Pearson Center for Alcoholism and Addiction Research

The Pearson Center for Alcoholism and Addiction Research was established in 2003 through the generosity of a multi-million dollar gift and is supported through the generosity of individual, corporate and public donors. It combines the latest biomedical research with new clinical treatment studies to fight the devastating, costly and deadly diseases of alcohol and drug addiction.

Alcoholism and addiction are diseases of the spirit, behavior and brain. Traditional treatment involves group therapy and other forms of counseling to empower the spirit and address destructive behaviors. However, the physiology of the brain is often ignored.

The Pearson Center, located on Scripps Research's La Jolla, California campus, is complementing and reinforcing traditional treatments by focusing on the physiological changes in the brain that drive excessive drinking and drug use and create vulnerability to relapse in early recovery. Researchers are studying the viability of using new compounds, designed at the institute and elsewhere, to modulate the neurological effects of alcohol and other substances of abuse, reduce excessive intake, and prevent relapse by normalizing the brain during an alcoholic's or addict's recovery. The prospects for enhancing traditional treatment of alcoholism, addiction and relapse through pharmaceuticals have never been more promising.

Scripps Research in La Jolla, California, is a world leader in the biomedical science of alcoholism, addiction, and the brain, and it provides a fertile environment for breakthroughs that will alleviate the suffering of addicted individuals and support their recovery. To date, researchers at the institute have:

  • Identified a large part of the neurocircuitry involved in the reinforcing action of alcohol and other substances of abuse.
  • Begun to identify how this circuitry changes when a person transitions from social use to abuse and dependence.
  • Established several working laboratory models that mimic this transition for use in pre-clinical and clinical studies of the efficacy of potential therapeutics.
  • Developed the infrastructure to conduct clinical trials for developing groundbreaking therapies for alcoholism and addiction.


The Pearson Center is currently conducting several clinical trial studies and is looking for volunteers to participate. Call us at (858) 784-7867 or (858) 784-STOP for more information and to find out if you qualify for any of our studies, whether you want to make positive changes in your life or simply want to help science in developing a cure for those struggling with alcoholism and substance abuse.

You can help to alleviate the devastation of alcoholism and addiction.