Pearson Center for Alcohol and Addiction Research Center uri icon


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

    Alcoholism and addiction are a disease of the spirit, behavior, the brain as well as of the whole society. Traditional treatment involves group therapy and other psychological counseling to empower the spirit and address destructive behaviors. However, the physiology of the brain is often ignored.

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

    The Scripps Research Institute 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 return them to their families and communities. To-date researchers at the institute have:

    • Identified a large part of the neurocircuitry involved in the reinforcing action of alcohol.
    • Began to identify how this circuitry changes when a person transitions from social drinking to alcohol abuse and dependence.
    • Established several working laboratory models that mimic this transition for use in pre-clinical and clinical studies of efficacy of potential therapeutics.
    • Developed the infrastructure to conduct clinical trials for developing ground breaking 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) 784-7325 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.