By Mika Ono Benedyk
Despite the difficult funding environment these days, Scripps Research Institute Associate Professor Cindy Ehlers is winning grants. Her c.v. lists eight—most recently a rare and prestigious MERIT award from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) providing her with 10 years of research support.
Even a quick look at Ehlers' track record makes it easy to see why funding agencies want more. Over the past decades, Ehlers has brought us dramatic new insights into alcoholism and substance abuse—problems that affect many millions of Americans, not to mention their families and communities. In the process, Ehlers has routinely challenged us to rethink what we thought we knew.
At the heart of Ehlers research is one critical question—why do some people become dependent on alcohol or other substances while others escape their grip? To shed light on the answers, Ehlers has applied an innovative approach, conducting both human and animal studies and drawing techniques from disciplines as wide-ranging as physiology, genetics, and epidemiology..
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