Howard J. Edenberg

Howard J. Edenberg, PhD

Distinguished Professor


Dr. Edenberg received his PhD in Biological Sciences from Stanford University in 1973, working in the laboratory of Dr. Philip Hanawalt on DNA repair in mammalian cells. Postdoctoral training with Dr. Joel Huberman (MIT) and Dr. Melvin DePamphilis (Harvard Med School) focused on DNA replication, and included the development of in vitro systems in which to study SV40 replication. He joined the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Indiana University School of Medicine in 1977, continuing to work on both DNA replication and repair, as well as transcription and the effects of UV irradiation on all of these processes. He became interested in genes involved in alcohol metabolism, and cloned several alcohol dehydrogenase genes (ADHs). He has continued to study their regulation in different cell types. He developed the first PCR-based methods for genotyping variants in the ADH and aldehyde dehydrogenase genes, and with colleagues demonstrated that functional variants in three of these genes affected risk for alcoholism. This led to an interest in alcoholism and other complex genetic diseases, and in applying genomics to understand them. He founded and until recently ran the Center for Medical Genomics, bringing genomic technology to the Indiana University School of Medicine. He is a leader in a major family study, the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism, as well as in studies of how alcohol exposure affects gene expression in the brain. He is also a leader in a global initiative to carry out meta-analyses of alcohol- and other substance-use disorders, under the framework of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium. 


(317) 274-2353 

Biochemistry/Molecular Biology
635 Barnhill Drive Medical Science, Room 4063E
Indianapolis, IN 46202-5120


Titles & Appointments

  • Chancellor's Professor, IUPUI
  • Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
  • Professor of Medical & Molecular Genetics