Approximately 7.2% of adults in the United States have an alcohol use disorder (AUD). While there are a few FDA-approved treatments for AUD, new treatment strategies are greatly needed. In my laboratory, we have been investigating several novel genes in mice that alter behavioral responses to alcohol, with the goal of finding potential new targets for treatment. One of these genes, anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK), is a receptor tyrosine kinase that has been studied extensively for its role in cancer. However, the normal function of ALK in the brain is not well understood. In this seminar, I will discuss how ALK signaling in the brain may contribute to binge drinking and the development of AUD.
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