First Annual Retreat

The Center for Alcohol Research in Epigenetics (CARE) hosted its first annual retreat on March 31st, 2016. The retreat promotes alcohol research in the Chicagoland area and serves as a platform for junior researchers to present their findings in the field of alcohol use disorders. The retreat was initiated by the welcoming remarks of Dr. Anand Kumar, Head of the Department of Psychiatry at UIC, followed by inaugural remarks of Dr. Subhash Pandey, Center Director. The retreat was divided into two sessions; the first session was attended by senior staff and faculty of CARE, NIH-NIAAA Director of the Division of Neuroscience and Behavior and special guest Dr. Antonio Noronha, as well as the center’s external advisory board members which include; Dr. Harriet de Witt (University of Chicago), Dr. Dipak Sarkar (Rutgers University), Dr. Gary Wand (Johns Hopkins School of Medicine), Dr. Robert Swift (Brown University), and Dr. Lawrence Chandler (Medical University of South Carolina). In the first session, CARE faculty summarized the key findings from each research component, the overall progress of CARE, and a briefly summarized the center’s future goals. Dr. Antonio Noronha concluded the first session by addressing the Board and CARE faculty and delivering closing remarks. He appreciated the efforts of CARE alcohol researchers for making excellent progress in a very short period of time. This session was followed by a rousing presentation entitled, “Epigenetic and cellular mechanisms of stress and alcoholism” by keynote speaker, Dr. Gary Wand of Johns Hopkins Medical University. Following the talk, guests attended the retreat's poster presentation session. A total of 36 posters were submitted and presented by junior faculty and trainees from UIC, Loyola University of Chicago, and the University of Chicago. To conclude the retreat, the top three posters were recognized by a panel of judges and first, second, and third place prizes were presented to the winners by Drs. Noronha, Pandey, and Kumar. In general, the retreat was well attended and created an outstanding environment for scientific discussion towards better understanding the neurobiology of alcoholism.