Portland Alcohol Research Center

The Portland Alcohol Research Center investigates genes that enhance risk of and convey protection against alcohol use problems. The goal of the PARC’s work is helping to find new therapies targeted toward particular genes in order to improve prevention and treatment.

Uncovering the Genes at the Foundation of Alcohol Dependence


One of 27 research centers funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, PARC focuses on uncovering the genetics of how the brain adapts to alcohol.

PARC supports the coordinated research efforts of 16 scientists at the Portland Veteran Affairs Medical Center and Oregon Health & Science University in areas ranging from behavioral neuroscience to molecular biology. 


Funding Available!!!  Call for Pilot Project Research Proposals for funding in 2015.  The PARC expects to be able to fund pilot research projects in 2015 (up to $35K each). 

FULL APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS AVAILABLE HERE   The PARC is especially interested in encouraging investigators new to alcohol research to submit applications. Submission deadline is 12:00 noon, Friday, September 5, 2014, by email to Mark Rutledge-Gorman at


Fellowship Opportunities

The PARC offers training opportunities to graduate and post-graduate students interested in alcohol-abuse research. For details on current opportunities, please visit the OHSU Department of Behavioral Neuroscience


 "Tell Your Story! A Media and Communications Guide for Scientists"  

Strategies and practical tools to help scientists share their work effectively with the media and in presentations to the general public.

Free download available here


News and Awards

Complex Trait Community Meeting, June 8-11 2015, Portland, Oregon.  Details concerning the meeting will appear on this website http://www.ohsu.edu/parc/CTC2015 in early Fall 2014. Send questions and suggestions to Bob Hitzemann at

Equity Summer Interns, June-August 2014.  PARC PIs Andrey Ryabinin, Suzanne Mitchell, and Kari Buck provide lab projects for three undergraduate students in OHSU's Summer Equity Research Program. The PARC funds stipends and lab supplies. Equity Program students are interested in advanced graduate study in health sciences, and come from social or economic disadvantaged backgrounds.

Bend Bulletin Interview, June 2014.  In an interview with the central Oregon newspaper, Bend Bulletin, PARC Investigator Pamela Metten discussed aspects of dependency and withdrawal associated with benzodiazepines. The article focused on number and duration of benzodiazepine prescriptions among Oregon residents, and highlighted the greater risk of physical dependence caused by benzodiazepines than has been previously understood.

Vertex Scholarship, February 2014.  Behavioral Neuroscience graduate student Melanie Pena, mentored by PARC Investigator Chris Cunningham, received a one-year $35,000 scholarship from Vertex Pharmaceuticals of Cambridge, MA. Ms Pena's work focuses on neurobiological mechanisms that underlie drug reward and addiction.

Sigma Xi Research Society Lecture, January 2014.  Tamara Phillips, PARC Center Director, has been honored to present a Sigma Xi Lecture for the Columbia-Willamette Chapter on genetic factors influencing risk for and protection from addiction.

PARC Pilot Projects Funded January - December 2014.  Three PIs, Kari Buck, Lucia Carbone, and Jennifer Loftis, awarded funding for pilot projects in 2014.