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Scientists from Southern Research Institute and the University of California-San Francisco's Department of Neurology's Gallo Research Center report that a new compound that causes selective and long-lasting reduction in ethanol consumption might be a new candidate to treat alcoholism. Their results will be published in the December issue of Biological Psychiatry.
During this week's podcast, Dr. Selena Bartlett provides details on the purpose of the study and its results. She describes the novel molecule and how it differs from naltrexone, which also has been shown to decrease alcohol consumption. In addition, Dr. Bartlett explains how the new molecule works as well as what is so advantageous about its mode of action. She also discusses why she is confident that her findings in the animal study will be translatable to humans, where there is also a very strong psychological component to alcoholism.
Dr Bartlett has established and directs a laboratory focused on the translation of basic research discoveries into drugable targets and new treatments for neurological diseases such as addiction, pain, stress, anxiety and depression. She is a trained Pharmacist and completed her PhD in neuropharmacology in 1995 in the School of Pharmacy, Brisbane, Australia and then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Neuroscience at the John Curtin School of Medical Research, Canberra, Australia in 1998. Dr Bartlett was a Principal Investigator on an Australian NH&MRC project from 1999-2001 before joining the Gallo Center at UCSF in December 2001. Dr Bartlett has organized and chaired symposia and has been an advisor to scientific and funding organizations. She has been awarded a number of grants to fund this research, has authored 30 scientific papers and has 3 patent applications in neuroscience therapeutics.