Information Dissemination Core
The Information Dissemination Core of The Scripps Research Institute Alcohol Research Center (TSRI-ARC) advances the NIAAA’s mission to disseminate scientific research findings made by ARC labs to the public through educational and outreach efforts. The NIAAA has identified what they call “Special Populations” that have characteristics that make them more susceptible to the negative consequences of alcohol use. Interestingly, these populations are also at high risk for stress, the primary focus of TSRI-ARC; therefore, they will be targeted for curricula focused on the role of brain stress systems in alcohol addiction. The “Special Populations” are youth under age 21, college-age young adults, senior citizens, women, and ethnic and racial minorities. In addition, parents and students pursuing caregiving careers will be targeted for educational efforts. The main goals of the Information Dissemination Core are to (1) develop and deliver curricula specific to the aforementioned populations, (2) expand the internship program for the aforementioned populations and students pursuing caregiving careers in TSRI-ARC labs, and (3) expand the dissemination of knowledge about the scientific findings of the TSRI-ARC to the public through a more interactive website, social media posts, laboratory tours, and a parent education program.
DEVELOPMENT OF CURRICULA TARGETED TO HIGH-RISK POPULATIONS
A curriculum has been designed in collaboration with a racially and socioeconomically diverse San Diego public charter school’s 11th grade biology and humanities teachers to provide lessons on brain circuitry, alcohol’s effects on the brain, stress, and addiction. In addition, we have a long-term connection with the University of California San Diego (UCSD) Campus Community Centers (Cross-Cultural Center, Women’s Center, Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgendered [LGBT] Resource Center, Black Resource Center, Inter-Tribal Resource Center, and Raza Resource Center) and will provide biannual lectures and discussion groups at each location for associated students and allies interested in the neurobiology of stress and alcohol addiction, with an emphasis on vulnerability and resistance factors. Finally, we will offer annual lectures at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UCSD, which is a membership program for adults over the age of 50 who want to be part of a learning community with peers. The overall goal of these lessons is to teach high-risk populations and those who interact with them how the brain is affected by alcohol, the progression of these effects with continued use, and the concept of the “dark side” of addiction, highlighting stress from both biological and environmental perspectives and using specific examples from TSRI-ARC laboratories.
For more information, click the link below to visit the NIAAA website.