Binghamton University psychologist honored by NIH for alcohol, developing brain research

10/29/05

Linda P. Spear, distinguished professor of psychology at Binghamton University, State University of New York, has been selected to receive the 2005 National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism's Mark Keller Award and to deliver the accompanying lecture, "Adolescence: Neurobehavioral characteristics, differential alcohol sensitivities and intake," at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, November 3, in the Masur Auditorium of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland.

Spear's lab has published landmark studies on the effects of alcohol on the developing brain. Her work centers, in particular, on alcohol sensitivity and use during adolescence, the age when many young people first drink alcohol. Spear's investigations use animal models to identify factors that might contribute to adolescents' propensity to experiment with alcohol and to determine why this age group seems to be at particular risk for alcohol's deleterious effects. Her findings are helping scientists understand how alcohol affects the developing brain and ultimately how drinking during adolescence may contribute to alcohol-related problems later in life.

"I am honored to receive this award and am excited that alcohol research in adolescence is receiving so much recognition," said Spear.

The Keller award is given annually to "an outstanding alcohol researcher who has made significant and long-term contributions to our understanding of how alcohol affects the body and mind, how we can prevent and treat alcohol abuse and alcoholism, and how today's scientific advancements can provide hope for tomorrow."

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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