Assistant Professor of Psychiatry & Human Behavior (Research):
Bio Med Alcohol & Addiction; Psychiatry & Human Behavior
Phone: +1 401 456 4910
George Kenna conducts clinical as well as laboratory research on the causes of and treatments for alcohol dependence. He is particularly interested in how drugs work to reduce craving for alcohol. He is also interested in assessing and balancing the need for opioids for pain with that of addiction.
George A. Kenna is a pharmacist and Assistant Professor at the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies. His interests include examining the mechanisms of action and use of medications such as aripiprazole, topiramate, ondansetron and sertraline for the treatment of alcohol dependence. Recent interest includes prescription opioid abuse and risk management. Previous work includes research on the prevalence of substance use and abuse by healthcare professionals.
George A. Kenna PhD RPh is the Principal Investigator of an R01 grant that seeks to match and mismatch serotonergic genetic polymorphisms to serotonergic medications for alcohol dependence from NIAAA. He is also Co-Investigator and Project Director on a NIAAA supported grant written with Robert Swift MD PhD (PI) examining the mechanism of action and use of Aripiprazole and Topiramate on Alcohol Use. He is also Project Director and Co-I on an NIAAA contract (Robert Swift PI) comparing the safety and efficacy of sustained release Quetiapine for the treatment of severe alcohol dependence.
2003: Finalist, The Peter F. Merenda Prize for Statistics and Research Methodology.
2004: Research Society on Alcoholism Junior Investigator Award, Vancouver CA.
2004-2007: Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award
2006-2010: Who's Who in America.
2006: Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare.
2006: Travel Award to The 6th Annual Guze Symposium on Alcoholism Award, Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, Dept Psychiatry, St. Louis, MO.
2006: Research Society on Alcoholism Junior Investigator Award, Baltimore, MD.
2006: Advanced Pharmacy Practice Preceptor of the Year, College of Pharmacy, University of Rhode Island, Kingston RI.
2007: Early Career Investigator Award to the 69th Annual Scientific Meeting of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence, June 19, 2007, Quebec, CA.
2008: Travel Award to the XVIth World Congress on Psychiatric Genetics, Osaka Japan
2012: NIAAA Travel Award to the 16th International Society Biomedical Research Assn Congress, Sapporo, Japan Sept 8-12, 2012.
2012: Rhode Island Pharmacists Association: First Awardee of the Cardinal Health Generation Rx Champions Award Recognizing Excellence in Community Based Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention. Sept 27, 2012.
American Pharmacists Association (APhA)
Rhode Island Association of Health-System Pharmacists (RIHSP)
Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA)
International Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism (ISBRA)
American Pharmacists Association - APPM Addiction Practitioner Interest Group
College of Neurologic and Psychiatric Pharmacists (CPNP)
Multivariate, Univariate Statistics and Biopsychology
GRANT SUPPORT (CURRENT)
(1). R01-AA016079 (Kenna) 9/1/07-8/31/11 4.8 Calendar
Matching 5-HT Genotypes to Serotonergic Medications in Alcoholics.
We propose to randomize non-treatment-seeking alcohol dependent persons based on their 5'-HTTLPR variant genotype (LL or SS/SL) into one of two counterbalanced arms: participants in the first arm (LL) will first receive one drug (either 200mg/day of sertraline or ondansetron 0.5mg/day) for three weeks followed by an alcohol self-administration experiment. Role: Principal Investigator
(2). CS-1027 (Swift) 7/1/07- 3/31/09 2.4 Calendar
Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial to Compare the Safety and Efficacy of Quetiapine Extended Release versus Placebo for the Treatment of Severe Alcohol Dependence. The major goal of this study is to compare the safety and efficacy of quetiapine to placebo for the treatment of severe alcohol dependence. Role: Co-Principal Investigator and Project Director
(3). R01 AA015753 (Swift) 7/1/07- 6/30/11 4.8 Calendar
Aripiprazole and Topiramate on Free-Choice Alcohol Use.
The primary aim of this research is to determine if the combination of aripiprazole and topiramate is more effective than either drug alone in reducing alcohol use in non-treatment seeking alcohol-dependent subjects in an alcohol self-administration experiment. Role: Co-Principal Investigator and Project Director
GRANTS (IN PROGRESS)
(1). 2009-2013: NIAAA R-01: "A DOUBLE-BLIND PLACEBO CONTROLLED TRIAL COMBINING BACLOFEN AND NALTREXONE FOR THE TREATMENT OF ALCOHOL DEPENDENCE" Role: Principal Investigator
GRANT SUPPORT (COMPLETED)
(1) 6/30/03-6/29/04 R01-U10AA11777 (Swift ) 12.0 Calendar
Combining Medications and Behavioral Interventions (COMBINE).
COMBINE was the first national study to evaluate the effectiveness of behavioral treatments alone and in combination with naltrexone and acamprosate. Role: Research Fellow
(2). 2004-2006 Research Excellence Award "Pilot Study for the Safety and Tolerability of Aripiprazole and Topiramate with Alcohol," Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, Brown University, Providence RI, Role: PI $10,000
(3). 2006 Educational Grant "Toward a Better Understanding of Substance Abuse by Pharmacy Students and Pharmacists," Health Professions Students for Substance Abuse Training Role: PI $500
(4). 2006 Unrestricted Educational Grant. Cephalon Inc. "Toward a Better Understanding of Substance Abuse by Pharmacy Students and Pharmacists." To the University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy. Role: PI $1,500
(5). 2003-2004 NIAAA Grant AA02004 Ondansetron and Naltrexone: Cue Reactivity and Drinking; Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, Brown University, Providence, R.I., PI, Damaris Rohsenow, PhD. Role: Research Pharmacist Consultant
(6). 2004-2006 NIAAA Grant AA11777: Combining Medications and Behavioral Interventions (COMBINE); Long-term Follow-up; Roger Williams Medical Center, Providence, R.I., PI, Robert M. Swift. Role: Research Fellow
(7). 5T32AA007459-18 (Monti) 6/30/04-6/29/07 12.0 Calendar
Alcohol Intervention/Treatment Outcome Research Training NIAAA Postdoctoral Training Fellowship (National Research Service Award-Institutional)