Kenneth Blum

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Kenneth Blum (born August 8, 1939) is a scientist who has studied 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[1].

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). He served as the Chairman of the Board and Chief Scientific Officer of LifeGen Inc. (San Diego, California), a neutrigenomic evidence-based corporation. Until 2008 he was Chief Scientific Officer of Salugen, Inc., a personalized health and wellness company in San Diego, California.[2] Currently, Dr. Blum is one of the founding members and Chief Scientific Officer of Geneus Health, LLC, which produces the Genetic Addiction Risk Score test that helps people better understand their genetic predisposition toward addictive behavior.

Academic background[edit]

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[edit]

Blum's most important work was a 1990 study 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. 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.[3] Later the concept of Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS) was coined in 1996 by Blum as a new way to look at all addictive, obsessive and compulsive behaviors including substance and process addictions, personality and spectrum disorders.[4][5][6]

Notable publications[edit]


External links[edit]