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Ken Blum

  Kenneth Blum (born August 8, 1939) is an internationally recognized authority and researcher on neuropsychopharmacology and genetics. He is often referred to as the co-discoverer of the alcoholism gene due to his study publication in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1990. He is a distinguished academician and researcher in the fields of neuropsychiatry and genetics, nutritional genetics, and pharmacogenetics. Blum's research has been recognized worldwide through numerous awards, scientific publications in the leading peer-reviewed medical and scientific journals in the world, and in academic circles.

Blum is currently an Adjunct Full Professor in the Department of Physiology & Pharmacology at Wake Forest University School Of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He is also Chief Scientific Officer of Salugen, Inc., a personalized health and wellness company in San Diego, California ([1]). He retired as a full Professor in the Department of Pharmacology. He was also Chief of the Division of Addictive Diseases, Chief of the Division of Substance and Alcohol Misuse, and Director of the Laboratory of Pharmacogenetics at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, in San Antonio, Texas.

Academic background

Blum received his B.S. in Pharmacy from Columbia University in 1961, his M.S. in Medical Science in 1965 from the New Jersey College of Medicine, and his Ph.D. in Pharmacology in 1968 from the New York Medical College. Blum completed post-doctorate research in psychopharmacology from the Southwest Foundation for Research and Education where Irving Geller was his mentor. He also completed a fellowship in pharmacogenetics under Gerald McClearn at the University of Colorado College of Pharmacy in Boulder in 1977.

Genetic research on addictions

Blum's most important work was a 1990 study he co-led with Dr. Ernest Noble, the former director of the NIH's National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and researcher from UCLA, that correlated the Dopamine D2 Receptor Taq 1 allele with alcoholism. This study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Blum expanded his research of genes involved in brain reward circuitry. By the early 1980’s there were many suggestions that alcoholism had genetic antecedents and a very high hereditability rate. This research stimulated further studies of gene associations. Though the press has called his finding the "alcoholic gene," Blum believed his work to be of broader scope, calling this gene a "reward gene" which covers other addictive behaviors including dug addiction, smoking, overeating, and pathological gambling.

Dr. Blum hosts a blog at [2].

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ken_Blum". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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