Core Leader: Mark Rutledge-Gorman (Education & Outreach)
Co-Investigator: Chris Cunningham (Training)
The Information & Dissemination Core focuses on three interrelated specific aims designed to advance NIAAA's mission of translating and disseminating research findings to health care providers, researchers, policymakers and the public. These aims also support the Oregon Health & Science University's mission of healing, teaching, research and community service. We especially target groups under-represented in science, and people from disadvantaged communities.
Specific Aim 1: K-12 Education & Outreach
The principal goal is to provide K-12th grade students and their teachers with information about alcohol, the brain, and neuroscience. We utilize age-appropriate activities that present information about how the brain works and how alcohol can affect it. The activities promote keeping one's brain safe, making informed choices, meeting male and female neuroscientist role models, and pursuing careers in neuroscience and alcohol research in particular.
Aim 1 focuses especially on adolescent vulnerability to alcohol by training Middle School health teachers to utilize information and resources from the NIAAA curriculum, "Understanding Alcohol: Investigations into Biology and Behavior" and from other sources. We continue to conduct and refine a novel neuroscience and safety curriculum developed by the PARC Education Component for children in Kindergarten–3rd grade. For high school students, in their own classrooms or during on-campus visits at OHSU, we present a seminar and interactive demonstration on how genes can influence the brain and body's response to alcohol.
Specific Aim 2: Training in Alcohol Research
Here, we provide training and laboratory experience in alcohol research to high school, undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral students. Training the next generations of alcohol researchers has been a major commitment of many PARC investigators, some for over 30 years.
Specific Aim 3: Dissemination and Translational Interface
In this Aim we coordinate and share the findings of the Center, and alcohol research results in general, with scientific colleagues and the broader community. Aim 3 focus provides activities and resources that include: professional and lay publications; the Center website for professionals and the general public; the PARC Library; inclusion of PARC investigators in the University's speakers and scientific experts bureau; dissemination of PARC findings to the media; professional conferences; and outcome review of Education and Outreach Component activities.