||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2010)|
||This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. (July 2011)|
Kenneth Blum (born August 8, 1939) is a researcher on neuropsychopharmacology and genetics. He is known from his study on the genetics of alcoholism published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1990. He works in the fields of neuropsychiatry and genetics, nutritional genetics, and pharmacogenetics. Blum's research has been recognized through numerous awards.
Blum is currently an adjunct full professor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Florida College of Medicine, and Mcknight Brain Institute (Gainesville, Florida), and formerly of the Department of Physiology & Pharmacology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine (Winston-Salem, North Carolina). Until 2008 he was also Chief Scientific Officer of Salugen, Inc., a personalized health and wellness company in San Diego, California. In 1995 he retired as a full professor in the Department of Pharmacology, University of Texas, where he was also chief of the Division of Addictive Diseases, chief of the Division of Substance and Alcohol Misuse, and director of the Laboratory of Pharmacogenetics at the University of Texas Health Science Center (San Antonio, Texas). Currently he is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Scientific Officer of LifeGen Inc. (San Diego, California), a neutrigenomic evidence-based corporation.
Blum received his B.S. in pharmacy from Columbia University in 1961, his M.S. in medical science in 1965 from the New Jersey College of Medicine, and his Ph.D. in pharmacology in 1968 from the New York Medical College. Blum completed post-doctorate research in psychopharmacology at the Southwest Foundation for Research and Education where Irving Geller was his mentor. He also completed a fellowship in pharmacogenetics under Gerald McClearn at the University of Colorado College of Pharmacy (Boulder) in 1977.
Genetic research on addictions
Blum's most important work was a 1990 study he co-led with Ernest Noble, the former director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, that correlated the dopamine D2 Receptor Taq 1 allele with alcoholism. This study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Blum expanded his research of genes involved in brain reward circuitry. By the early 1980s there were many suggestions that alcoholism had genetic antecedents and a high heritability. This research stimulated further studies of gene associations. Though the press has called his finding the "alcoholic gene," Blum believed his work to be of broader scope, calling this gene a "reward gene" which covers other addictive behaviors including drug addiction, smoking, overeating, and pathological gambling.
- Blum, Kenneth; Noble, Ernest; Peter J. Sheridan; Anne Montgomery; Terry Ritchie; Pudur Jagadeeswaran; Harou Nogami; Arthur H. Briggs; Jay B. Cohn (April 18, 1990). "Allelic Association of Human Dopamine D2 Receptor Gene in Alcoholism". Journal of the American Medical Association 263 (15): 2055–60. ISSN 1538-3598. PMID 1969501.
- Blum, Kenneth; Payne, James E (1991), Alcohol and the Addictive Brain, New York: The Free Press, ISBN 0-02-903701-8, retrieved 17 September 2010
- Blum, Kenneth; Cull, John G; Braverman, Eric R; & Comings, David E (March-April 1996), "Reward Deficiency Syndrome", American Scientist 84: 132–145, retrieved 17 September 2010
- Blum, Kenneth; Braverman, Eric R; Holder, Jay M; Lubar, Joel F; Monastra, Vincent J; Miller, David & Comings, David E (November 2000), "Reward Deficiency Syndrome: A Biogenetic Model for the Diagnosis and Treatment of impulsive, Addictive, and Compulsive Behaviors", Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 32 (Supplement): i–iv, 1–112, ISSN 0279-1072, PMID 11280926
- "Kenneth Blum, PhD, Resigns from Salugen, Inc. As Chief Scientific Officer and Vice Chairman of The Board Of Directors", 24-7 Press, September 10, 2008, retrieved 17 September 2010