Researchers at Guze Symposium to explore links between alcohol and suicide

Experts in alcoholism and suicide from around the United States will present their research Feb. 21 at the 8th Annual Samuel B. Guze Symposium on Alcoholism at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. This year’s event focuses on “Alcohol, Suicide and Suicidality.”

The program is intended for physicians, psychologists, social workers, teachers, policy makers, other health professionals and members of the community. Participants may receive continuing medical education credits for attendance. Topics include alcohol’s influence on suicide and suicidal behavior, the neurobiology of suicidal behavior, and genetic and epidemiological perspectives on suicide risk factors across the lifespan. The symposium will be held at the Eric P. Newman Education Center (320 S. Euclid Ave.) from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

“Alcohol use is ubiquitous in our culture, and it often can be a factor in suicide and suicidal behavior,” says Anne L. Glowinski, M.D., assistant professor of child psychiatry and a co-organizer of this year’s symposium, along with Kathleen K. Bucholz, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry.

The symposium is sponsored by the Midwest Alcoholism Research Center (MARC) and the Office of Continuing Medical Education at the School of Medicine.

Created by a grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), MARC is a multi-site Alcohol Research Center that includes investigators from Washington University, University of Missouri-Columbia, Veterans Administration in Palo Alto, Calif., and the Queensland Institute for Medical Research in Brisbane, Australia.

Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton and Larry J. Shapiro, M.D., executive vice chancellor for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine, will make introductory remarks. In addition to Glowinski, who will provide an overview of suicide risk factors across the lifespan, this year’s speakers include Kenneth R. Conner, Psy.D., associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center; J. John Mann, M.D., the Paul Janssen Professor of Translational Neuroscience in Psychiatry and Radiology and chief of molecular imaging and neuropathology at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York; David A. Brent, M.D., professor of psychiatry, pediatrics and epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; Alan C. Swann, M.D., the Pat Rutherford Jr. Chair in Psychiatry, professor and vice chair for research in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Texas at Houston Medical Sciences Institute; and Cheryl J. Cherpitel, Dr.P.H., associate director of the National Alcohol Research Center and adjunct professor in the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley.

Funding for the Guze Symposium comes from the NIAAA and from an unrestricted education grant from Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. The symposium is dedicated to the late Samuel B. Guze, M.D., a pioneer in the medical model of psychiatric illness and the field of alcoholism research, who served 18 years as vice chancellor for medical affairs and president of the Washington University Medical Center. He also was head of the school’s Department of Psychiatry.

For more information or to register for the symposium, visit the MARC website at or call Deb Hughes at (314) 286-2244.

Washington University School of Medicine’s 2,100 employed and volunteer faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient care institutions in the nation, currently ranked fourth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.