency in psychiatry or internal medicine and be eligible for United States (US) medical licensure.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) is the preeminent federal agency for research focused on improving the treatment and prevention of alcoholism and alcohol-related problems. The institute’s intramural research program offers an array of postdoctoral opportunities in several exciting areas at the cutting edge of science. Senior investigators in the program are internationally known in basic and clinical electrophysiology, various modalities of brain imaging, molecular and clinical genetics, developmental and behavioral pharmacology, eiconasoid metabolism and membrane functioning, intermediary metabolism, and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. These methodologies are used to decipher the genetics of vulnerability toward alcoholism; brain mechanisms involved in craving for alcohol; and the effects of alcohol on ion channels, receptors, second messengers, cell membrane functions and metabolism. Studies that integrate techniques spanning from the molecular level to clinical trials take advantage of the unique situation at the NIH campus, which provides the proximity of well-equipped research laboratories and research wards and clinics.
Structure of the Clinical Training Program
Clinical and research training are integrated during the two-year Clinical Associated Program. Fellows assume responsibility for the evaluation and clinical care of inpatient research subjects. The trainee is encouraged to develop areas of research that may be translated into clinical protocols. Research design, methodology, statistical analysis and data presentation skills are developed through interaction with mentors, didactic sessions, and practical experiences. For trainees with primarily laboratory interests, basic research training opportunities are available in the individual laboratories.
Program Faculty and Research Interests
SECTION OF CLINICAL SCIENCES
Dan Hommer, MD, Chief
The major objectives of research conducted in the Section of Clinical Science are to: 1) Characterize the pathophysiology of alcoholism utilizing positron emission tomography (PET), functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), cerebrospinal fluid metabolite determinations, and pharmacological challenge paradigms, 2) explore possible biological/psychological determinants that might differentiate subtypes of alcoholics, 3) explain the role of gender in the physiological effects of heavy alcohol consumption, 4) characterize the role of alcohol in violent behavior, 5) describe changes in heart rate variability which occur during protracted withdrawal from alcohol, 6) characterize the metabolism of alcohol in subjects who do not have an alcohol diagnosis, and 7) introduce new pharmacologic interventions for the long-term treatment of alcoholism.
LABORATORY OF MEMBRANE BIOCHEMISTRY & BIOPHYSICS
Norman Salem Jr., PhD, Chief
The Laboratory of Membrane Biochemistry & Biophysics focuses upon the role of essential fatty acids, particularly arachidonate and docsahexaenoate in nervous system function and development. Central to this effort is understanding how alterations in lipid composition and metabolism occur as a result of alcoholism, both in human protocols and in animal models. Current protocols involve the study of stable isotopically labeled essential fatty acids in alcoholics and appropriate control groups. In this study, the diet is controlled and assessed for nutrient content. Another protocol, in which the clinical work is being done through a collaborative effort, involves a similar study of essential fatty acids elongation/desaturation in vivo in newborn infants. As a result of this effort, we were able to publish the first study of human infant metabolism and demonstrate that newborns have adequate liver enzymatic function to produce arachidonic and docosahexaenoic acid from their 18-carbon precursors.
Eligible candidates must have completed an ACGME-accredited residency in Psychiatry or Internal Medicine and be eligible for US medical licensure. Candidates with accumulated debt may also qualify for loan repayment in addition to a competitive salary.
The quickest and easiest way to find out more about this training program or to apply for consideration is to do it electronically. See application link in the Program Specific Elements Box on right.
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