Monday, November 14, 2011

Leading Alcohol Researchers to Meet at Loyola

MAYWOOD, Ill.  -- Leading alcohol researchers from the United States and Canada will discuss their latest findings at an all-day meeting Friday, Nov. 18, at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

Scientists will discuss the often negative effects that alcohol can have on how genes function in cells. Such changes are passed along to future generations of cells. These modifications, known as epigenetic changes, do not involve changes in the DNA sequence.

Much of the discussion will revolve around epigenetic changes caused by alcohol, especially two key events in the expression of genes -- DNA histone deacetylation and DNA methylation.

"Epigenetics is one of the many frontiers in alcohol research," said Elizabeth J. Kovacs, PhD, director of Loyola's Alcohol Research Program and associate director of Loyola's Burn & Shock Trauma Institute. At Loyola, about 50 faculty members, technicians, postdoctoral fellows and students are conducting alcohol research.

The conference is sponsored by the Alcohol and Immunology Research Interest Group and supported by Loyola's Alcohol Research Program and Department of Surgery; the Society for Leukocyte Biology; and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

About 60 researchers will attend the meeting. Speakers include:

Craig J. McClain, MD, University of Louisville

Epigenetics in the development and progression of alcoholic liver disease

Shivendra D. Shukla, PhD, University of Missouri

Histone modifications by ethanol

Joanne Weinberg, PhD, University of British Columbia

The impact of prenatal alcohol exposure on neuroendocrine and neuroimmune response to inflammation

Ali Keshavarzian, MD, Rush University

The role of circadian genes on alcohol-induced, gut-derived endotoxin mediated inflammation

Liza Makowski, PhD, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Alcohol effects on adipose macrophages

Samir Zakhari, PhD, NIAAA

Epigenetics and the Immune System: Who Cares?

About Loyola University Health System

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is part of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. Loyola University Medical Center’s campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of Chicago’s Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. At the heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Trinity Health is a national Catholic health system with an enduring legacy and a steadfast mission to be a transforming and healing presence within the communities we serve. Trinity is committed to being a people-centered health care system that enables better health, better care and lower costs. Trinity Health has 88 hospitals and hundreds of continuing care facilities, home care agencies and outpatient centers in 21 states and 119,000 employees.