This article highlights the research presented at the inaugural meeting of Alcoholism and Stress: A Framework for future Treatment Strategies. This meeting was held on May 6-8, 2008 in Volterra, Italy. It is an international meeting dedicated to developing preventive strategies and pharmacotherapeutic remedies for stress- and alcohol-related disorders. For the first time, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) conferred a Young Investigator Award to promote the work of young researchers and highlight their outstanding achievements in the fields of addiction medicine and stress disorders. The awardees were Dr. Katie Witkiewitz (University of Washington), Dr. Andrew Holmes (NIAAA), Dr. Lara A. Ray (Brown University), Dr. James Murphy (University of Memphis), and Dr. Heather Richardson (The Scripps Research Institute). The symposium was chaired by Drs. Fulton Crews and Antonio Noronha.