Ed Riley discussed his nationally-recognized research on fetal alcohol syndrome.

By Gina Jacobs

Ed Riley, distinguished professor of psychology at San Diego State University, delivered the 4th Annual Jack Mendelson Honorary Lecture at the National Institutes of Health on April 19. Riley is a world-renowned expert on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.

“Dr. Riley has been at the forefront of discovery in fetal alcohol research throughout his illustrious career,” said Kenneth R. Warren, Ph.D., acting director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.  “His unparalleled scholarship and proven leadership abilities have been a great service to the scientific community and to the many individuals and families affected by these disorders.  We are pleased that he will present this year’s Mendelson Lecture.”

More about Riley

Riley serves as the director of SDSU’s Center for Behavioral Teratology and leads the multi-site international consortium studying Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.

His presentation, “FASD: It’s What’s Behind the Face that Matters — Effects of Prenatal Alcohol on Brain and Behavior,” will discuss the relationship between fetal alcohol exposure and brain development and behavior.

“Prenatal exposure to high doses of alcohol causes permanent changes in the brain, and those changes can impact a child’s behavior even if physical changes aren’t present,” explained Riley, whose research is currently funded by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. “I hope those who attend the lecture come away with an understanding that alcohol use during pregnancy will have life-long impacts on the child.”

About the lecture

The lecture was scheduled at 1:30 p.m., April 19, at the National Institutes of Health headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland.

About the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, part of National Institute of Health, established the Jack Mendelson Honorary Lecture Series as a tribute to Dr. Jack Mendelson, who made remarkable scientific contributions to the field of clinical alcohol research.

For more information on the lecture, visit the NIH News Website at http://www.nih.gov/news/health/apr2012/niaaa-05.htm.