UofL alcohol researcher gave prestigious lecture at NIH

Dr. Craig McClain at NIHCraig J. McClain, MD, UofL associate vice president for health affairs/research and a prominent alcohol researcher, delivered the 19th Annual Mark Keller Honorary Lecture on Tuesday, Oct. 14, at the National Institutes of Health.

Each fall, the series features a lecture by an outstanding alcohol researcher whose work makes significant and long-term contributions to our understanding of how alcohol affects the body and mind, how we can prevent and treat alcohol abuse and alcoholism and how today's scientific advancements can provide hope for tomorrow. The lecture was established by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the NIH, as a tribute to Keller’s pioneering contributions to the field of alcohol research.

McClain is an internationally distinguished clinician and scientist in the fields of gastroenterology, alcohol abuse, nutrition, cytokine research, and hepatic drug metabolism. The title of his talk was “Nutrition, Gut Barrier Function, and Liver Disease.”

In addition to his role as associate vice president, McClain is a professor of medicine and professor of pharmacology and toxicology at UofL. As a clinician and scientist, McClain has made many contributions to the alcohol research field. In an early study, he described the harmful interactions in the liver between alcohol and acetaminophen. In another landmark study, he described dysregulated cytokines in alcoholic hepatitis. Over time, McClain’s work has increasingly focused on translational and interventional studies, including a seminal clinical study demonstrating the beneficial effects of nutritional supplementation in alcoholic hepatitis patients. The current focus of research in his laboratory is on interactions of the gut and liver in alcoholic liver disease generally and on the role nutrition plays in alcoholic liver disease. He has received continuous federal funding, including grants from NIH and the Department of Defense, for almost 40 years.

Additional information about the lecture series can be found on the NIH web site.

The NIAAA is the primary U.S. agency for conducting and supporting research on the causes, consequences, prevention and treatment of alcohol abuse, alcoholism and alcohol problems. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases.

(Original Article by UofL Today — Oct 10, 2014)