The latest on our trainees
T32 Trainees Help Educate Youth on Smoking, Vaping, and Cannabis
T32 trainees gave four presentations at the Lab School to 7th and 8th graders on smoking, vaping, and cannabis. Emma Brett and Ross Mansouri-Rad presented slides and answered questions. T32 now has a survey on impressions and feedback from the middle schoolers to further develop this important outreach program!
T32 Trainee Emma Brett, PhD, Accepted as a UChicago Cancer Health Disparities Training Program Fellow
This fellowship allows her to participate in seminars, roundtables, and opportunities to network with cancer center faculty.
Former Predoctoral T32 trainee Elisa Pabon was awarded an F31 Individual NRSA award to complete her doctoral research.
Postdoctoral fellow, King Lab
I received my PhD in Clinical Psychology from Oklahoma State University and am now completing my post-doctoral training in the Clinical Addictions Research Laboratory under the mentorship of Dr. Andrea King. I am interested in understanding factors that influence engagement in substance use with a focus on nicotine/tobacco products and alcohol as well as brief interventions for health risk behaviors. Additionally, I am interested long-term substance use outcomes in underserved populations and how psychiatric disorders impact substance use behaviors and responses.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Chin-Tu Chen Lab
Doctoral Student, Sheffield Lab
Francis Lee is a new postdoctoral NIDA T-32 trainee. He received his PhD from UC Irvine in Sociology focusing on network modeling for HIV research. His current work seeks to examine how stimulant use affects HIV diffusion, treatment, and prevention in Chicago via agent-based network models. This has the potential to better inform policy targets for treatment and prevention in order to achieve a “functional zero” level of HIV incidence by 2030.
Doctoral Student, McGehee Lab
I am receiving my Ph.D. training in the lab of Dr. Daniel McGehee, investigating the neural circuitry underlying aversive effects of nicotine exposure, addiction and withdrawal. It is my goal to uncover the biological mechanisms behind mammalian decision making and methods of encouraging individuals to make better choices.
Doctoral Student, Garcia Lab
I am receiving my PhD training in Dr. Alfredo Garcia III ‘s lab at the University of Chicago. I am investigating the brainstem circuitry involved in opiate mediated respiratory depression and how environment influences the efficacy of opiates on central mechanisms of breathing. Specifically, I am examining how anticipation of a drug reward turns on reward circuitry and how this leads to tolerance to opiate overdose via respiratory depression.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Sheffield Lab
Chair of Department of Psychology, Queens College, CUNY
Tenured Associated Professor, Department of Psychiatry, UCSF
Assistant Professor at Linkoping University
Doctoral Student, Margoliash Lab
My research focuses on understanding how the intrinsic excitability of neurons, a fundamental plasticity mechanism, is involved in learning and how it is is altered by neural modulators like dopamine and acetylcholine. I address these questions by studying the complex learned behavior of songbirds, and performing exvivo electrophysiology experiments alongside pharmacology.
Doctoral Student, DeWit Lab
I am receiving my PhD training in Dr. Harriet de Wit’s psychopharmacology lab at the University of Chicago. My research focuses on the physiological, subjective, and behavioral effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive constituent of cannabis. I am interested in the neurobiological interactions between estrogen and exogenous cannabinoids. My dissertation study aims to provide critical information regarding hormonal mechanisms underlying female-specific individual differences in physiological and subjective response to acute THC.
Doctoral Student, Zhuang Lab
I am receiving my PhD training in Dr. Xiaoxi Zhuang’s lab at the University of Chicago. My research focuses on how the loss of dopaminergic signaling can lead to long-term changes in basal ganglia circuitry. I am also interested in how this rewiring affects motor learning and behavior.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Green Lab
Scott Schepers, PhD
I received my PhD under Dr. Mark Bouton at The University of Vermont. Currently, I am completing my post-doctorate under Dr. Harriet de Wit at The University of Chicago. I am interested in understanding the behavioral and neural mechanisms associated with the initiation, maintenance and relapse of drug abuse. I am especially interested in understanding the factors that contribute to relapse after the behavior has been suppressed through treatment.
Ashley Vena, PhD
Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at U of C
I received my PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Texas at Austin. Now I am completing my post doc in the Clinical Addictions Research Laboratory at the University of Chicago. I am interested in understanding the psychological and neuropharmacological effects of drugs of abuse, and how these effects may contribute to the development of drug dependency in individuals. Additional interests include the role of gender in the subjective effects of drugs and the therapeutic potential of THC, MDMA, and psilocybin in psychiatric disorders, such as depression and PTSD.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Zhuang Lab
I received my PhD in Genetics under Dr. Xiaoxi Zhuang at the University of Chicago. My research in post-doctoral training focuses on understanding the role of dopamine in reward, foraging decision-making, and fitness. I am also interested in exploring other genetic factors that may affect the decision-making process in a foraging environment.
Postdoctoral fellow, DeWit Lab
Dr. Murray received his PhD in neuroscience under Dr. Marina Wolf, studying how pathways in the brain strengthen during withdrawal to motivate relapse behavior. Currently, he is in his first year of a postdoctoral fellowship receiving training on the neurobiology of addictive behaviors under Dr. Harriet de Wit. Dr. Murray’s research interests include the subjective, behavioral, and physiological effects of drugs on healthy human volunteers, with particular emphasis on content analysis.