Gordon Research Conferences
Conference Details

Alcohol & the Nervous System
Gordon Research Conference

Conference Information



Initial Year





Meeting Cycle

24 Months

Conference Description

The Alcohol and the Nervous System conference will create a new forum for discussion at the frontiers of alcohol research, including studies of acute, chronic and developmental alcohol exposure on neural function and the behavioral consequences of these actions. The scope of the research presented will be restricted to basic and clinical studies involving alcohol and the nervous system to allow participants to focus on research questions that are important for addressing drug actions that contribute to excessive alcohol drinking and alcohol addiction. The rationale for this focus is that alcohol use disorders result from a combination of susceptibility of the brain to substance abuse/addiction and the pharmacological actions of alcohol itself. Discussion of emerging ideas and findings in this area will stimulate cutting edge research in the field, and eventually contribute to new approaches to prevention and treatment of alcohol use disorders. Topics will include a full range of alcohol related studies at the genetic, molecular, cellular, circuit/systems and behavioral levels, with particular emphasis on multidisciplinary work.

One in 13 adults in the United States abuse alcohol or suffer from alcoholism, and alcohol-related problems cost society approximately $185 billion per year. Furthermore, according to the 2011 World Health Organization Report, chronic excessive alcohol use is one of four common risk factors for multiple diseases. Finally, alcohol has been rated as the most harmful drug to oneself and others (The Lancet, 2011). Thus, there is a great need to gain a better understanding of the neural underpinnings of alcohol abuse and addiction, and to develop more effective prevention and treatment strategies. The sharing and discussion of new findings in the GRC model is ideal for identifying important research avenues and promising new discoveries. In the past, the alcohol research field has been characterized by individual laboratories and small centers each working on one aspect of the overall problem. Presentations at large meetings that cover the entire alcohol research area have tended to focus on published work from single laboratories. With the recent development of larger, trans-institutional research consortia studying the neural actions of alcohol, a forum for building new collaborative efforts within the field is needed. The extensive time allotted for discussion within the GRC format is ideal for the kind of information sharing needed to foster these collaborations. In addition, we will encourage participation in talks and poster sessions by young investigators and established investigators new to the field that will increase the level of expertise and productivity in this research area, while ensuring a pool of well-informed investigators to carry on this important research. We envision that a highly interactive GRC, filled with discussion of cutting edge research will become the premier meeting in the alcohol research field, and one of the top meetings in the substance abuse and addiction areas.

What is a GRC? Gordon Research Conferences (GRC) are 5-day meetings that bring scientists together from around the world to present and discuss unpublished research with other leaders in their field.

Related Conference

This Gordon Research Conference (GRC) series is related to the "Alcohol & the Nervous System" Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) series. Although a related GRS will typically be scheduled in conjunction with its parent GRC each time it meets, that may not always be the case. Refer to the individual meetings in the Meeting History section below for more details. For more information about the associated Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) series, click here.

What is a GRS? Gordon Research Seminars (GRS) are 2-day meetings that bring graduate students and post-docs together to discuss their cutting edge research among peers and mentors. Each GRS immediately precedes an associated Gordon Research Conference (GRC), and topics addressed at the GRS relate closely to the GRC.

Meeting History

YearMeeting NameDatesConference SiteChair(s)
2018 Alcohol & the Nervous System
New Perspectives in Alcohol Neuroscience Research
Mar 4-9 Hotel Galvez Jeff L. Weiner
C. Fernando Valenzuela
2016 Alcohol & the Nervous System
Breakthroughs in Alcohol Neuroscience Research at the Level of Molecules, Cells, Synapses, and Behavior
Feb 7-12 Hotel Galvez Dorit Ron
2014 Alcohol & the Nervous System
Molecular, Cellular, Circuit and Behavioral Actions of Ethanol
Feb 16-21 Hotel Galvez David Lovinger
Changhai Cui
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