Dr. Howard Becker

Howard Becker, Ph.D.

Dr. Howard C. Becker serves as the Director of the ARC and Director of the Administrative Core, a position he has held since 2012. He holds the academic position of Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at MUSC, and Senior Research Career Scientist in the Department of Veterans Affairs. Dr. Becker also serves as Scientific Director of the NIAAA-supported multi-site Integrative Neuroscience Initiative on Alcoholism – Stress (INIAstress) Consortium, which is focused on elucidating mechanisms underlying alcohol-stress interactions. He has over a 30-year history of research, leadership, and service to the alcohol field. He is nationally and internationally recognized for his research contributions in the area of animal models of alcohol dependence and relapse behavior, mechanisms underlying excessive drinking, and research devoted to discovery and evaluation of potential new therapeutics for the treatment of AUD. Dr. Becker’s research accomplishments and national reputation, coupled with his demonstrated leadership skills, broad knowledge of preclinical-clinical translational issues in the alcohol field, and his continued devotion to the overall mission and vision of the Center, make him ideally suited to serve as Director of the Charleston ARC..

Co-Scientific Directors

Dr. Raymond Anton

Raymond Anton, M.D.

Dr. Raymond F. Anton, a Distinguished University Professor at MUSC, continues to serve as the Scientific Director of the ARC. Dr. Anton is a biological psychiatrist who has worked in the area of alcohol research for over 30 years. He is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in pharmacotherapies for AUD. He was a pioneer in correlating biological markers for drinking (e.g., CDT) with self- and collateral reports, and he has adopted/developed clinical laboratory procedures that incorporate sophisticated neuroimaging approaches and pharmacogenetic analyses that enable more refined evaluation of therapeutics. He has maintained a consistent record of active funding from NIAAA, and he has worked with the pharmaceutical industry in conducting various clinical trials focused on treatment for AUD. Dr. Anton has the academic credentials, leadership experience, and scientific reputation in the alcohol research field to continue in the role of Scientific Director for the Charleston ARC.

John Woodward, Ph.D.

Dr. John J. Woodward serves as the Co-Scientific Director. He is a Professor of Neuroscience and Psychiatry at MUSC. He is highly regarded as a leader in the alcohol field, having over 30-years of experience in conducting molecular, neurophysiological, neurochemical, and behavioral studies on mechanisms of alcohol’s actions. Dr. Woodward has a broad perspective on the value of translational approaches to research in the field, having served as Director of the ARC Pilot Project Core for the past 10 years and Director of the NIAAA-funded Institutional (T32) Training grant since 2003. His long- standing research and administrative contributions to the ARC make him well suited to fulfill this role along with Dr. Anton. Further, Drs. Becker, Anton, and Woodward have a long history of working together on numerous collaborative research projects as well as providing scientific oversight and management of Center activities. Together they make an exceptionally well-qualified team to lead the scientific efforts in the Charleston ARC. 

Pilot Core Directors

Patrick Mulholland, Ph.D.

Dr. Patrick J. Mulholland is Professor of Neuroscience and Psychiatry at MUSC and serves as Director of the ARC Pilot Core. He is a basic science alcohol researcher with expertise in neurobiological mechanisms of chronic alcohol actions on the structure and function of brain neurons and circuitry. His research employs numerous cutting-edge technologies that provide new insights about neuroadaptations resulting from chronic alcohol exposure.

Sudie Back, Ph.D.

Dr. Sudie E. Back serves as the Pilot Core Co-Director. She is Professor of Psychiatry at MUSC and a Staff Psychologist at the Ralph H. Johnson Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center in Charleston, SC. She brings expertise in the treatment of alcohol use disorder (AUD) and co-occurring psychiatric conditions, and her research includes behavioral and pharmacological treatments for AUD, as well as the application of laboratory paradigms and neuroimaging methodologies. Their distinct, yet complementary academic backgrounds and research experience make this an outstanding team to lead the ARC Pilot Core is attaining its important aims and goals.