A portrait of the COGA participants with the COGA logo.

Welcome to the Collaborative Studies on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA) website.  COGA is the most comprehensive research project ever to be conducted on the inherited aspects of alcohol use disorder (AUD).
COGA has the goal of identifying genes that influence an individual’s risk of developing alcohol problems, and understanding how that risk unfolds across the lifespan. These discoveries are used to develop more tailored and effective strategies to prevent and to treat alcohol problems.

Signs of Alcohol Problems

  • Drinking more than you intended
  • Trying to cut down, but find you can’t
  • Spending a lot of time drinking or recovering from alcohol
  • Craving alcohol when you can’t get it
  • Drinking interfering with your home life, work, or school
  • Continuing to drink even though it’s causing problems with family or friends
  • Giving up important activities to drink
  • Getting into situations where you could get hurt (driving drunk, unsafe sex, etc)
  • Continuing to drink even though it’s making you depressed or causing health problems
  • Needing more alcohol to get the same effect
  • Trouble sleeping, shakiness, irritability, anxiety, depression, etc as the alcohol wears off

Genetics & Alcohol

Learn about how genes and environment come together to contribute to alcohol problems.


Learn more about new findings surrounding genetics and alcohol.

Alcohol Use Disorder, Psychiatric Comorbidities, Marriage and Divorce in a High-risk Sample

  Previous studies demonstrate the associations between alcohol use disorders (AUD) and marital outcomes in general population samples, and the associations between AUD and marital outcomes have tangible costs, because a body of work shows links between marriage with better health and well-being. This study made use of data from the Collaborative Study on the [...]


Binge and High-Intensity Drinking – Laboratory Assessment and Underlying Risk Factors

  Some patterns of alcohol consumption are riskier than others. How rapid consumption of alcohol contributes to the increased risk of alcohol use disorder is unclear. We developed an experiment in which participants were given specific control over how quickly their breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) changes, and then tested for relationships to risky drinking patterns. [...]


The Research is In: It’s Nature AND Nurture

Science tells us that both our genes AND our environments shape the likelihood that we will develop problems with alcohol use. Because the COGA study has a wealth of data on both genetics and environments, our investigators are uniquely positioned to explore both simultaneously. See the summaries of a few recent publications to better understand [...]


Did you know?

Alcohol Use Across Time

Different things impact alcohol use.

Click the title to learn more about alcohol use across time.

Alcohol & Genetics

Intensity of response to alcohol is one genetically influenced pathway to problems.

Click the title to learn more about alcohol and genetics.

Nature & Nurture

Genes and environment are important for AUD development.

Click the title to learn more about these factors play a role in AUD.