B.S. in Biology, Virginia Polytechnic Inst. & State University; M.S. in Neuroscience, University of Texas- Dallas
Research Mentor: Shelly Flagel
I am interested in characterizing the neurocircuitry involved in drug addiction behaviors. These behaviors range from the acquisition of reward associated cues to conditioned reinforcement behavior and work rate, etc. I use sign-tracking and goal-tracking rats as my research model to better exploit individual variation that naturally occurs within a population. To help elucidate differences between the phenotypes and their relation to addiction I use behavioral paradigms, DREADDs and various molecular techniques such as immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization. My goal is to determine what circuits and neural substrates vary in function between these phenotypes in relation to drug addiction, and how that can be related to addiction in humans.