Prenatal alcohol exposure continues to present a serious and global public health problem. It is estimated that
2-5% of live births in the U.S. are affected by prenatal alcohol exposure, and the consequences on the
exposed child include a range of physical, neuropathological, and behavioral effects referred to as fetal alcohol
spectrum disorders (FASD). This application requests funding for partial support of the 2020-2024 Fetal
Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Study Group (FASDSG) meetings, which are held annually as a satellite
conference preceding the Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA) meeting. The goal of the meeting is to move
the field forward and, ultimately, to identify ways to better recognize, prevent and treat FASD. The FASDSG is
the premier scientific organization in the U.S. that focuses on FASD and the annual meeting provides a unique
opportunity for a broad range of researchers, including basic, medical, clinical, and social scientists, to meet
and discuss how we can achieve these goals. Thus, the FASDSG meeting creates interdisciplinary integration
among basic science, human, clinical, and epidemiological FASD-related research efforts and progress.
Participants of the meeting provide updates on new research, discuss and debate issues in the field, and
interact and form scientific collaborations. Partial support from NIH has been critical for supporting high quality
speakers who are leaders in their field, including areas outside of alcohol research, to present at the FASDSG
meeting. Outside expertise stimulates novel ideas and approaches that may be applicable to FASD research.
This support has also been essential to grow the cadre of young scientists entering the alcohol field, by
providing travel awards for the brightest and most promising students and junior investigators. Stimulating
interest among new investigators is key to maintaining progress in the field. Specifically, this application
requests continued funding for travel and registration fees for young investigators (students and postdoctoral
fellows), as well as meeting-related expenses, such as fees for invited plenary speakers. Additionally, this
application requests support for the FASDSG website, which provides a mode of communication both within
the FASDSG and with the public. Overall, the FASDSG meeting fosters progress in the FASD research field by
providing a critical venue for communication and collaboration among FASD researchers.