The Center for Alcohol Research in Epigenetics (CARE) hosted its third annual retreat on May 3rd 2018. This retreat was designed to promote interactions among researchers and trainees working in the alcohol research field within the Chicagoland area. The retreat began with welcoming remarks by Dr. Kumar, Head of the Department of Psychiatry at UIC, followed by welcoming remarks by Dr. Subhash Pandey, Center Director. Dr. Pandey also presented the overall progress of the CARE center and described what the day-to-day agenda is like in the center. 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, Dr. Antonio Noronha and program director, Dr. Hemin Chin. External advisory board members of the CARE including, Dr. Harriet de Witt from the University of Chicago, Dr. Dipak Sarkar from Rutgers University, Dr. Gary Wand from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Dr. Robert Swift from Brown University, and Dr. Lawrence Chandler from The Medical University of South Carolina.
During the first session, Dr. Pandey gave the overall progress of the CARE and key findings of his component. In addition, each faculty summarized the key findings from each research components, this included Dr. Alessandro Guidotti, Dr. Amy Lasek, Dr. Dennis Grayson, Dr. Mark Brodie, Dr. Erbo Dong, and Dr. Stephanie Gorka. Board members and Dr. Noronha were impressed with the outstanding progress achieved within the first 3 years of the CARE funding. Both Dr. Noronha and Dr. Chin gave their suggestions to further improve and at the same appreciated efforts of CARE led by Dr. Pandey and other component PIs of the CARE. This was followed by lunch with all research staff and board members. Three CARE trainees presented their most recent findings during the Data Blitz. The research topics addressed the Genome-wide Transcriptional Changes in the Rat Hippocampus During Ethanol Withdrawal Altered Neuroimmune Signaling (Wei-Yang Chen); The IncRNA BDNF-AS is an Epigenetic Regulator in the Amygdala of Early Onset Alcohol Use Disorders (Peyton Bohnsack) as well as Brain-behavior Abnormalities in Human Alcoholics (Stephanie Gorka). Following the Data Blitz was a presentation by the keynote speaker; Dr. Judson Chandler of The Medical University of South Carolina titled “ Prefrontal Cortical Dysfunction in a Rodent Model of Adolescent Alcohol Exposure”. Following the Keynote Presentation guests attended the retreat’s poster presentation session where there were 45 posters submitted and presented by junior staff and faculty. Following the poster presentation the top three posters were recognized by judges and awarded for their outstanding work. This years retreat the winners of the poster presentation were Evan Kyzar from department of psychiatry (1st place), Daniel Thomases from dept. of anatomy and cell biology (2nd place), and Eleonora Gatta from dept. of psychiatry (3rd place).