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Alcohol Research Program (ARP)


The University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus has a long history of conducting outstanding alcohol research as well as being the home of internationally recognized graduate programs in Immunology and Pharmacology in the School of Medicine and Toxicology in the Skaggs School of Pharmacy, along with world-class research and clinical programs in the Departments of Surgery and Medicine.

Clinical and experimental evidence reveals that inflammation is associated with numerous alcohol-related medical conditions and that alcohol exposure exacerbates inflammatory states in multiple organ systems, including gut, liver, lungs, skin, and brain, leading to so-called “alcohol-mediated end-organ damage.” Importantly, members of ARP work collaboratively without organ-specific silos to seek new knowledge and determine mechanisms responsible for a wide variety of diseases and conditions. We know, for example, that gut microbiota influence behavior and anxiety and that inflammatory mediators released from the liver are responsible, in part, for excessive lung inflammation.  These are among the ongoing studies being conducted by ARP laboratories.

ARP is under the direction of Elizabeth J. Kovacs, PhD, an internationally recognized expert in alcohol, inflammation, and tissue injury/repair.  She is joined by a group of accomplished faculty from across the campus who unite to conduct groundbreaking research and help train the next generation of alcohol researchers. Trainees include basic and clinician scientists working in a Team Science-based interdisciplinary environment to conduct state-of-the-art research in the growing field of alcohol and inflammation, centering their work on one or more of the multiple organ systems that are involved in the cascade of events that follow alcohol exposure.

ARP is a sponsor of the annual meeting of the Alcohol and Immunology Research Interest Group (AIRIG).