For over 25 Years The Scripps Research Institute Alcohol Research Center (TSRI-ARC) has been devoted to the study of the effects of alcohol on the brain and how these effects lead to alcohol abuse and alcoholism. Alcoholism can be defined as a behavioral disorder characterized by an obsession with obtaining and using alcohol and disregarding other important activities that do not involve alcohol use. Other serious problems that can occur in alcoholism are an inability to control alcohol use, medical and psychological problems caused by alcohol use, craving alcohol, and difficulty staying sober once a person has stopped drinking.
The Mason laboratory is focused on the clinical evaluation of potential medications for alcohol use disorder and related conditions such as nicotine and cannabis use disorders. Within the ARC, I oversee and coordinate group meetings and seminars and ensure the efficiency of center-related research.
Administrative Core Scientific Director
Cellular Neurobiology Component
The Roberto laboratory studies the effects of alcohol on neuronal function and synaptic transmission using electrophysiological, pharmacological, and molecular methods. Within the ARC, we focus on extended amygdala CRF, opioid and eCB roles in binge drinking and dependence.
Clinical Neurobehavioral Component
The Ehlers laboratory studies genetic variation between ethnic groups in alcohol metabolizing enzyme structure. Within the ARC, we are studying the relationship between risk and protective factors for binge drinking and alcohol use disorders in Mexican American young adults.
The Zorrilla laboratory investigates genetic, epigenetic and neuroadaptive differences in circuitry involved in appetitive and stress-related behaviors. Within the ARC, we are studying alterations in glutamatergic and CRF signaling in the amygdala during ethanol withdrawal.
The Martin-Fardon laboratory studies the role of the orexin (Orx/Hcrt) system in alcohol seeking. Within the ARC, a primary focus is on Orx/Hcrt in the PVT as a novel neural substrate for the compulsive nature of alcohol seeking as opposed to behavior motivated by natural rewards.
Cellular Physiology Component
The Mandyam laboratory studies the neurogenic mechanisms altered by complex behaviors, including alcohol addiction and dependence. Within the ARC, we are examining aberrant neurogenesis during withdrawal, its role in relapse, and its inhibition it as a potential therapeutic strategy.
Viral Vector Core
The Contet laboratory investigates the molecular mechanisms mediating the behavioral effects of alcohol, with a focus on neuroadaptations driving excessive alcohol drinking. Within the ARC, we provide validated viral vectors to manipulate gene expression in the rodent brain.
Animal Models Core
The George laboratory studies the neurobiological mechanisms underlying the transition to alcohol and drug addiction and novel treatments to reduce compulsive use. Within the ARC, we provide animal models, biochemical measures, and a database for ARC and Center-at-Large investigators.
Dr. Gilder is a psychiatrist with interests in psychopharmacology of depression, anxiety disorders, psychotic disorders, addiction and dementia. In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Gilder has a special interest in the study of risk and protective factors in addiction disorders.