Dr. Kechris to study genetic factors affecting predisposition to alcoholism
Congratulations to Associate Professor of Biostatistics Dr. Katerina Kechris
on her recent NIH/R01 grant award to study the genetic factors and molecular mechanisms affecting the predisposition to alcoholism.
Alcohol use disorders are a major health and social problem in the United States, with more than 18 million Americans who meet the diagnostic criteria for alcohol abuse or dependence. Both human and animal studies show that genetic and environmental factors, in addition to their interaction, play an important role in the development of alcoholism.
The goal of Dr. Kechris’s study is to identify genetic factors affecting the predisposition to alcoholism, through the modulation of small molecules called micro RNA (miRNA) in the brain. She will use next generation sequencing technology to profile miRNA in the brains of inbred mice and then develop advanced computational methods to integrate the genetic, molecular and alcohol-related behavioral data. Because of the diverse expertise needed, Dr. Kechris has assembled a multidisciplinary team with investigators from the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
These results of this study will give mechanistic insight regarding genetic risk factors for alcoholism, information that can be used in the future for personalized medicine and other therapeutic and diagnostic purposes.Public Health
, Molecular Genetics
, Behavioral Genetics
, Medical Diagnostics
, Scientific Research