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CRF Scholar and UMass Neuroscientist Dr. Heather Richardson Awarded Grant from NIH’s Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse

The Center for Research on Families is pleased to announce that (Family Research Scholar '10-'11) Dr. Heather Richardson has received funding in the amount of $400,000 from NIH’s Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse for a two year study looking at the effect of binge drinking on brain development in adolescent rodents.

Dr. Richardson’s Neurobiology of Stress and Addiction Laboratory will use a rodent model of voluntary binge drinking to investigate how alcohol impacts myelinatedaxons within the prefrontal cortex.  This part of the brain plays an executive role in controlling emotions and making decisions, but it is one of the last brain regions to mature. This work could have important implications for understanding how risky drinking in teenagers might alter myelinization of neural circuits to have long-lasting consequences on psychiatric health. 


For more information about Richardson go to: Learn more about her research here:


This grant was prepared during the year that Dr. Richardson was a Scholar at the Center for Research on Families.  This program provides selected faculty with the time, technical expertise, peer mentorship, and national expert consultation to prepare a large grant proposal for their research support. For more info go to:



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