The Center for Alcohol Research in Epigenetics (CARE) hosted its second annual retreat on April 13th 2017. The retreat was designed to promote interactions among researchers and trainees working in the alcohol research field within the Chicagoland area. This also serves as a platform for junior researchers to present their findings in the field of alcohol and drug abuse. The retreat was separated into two sessions; the first session was attended by faculty and trainees of the CARE at UIC, special guest Dr. Antonio Noronha from NIH-NIAAA, as well as the CARE’s 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, Dr. Kumar welcomed everyone followed by Dr. Pandey presentation of overall progress and a brief summary the center’s future goals. This was followed by CARE faculty (Drs. Brodie, Lasek, Guidotti, Grayson, Pradhan, Feinstein, Dong, Gorka) presentation of the key findings from each research component. Board members asked questions and discussed major findings. Dr. Antonio Noronha concluded the first session by addressing the Board and CARE faculty and delivering closing remarks. Board members as well as Dr. Noronha appreciated the impressive progress made within two year of the funding. New this year, three CARE Trainees presented their most recent findings in a ‘Data Blitz.’ Their research topics addressed the Lmo3 gene as a regulator of anxiety and behavioral responses to alcohol (Antonia Savarese), Histone methylation, anxiety and adolescent alcohol exposure (Evan Kyzar) as well as the Extrasynaptic & subunit-containing GABAA receptor (Eleonora Gatta). This ‘Data Blitz’ was followed by a rousing presentation entitled, “Human Laboratory Studies for Evaluating Putative Alcohol Pharmacotherapies” by the keynote speaker, Dr. Robert Swift of Brown University. Following the talk, guests attended the retreat's poster presentation session. A total of 40 posters were submitted and presented by junior staff and faculty from UIC, and Loyola University of Chicago. To conclude the retreat, the top three posters were recognized by a panel of judges. This one-day event was well attended and given great scientific exchange among faculty and trainees.