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Susan Luczak

Associate Professor (Research) of Psychology

Contact Information
E-mail: luczak@usc.edu
Phone: (213) 740-2203
Office: SGM 501

 

Biographical Sketch

Susan E. Luczak received her Sc.B. in Psychology from Brown University in 1993 and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from USC in 1997 and 2000. Her research examines etiological factors in the development of alcohol problems and methodological issues in alcohol research. She is currently investigating genetic, biological, cultural, and psychosocial factors that relate to alcohol use in various ethnic groups, including individuals of African, Asian, Indian, and Caucasian descent. She has two projects funded by NIAAA to examine childhood precursors to alcohol involvement on the island of Mauritius, and to use real-time assessment techniques to examine naturalistic drinking patterns across individuals with variations in alcohol metabolizing genes.
 

Education

Ph.D. Clinical Psychology, University of Southern California, 2000
M.A. Clinical Psychology, University of Southern California, 1997
B.S. Psychology, Brown University, 1993
 

Postdoctoral Training

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, San Diego, 2000-2001   
 

Academic Appointment, Affiliation, and Employment History

Associate Research Professor, University of Southern California, 2009-  
Assistant Adjunct Professor, University of California, San Diego, 2005-  
Assistant Research Professor, University of Southern California, 2004-2009  
Assistant Project Scientist, University of California, San Diego, 2001-2005  
 

Description of Research

Summary Statement of Research Interests

The major goal of my research is to understand how alcohol problems develop and manifest themselves. My research program, supported by NIAAA and the Alcoholic Beverage Medical Research Foundation, examines ethnic groups with varying patterns and consequences of alcohol use to identify genetic, biological, cultural, and psychosocial risk and protective factors associated with alcohol-related behaviors. My research with the Joint Child Health Project on the island of Mauritius seeks to better understand alcohol behaviors of ethnic groups on the island (e.g., Caucasians, Chinese, Creoles of African decent, and Hindu and Muslim Indians) and the development and transmission of alcohol involvement across generations. I also conduct research on real-time drinking and responses to alcohol across individuals with varying genetic risk and protective factors. This research seeks to develop an assessment protocol using technological tools (e.g., web-based assessments, transdermal alcohol sensors) to better capture naturalistic drinking behavior. In addition, I collaborate with faculty members in the UCSD Department of Psychiatry where I am an Assistant Adjunct Professor to study risk and protective factors for alcohol involvement across Asian and Caucasian Americans. These three lines of research enable me to examine a broad range of biopsychosocial risk and protective factors associated with the development and transmission of alcohol-related behaviors in a variety of ethnic groups and cultural settings.
 

Research Keywords

Alcohol; Risk and protective factors; Ethnic group differences; Religion; Family transmission; Genetics; Alcohol metabolizing genes; Real-time assessment; Smart phone technology; Transdermal alcohol sensors
 

Research Specialties

Genetic and ethnic group differences in the lifecourse development of alcohol use and problems
 

Funded Research

Contracts and Grants Awarded

Intergenerational Transmission of Alcohol Involvement (R01 AA18179) (National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism), PI: Luczak, $3,204,756, 09/10/2010-06/30/2016  
Intergenerational Transmission of Alcohol Involvement (R01 AA18179-02S1) (National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism), PI: Luczak, $217,249, 07/01/2011-06/30/2014  
Real-Time Assessment of Alcohol Use Across ALDH2 Genotypes (R21 AA17711) (National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism), PI: Luczak, $411,233, 04/22/2009-09/30/2012  
Childhood Precursors To Alcohol Involvement (K08 AA14265) (National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism), PI: Luczak, $697,801, 08/15/2004-07/31/2010  
Real-Time Assessment Of Alcohol Involvement Across ALDH2 (Alcoholic Beverage Medical Research Foundation), PI: Luczak, $95,000, 07/01/2006-06/30/2009  
 

Publications

Book Chapter

Luczak, S. E. (2013). Differential metabolism of alcohol as an intermediate phenotype of risk for alcohol use disorders. Genetic influences on addiction. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
 

Conference Proceeding

Luczak, S. E., Rosen, I. G., Weiss, J. (2013). Determining blood and/or breath alcohol concentration from transdermal alcohol data. pp. 473-478. Proceedings of the American Control Conference, International Federation of Automatic Control.
Rosen, I. G., Luczak, S. E., Hu, W., Hankin, M. (2013). Discrete-time blind deconvolution for distributed parameter systems with dirichlet boundary input and unbounded output with application to a transdermal biosensor data. pp. 160-167. Proceedings of the 2013 SIAM Conference on Control and its Application.
 

Journal Article

Luczak, S. E., Yarnell, L. M., Prescott, C. A., Raine, A., Venables, P. H., Mednick, S. A. (2015). Cognitive measures as predictors of alcohol use and problems by mid-adulthood in a non-Western cohort. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors. Vol. 29, pp. 365-370.
Luczak, S. E., Rosen, I. G., Wall, T. L. (2015). Development of a real-time repeated-measures assessment protocol to capture change over the course of drinking episodes. Alcohol and Alcoholism. Vol. 50, pp. 1-8.
Luczak, S. E., Rosen, I. G. (2014). Modeling BrAC estimates from transdermal alcohol concentration data using the BrAC Estimator software program. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. Vol. 38, pp. 2243-2252.
Luczak, S. E., Yarnell, L. M., Prescott, C. A., Myers, M. G., Carr, L. G., Wall, T. L. (2014). Effects of ALDH2*2 on alcohol consumption and problems over four years of college. Journal of Abnormal Psychology. Vol. 123, pp. 130-140.
Rosen, I. G., Luczak, S. E., Weiss, J. (2014). Blind deconvolution for distributed parameter systems with unbounded input and output and determining blood alcohol concentration from transdermal biosensor data. Applied Math and Computation. Vol. 231, pp. 357-376.
Luczak, S. E., Prescott, C. A., Dalais, C., Raine, A., Venables, P. H., Mednick, S. A. (2014). Religious factors associated with alcohol involvement: Results from the Mauritian Joint Child Health Project. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. Vol. 135, pp. 37-44.
Leffingwell, T. R., Cooney, N. J., Murphy, J. G., Luczak, S. E., Rosen, I. G., Dougherty, D. M., Barnett, N. P. (2013). Transdermal alcohol monitoring: 21st century measurement for an age-old problem. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. Vol. 37, pp. 16-22.
Yarnell, L. M., Sargeant, M. N., Prescott, C. A., Tilley, J. L., Farver, J. M., Raine, A., Venables, P. H., Mednick, S. A., Luczak, S. E. (2013). Measurement invariance of an internalizing and externalizing factor structure of the CBCL behavioral syndromes in a non-Western sample. Assessment. Vol. 20, pp. 642-655.
Luczak, S. E., Pandika, D., Shea, S. H., Eng, M. Y., Liang, T., Wall, T. L. (2011). ALDH2 and ADH1B interactions in retrospective reports of low-dose reactions and initial sensitivity to alcohol in Asian Americans. Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research. Vol. 35, pp. 1238-1245.
 

Honors and Awards

Travel Award, Kettil Bruun Society, 2013-  
Young Investigator Travel Award, European Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism, 2009-  
NIH/NSF Career Development Award, Childhood Precursors to Alcohol Involvement. Mentored Career Development Award (K08 AA14265) , 8/15/2004-7/31/2010  
Travel Awards, International Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism , 2004-2006  
Junior Investigator Awards, Research Society on Alcoholism, 2001-2004  
Travel Award, National Institute of Drug Abuse, Fall 2001   
Phi Kappa Psi, Spring 2000   
 

Service to the University

Committees

Member, Dornsife College Non-Tenure Track Promotions Committee, 2010-  
Member, Merit Evaluation Committee, Department of Psychology, 2011-2012  
 

Service to the Profession

Editorships and Editorial Boards

Assistant Field Editor, Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 2015-  
Editorial board member, Frontier in Genetics, 2011-  
Editorial board member, Alcohol: An International Biomedical Journal, 2007-  
 

Professional Memberships

Kettil Bruun Society, 2012-  
European Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism, 2008-  
California Board of Psychology (licensed psychologist), 2003-  
International Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism, 2002-  
Research Society on Alcoholism, 2001-  
American Psychological Association (Divisions 28 & 50), 1995-  
 
 
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