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Kalant To Give Keller Lecture, Apr. 11

Dr. Harold Kalant, a distinguished scientist who has spent four decades exploring the biological response to alcohol consumption, will deliver the Mark Keller Honorary Lecture on Thursday, Apr. 11 at 1:30 p.m. in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10. Kalant's investigations have helped clarify the pharmacology of the response to alcohol and psychoactive drugs, and more broadly, the behavioral and environmental factors that influence this response. His Keller lecture is entitled "Comparison of Mechanisms of Tolerance and Dependence Among Alcohol, Opiates, and Other Psychoactive Drugs."

Kalant is professor emeritus in the department of pharmacology at the University of Toronto, and director emeritus for biobehavioral research at the Addiction Research Foundation of Ontario. He entered the alcohol research field in 1959, at a time when very little systematic research was being done in the area. He was one of the first investigators to demonstrate that the development of tolerance — the process by which the brain becomes resistant to the intoxicating effects of alcohol — could be modified by the process of learning, for example, when a subject learned a task while consuming alcohol. Thus, tolerance could be viewed both in pharmacological terms, as a physiological response to alcohol, and in psychological terms, as a learned compensation for alcohol impairment. The insights resulting from this research have contributed to improvements in treatment programs.

Kalant's other research has included investigation of the metabolic aspects of alcohol's actions in the liver. His expertise in the field of alcohol and drug dependence combined with an interest in the formulation of social policy related to addiction has resulted in his playing an important role in public discussion of drug policy and legalization.

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