Zaso Awarded Prestigious NIH Fellowship
Michelle Zaso, a Ph.D. candidate in clinical psychology, is the recipient of a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Individual Predoctoral Fellowship. Funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (through the National Institutes of Health), the award will support her dissertation research, which focuses on how genetics and environments shape alcohol use in adolescence. Specifically, her dissertation will examine how alcohol metabolism genes interact with alcohol-promoting peer environments to influence drinking trajectories from 13 to 18 years of age. Zaso’s primary sponsor of the fellowship, Aesoon Park, Associate Professor of Psychology, notes that some people carry variants in alcohol metabolism genes that delay the breakdown of alcohol into a harmless substance; if individuals carrying these genetic variants drink alcohol a lot, they are more likely to develop cancer due to extended exposure to harmful alcohol metabolites. Co-sponsors of her research include Stephen Maisto, Professor of Psychology at Syracuse University, and Stephen Glatt, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at SUNY Upstate Medical University. Check out the full article at A&S News.