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Leadership

Director

Dr. Howard Becker

Howard Becker, Ph.D.
Dr. Howard Becker is a biopsychologist with a sustained commitment to alcohol research. His area of expertise is in animal models of alcohol dependence and withdrawal, where he is a leading expert. He is funded both by National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and the Veterans Administration for his research efforts.

He has a leadership role in the Integrated Neuroscience Initiative on Alcoholism-Stress Consortium, an NIAAA-supported collaborative research effort focusing on the interaction of stress and alcohol; was awarded a contract from NIAAA for the testing of novel compounds in established animal models of drinking and dependence; and was awarded an R01 from NIAAA to examine the role of glutamate in the development of alcohol dependence. Dr. Becker has served the alcohol field through numerous scientific review committees for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Veterans Affairs office, and the Board of Directors of the Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA).

Dr. Becker has broad expertise in neuroscience as well as an appreciation for the utility of animal models in understanding alcohol dependence. During his 30 years at MUSC, Dr. Becker has worked well with both basic and clinical researchers, a relationship that has been further strengthened by the Center and the resulting interactions and collaborations that occur on a daily basis.

Scientific Director

Dr. Raymond Anton

Raymond Anton, M.D.
Dr. Raymond Anton, a Distinguished University Professor, is the Scientific Director. He is a biological psychiatrist who has worked in the area of alcohol research at MUSC for the past 30 years. He is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in pharmacotherapies for alcoholism and an elected Fellow in the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. He was a pioneer in correlating biological markers for drinking (e.g., CDT) with self- and collateral report, including stimulating its use clinically. He is also the director of the CAP/CLIA-certified Clinical Neurobiology Laboratory that supports the research mission of the Center, and where the genotyping core facility for the Center is located.

Dr. Anton maintains active funding from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), including a K05 career development award, as well as funding from the pharmaceutical industry. He is past president of the Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA) and a review editor for the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

Dr. Anton is aware of the issues involved in both basic and clinical research. Unlike many clinical researchers, he has demonstrated expertise and interest in basic science research as well, having published basic science research with Dr. Becker. He keeps current on advances in neuroscience, genetics, and biological psychiatry and how these new technologies can be applied to the mission of our Center.