New Mexico Alcohol Research Center


1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

The New Mexico Alcohol Research Center (NMARC)

Diagram of fetal alcohol induced behavioral deficitsThe center is comprised of teams of preclinical, translational and clinical science investigators with a history of collaborative research interactions whose expertise and contributions have synergized the center’s research environment and is facilitating progress towards the achievement of NMARC’s three strategic objectives.  These objectives are to:

  1. Advance our understanding of how fetal alcohol exposure affects basic neurobiologic mechanisms resulting in functional brain damage that can cause adverse life-long neurobehavioral consequences.
  2. Develop more effective approaches for the diagnosis of individuals with FASD through the establishment of more sensitive and clinically reliable biomarkers of alcohol exposure coupled with the use of novel neurobehavioral and functional neuroimaging approaches to identify bio-behavioral markers of functional brain damage, particularly earlier in life.
  3. Develop more effective interventions for fetal alcohol-related behavioral deficits.  Better interventions may ultimately require a combination of neurobehavioral, educational and/or pharmacotherapeutic approaches to ameliorate the often subtle, but long-lasting impact of fetal alcohol-induced behavioral deficits.

These three strategic objectives should not be considered as separate endeavors.  New advances in any one of these three strategic objective areas could lead to subsequent advances in the other two.  For example, the identification of a bio-behavioral marker diagnostic of fetal alcohol-induced functional brain damage might also provide a tool to assess the efficacy of novel interventional approaches as well as shed new light on brain function that warrants more detailed preclinical investigation.  NMARC’s prevailing philosophy is that a research center organized to maximize the coordination, communication and synergistic integration across multiple lines of preclinical and clinical investigation in these three areas provides the best long-term prospect of achieving significant progress towards the dual clinical goals of better diagnosis and more effective interventions for individuals with FASD.