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Honorable Mentions

Charness cited for work on fetal alcohol disorders

Dr. Michael Charness

Dr. Michael Charness

Dr. Michael Charness, chief of staff at the VA Boston Health Care System and a professor at both Boston University and Harvard University Schools of Medicine, is the 2015 recipient of the Henry Rosett Award for outstanding contributions to the field of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) from the Research Society on Alcoholism.

Charness has studied fetal alcohol syndrome for more than 20 years. His lab, with support from VA and NIH, studies the mechanisms of alcohol toxicity in the nervous system, and the development of drugs that block this toxicity. He has cared for patients with neurological complications of alcoholism and peripheral nerve disorders throughout his career.

Charness has been an active participant in educational efforts to broaden public awareness about FASD. He has helped present a balanced view on the risks of moderate drinking during pregnancy. His finding that low concentrations of ethanol disrupt a molecule that is critical to fetal development has served as a touchstone in the public debate about the safety of moderate drinking during pregnancy.

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