Howard C Becker, PhD

Howard C. Becker, Ph.D.


Dr. Howard C. Becker is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the Department of Neuroscience at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). He also holds the position of Senior Research Career Scientist at the RHJ Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center that is affiliated with MUSC.


Dr. Becker is the Director of the NIH/NIAAA-supported Charleston Alcohol Research Center, a multidisciplinary and translational-oriented research program with a general focus on treatment for alcohol use disorder. Dr. Becker also serves as the Scientific Director of the national multi-site NIAAA-supported Integrative Neuroscience Initiative on Alcoholism (INIAstress) Consortium, which includes multidisciplinary approaches in studying the complex relationship between stress and alcohol use/misuse.


Dr. Becker is an established investigator with over 30 years of research experience in the alcohol and addiction neuroscience field. The overall focus of his research program is elucidating neurobiological underpinnings and environmental factors that influence alcohol addiction, relapse, and dependence. The research program embraces multidisciplinary and translational approaches (molecular, neurochemical, behavioral), with the goal of identifying and evaluating new therapeutic targets and strategies for treating problem drinking and alcohol use disorder. 


He is widely recognized as an international leader in the alcohol research field, as evidenced by his published research accomplishments, editorial and grant reviewing service, and being frequently invited to present his research findings at numerous national and international scientific conferences. He has developed a number of clinically relevant animal models that are widely utilized in the field and serve as a platform for his work in evaluating new potential therapeutics for treatment of alcohol-related problems. He is actively engaged in educational and training programs, having mentored numerous graduate and postdoctoral students in alcohol research. He provides mentorship and guidance for several junior faculty (both basic researchers and clinical investigators) in supporting their career development in the addiction neuroscience field.