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The Pearson Center

The Pearson Center for Alcoholism and Addiction Research

Established in 2003 through a gift from Mark A. Pearson, a Palo Alto, California, real estate investor-developer, the Pearson Center combines the latest biomedical research with new clinical treatments to fight the devastating, costly, and deadly disease of alcohol and drug addiction.

The Pearson Center complements and reinforces traditional treatments by focusing on the physiological changes in the brain that drive excessive drinking and drug use and create vulnerability to relapse. Researchers are studying the ability of new compounds, designed at Scripps Research and elsewhere, to modulate the neurological effects of alcohol, reduce excessive intake, and prevent relapse by normalizing the brain during an alcoholic or addict’s recovery.

Research Program
The prospects for enhancing traditional treatment of alcoholism, addiction, and relapse through pharmaceuticals have never been more promising. At Scripps Research, scientists have identified a large part of the neuro-circuitry involved in the reinforcing action of alcohol, showing how this circuitry changes when a person progresses from social drinking to alcohol abuse and dependence and establishing working laboratory models that mimic this transition for use in preclinical and clinical drug studies.

Naming Opportunities

Named Director
$2.5 million to endow (can be pledged)

Named Faculty Chair or Professorship
$2 million to endow (can be pledged)

Research fellowships
$75,000 per year
$1.5 million to endow

Dedicated Research Staffing for Alcohol Medication Development

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Investigational Study

Training Funds for Visiting Professors/Sabbaticals
Named Visiting Professorship $100,000

Equipment needs:

Mass spectrometer

-80 degree freezer for genetic sample studies

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Kim Janda, Ely R. Callaway, Jr. Professor of Chemistry, is working on vaccines that stop drugs of abuse from ever reaching the brain. Read More.

"Many people fail to realize what a powerful, costly, and deadly disease alcoholism is, and how many lives are affected by it," said philanthropist Mark Pearson, who founded the Pearson Center for Alcoholism and Addiction at TSRI. Read More.


Thomas Bannister, PhD
Laura Bohn, PhD
Candice Contet, PhD
Ron Davis, PhD
Cindy Ehlers, PhD
Brock Grill, PhD
Donna Gruol, PhD
Scott Hansen, PhD
Kim Janda, PhD
Theodore Kamenecka, PhD
George Koob, PhD (on leave)
Chitra Mandyam, PhD
Remi Martin-Fardon, PhD
Kirill Martemyanov, PhD
Barbara Mason, PhD
Mark Mayford, PhD
Courtney Miller, PhD
Larry Parsons, PhD
Marisa Roberto, PhD
Amanda Roberts, PhD
Pietro Sanna, MD
Paul Schweiter, PhD
Michael Taffe, PhD
Friedbert Weiss, PhD
Eric Zorrilla, PhD