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Inaugural Yale Conference on Alcohol Research and Education (YCARE) Convenes Diverse Audience for an Interdisciplinary Day of Learning

September 13, 2022
by Emma Biegacki

The inaugural Yale Conference for Alcohol Research and Education (YCARE) was held on September 10, 2022, on Yale University Campus in New Haven, Connecticut. Over ninety participants, among them researchers, clinicians, educators, trainees and members of the community, attended the event which was held through both an in-person and virtual format . YCARE was sponsored by the Yale Liver Center, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), Yale Program in Addiction Medicine, and Yale Department of Psychiatry.

In her opening address, Bubu Banini, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine (Digestive Diseases) at the Yale School of Medicine, Translational Research Director for the Metabolic Health and Weight Management Program, and Director of YCARE described the conference as "designed to serve as a forum for specialists and non-specialists to meet with the goal of acquiring and disseminating new information in the broad area of alcohol-related research.” Two major aims of YCARE are to increase cross-disciplinary collaborations and disseminate information to the academic and non-academic community. In line with these aims, Dr. George Koob, Director of the NIAAA, delivered the keynote speech, “Breaking Silos in Alcohol Research”.

YCARE Co-Directors, David Fiellin, MD, Professor of Medicine, Emergency Medicine, and Public Health, and Director of the Yale Program in Addiction Medicine at Yale School of Medicine, and Graeme Mason, PhD, Professor of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging and of Psychiatry, and Director of Metabolic Modeling and of Psychiatric Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy at Yale School of Medicine, served as moderators for a robust line-up of talks from researchers and clinicians. These were accompanied by lunch-time parallel sessions and poster presentations. One conference participant noted that the most enjoyable feature of YCARE for them was the ability to “engage in a forum for cross-disciplinary collaboration that will ultimately impact patient care.”

Four trainees were awarded for outstanding poster presentations, including

[YCARE is] designed to serve as a forum for specialists and non-specialists to meet with the goal of acquiring and disseminating new information in the broad area of alcohol-related research.

Bubu Banini, MD, PhD
  • Farzaneh Dashti, MD, with poster entitled Sex differences in mortality from alcohol-associated hepatitis in the United States, 1999-2020 (Authors: Farzaneh Dashti, Sanjaya Chauhan, Wajahat Mehal, Bubu A. Banini)
  • Nakul Raval, PhD, Imaging neuroimmune response to acute alcohol consumption in social drinkers: TSPO PET study using [11C]PBR28 (Authors: Nakul R. Raval, Gustavo Angarita, David Matuskey, Rachel Miller, Lindsey R. Drake, Michael Kapinos, Nabeel Nabulsi, Henry Huang, Richard E. Carson, Stephanie S. O’Malley, Kelly P. Cosgrove, Ansel T. Hillmer)
  • Noriyoshi Ogino, MD, PhD, with poster entitled Neutrophils decrease ITPR2 levels in hepatocyte by direct injection of elastase in alcoholic hepatitis (Authors: Noriyoshi Ogino, M Fatima Leite, Emma A. Kruglov, Hiromitsu Asashima, David A. Hafler, Barbara E. Ehrlich, Michael H. Nathanson).
  • Yasmin Zakiniaeiz, PhD, Sex differences in corticolimbic microglia levels in individuals with alcohol use disorder compared to healthy controls (Authors: Yasmin Zakiniaeiz, Karissa McCright, Ansel T. Hillmer, Hannah Shi, Nabeel Nabulsi, Yiyun Huang, David Matuskey, Gustavo A. Angarita, Sherry A. McKee, Kelly P. Cosgrove)

At the conclusion of the day's proceedings, Dr. Banini thanked participants and sponsors for a successful conference. YCARE organizers hope to make the conference an annual or bi-annual event.

Submitted by Emma Biegacki on September 13, 2022