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B.S. Biology/Psychology, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI
M.A. Biological Psychology, American University, Washington, DC
Ph.D. Behavioral Neuroscience, American University, Washington, DC
As a postdoc in Dr. Thiele’s lab, my research has been focused on defining the role of neuromodulators (like NPY and CRF) in regulating binge-alcohol consumption and the transition to dependence. Specifically, I have helped to characterize the role of NPY-signaling in the central nucleus of the amygdala and identifying the specific circuits and potential mechanisms involved in regulating binge-like alcohol consumption. Additionally, I have been working to define a role for a local CRF microcircuit in the ventral tegmental area in regulating binge-alcohol drinking. To accomplish these research goals, I have employed a combination of behavioral, pharmacological, and molecular techniques, including site-directed behavioral pharmacology, viral vector-mediated transgene delivery, Cre-inducible DREADD expression, Cre-Flox technology, immunohistochemistry, Western immunoblotting, immunofluorescence, qRT-PCR.
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