A Scripps Clinic scientist studying the effects of alcohol consumption on the human fetus was awarded a $6.1-million grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
Dr. Floyd Bloom heads the Scripps Clinic neuroscience and endocrinology division and directs a team of 75 scientists from three institutions examining the molecular, cellular and behavioral changes caused by severe alcohol consumption. He was awarded the five-year grant Jan. 10.
"Alcohol has a tremendous negative impact on society but . . . we hope to reduce the burden," Bloom said. "By determining exactly how alcohol acts on the brain, we may one day find new strategies and medications to treat drug abuse and addiction."
Bloom heads a team of scientists from Scripps Clinic, the Salk Institute and UC San Diego who plan to use the grant to study how exposing the brain of a human fetus to alcohol causes fetal alcohol syndrome, a devastating disease that affects the growth of the newborn and often results in mental retardation.
The scientists also plan to look at the intoxicating effects of alcohol on the brain and the effects of alcohol abuse on the children of alcoholics.