Under the Dome

Cuts: Center for Alcohol Studies

A research center on alcoholism could lose funding.

For more than 26 years, the Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill has conducted scientific research on the genetic and physiological causes and effects of chronic alcohol abuse.

Its $500,000 annual appropriation is among 20 programs that Gov. Beverly Perdue proposed eliminating as part of her $21 billion budget. 

Recent studies by the center have looked into how some former alcoholics train their brains to think harder about long-term consequences, how binge-drinking impairs the brain and how an injectable drug could reduce alcohol dependence.

Reducing the state's contribution to the center would hurt, but the research would continue thanks to regular grants from the National Institutes of Health and other sources.

"Very little of our overall funding comes from the state," said spokeswoman Elizabeth Thomas. 

Perdue's proposed budget also includes a 5 percent increase on the tax on alcohol. The center is named for Hargrove "Skipper" Bowles, father of UNC system president Erskine Bowles.

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