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Agnes J. Jasinska, Ph.D.

Post-Doctoral IRTA Fellow |

Agnes holds a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and M.S. in Human Genetics from the University of Michigan (2011), where she was also awarded a Postdoctoral Translational Fellowship from the Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research. In her dissertation research, under the mentorship of Drs. Thad Polk and Margit Burmeister, Agnes integrated functional neuroimaging, genetics, and task performance measures to assess the impact of serotonin transporter gene variation on neural and behavioral correlates of goal-directed cognition. Prior to her doctoral studies, she earned a Graduate Certificate in Cognitive Science from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and a B.A. in Philosophy and English magna cum laude from Marquette University.

Research Interests:

  • Brain mechanisms of cognitive control and cue reactivity in drug addiction and addictive behaviors, as well as genetic, environmental, and pharmacological factors that modulate these mechanisms
  • Identifying functional and structural features of brain networks that are associated with severity of addiction in drug users and with susceptibility to addiction in healthy participants
  • Integrating functional and structural neuroimaging, genetics, pharmacological manipulations, and behavioral and clinical measures 

Research Projects:

  • Functional and structural features of brain networks mediating the association between genetic variation in cholinergic brain signaling and addiction severity across a range of drugs of abuse
  • The impact of genetic variation in cholinergic brain signaling on the brain networks underlying cognitive control and impulsivity 


  • Jasinska AJ, Chua HF, Ho SS, Rozek LS, Polk TA, Strecher VJ. 2012. Amygdala response to smoking-cessation messages mediates the effects of serotonin transporter gene variation on smoking cessation. NeuroImage 60 (1): 766-773. PMID: 22245645.
  • Jasinska AJ, Lowry CA, Burmeister M. 2012. Serotonin transporter gene, stress, and raphe-raphe interactions: A molecular mechanism of depression. Trends in Neurosciences 35 (7): 395-402. PMID: 22301434. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2012.01.001.
  • Jasinska AJ, Yasuda M, Rhodes RE, Wang C, Polk TA. 2012. Task difficulty modulates the impact of emotional distracters on neural response in cognitive control regions. Frontiers in Psychology 3 (345). doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00345. Research Topic: “The Impact of Emotion on Cognition: Dissociating between Enhancing and Impairing Effects.”
  • Jasinska AJ, Ho SS, Taylor SF, Burmeister M, Villafuerte S, Polk TA. 2012. Influence of threat and serotonin transporter genotype on interference effects. Frontiers in Psychology 3 (139). doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00139. Research Topic: “The Impact of Emotion on Cognition: Dissociating between Enhancing and Impairing Effects.” 
  • Falk EB, Way B, Jasinska AJ. 2012. An imaging genetics approach to understanding social influence. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 6 (168). doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2012.00168. Research Topic: “Brains, Genes, and the Foundations of Human Society.”
  • Jasinska AJ, Yasuda M, Burant CF, Khatri S, Gregor N, Sweet M, Falk EB. 2012. Impulsivity and inhibitory control deficits are associated with unhealthy eating in young adults. Appetite 59 (3): 738-747. PMID: 22885454. 
  • Jasinska AJ, Ramamoorthy A, Crew CM. 2011. Towards a neurobiological model of cue-induced self-control in decision making: Relevance to addiction and obesity. Journal of Neuroscience 31 (45): 16139-16141. PMID: 22072666.
  • Chua HF, Ho SS, Jasinska AJ, Welsh RC, Polk TA, Liberzon I, Stretcher VJ. 2011. Self-related neural response to tailored smoking-cessation messages predicts quitting. Nature Neuroscience 14 (4): 426-427. PMID: 21358641.
  • Jasinska AJ, Perkins SC. 2009. Impact of the tri-allelic serotonin transporter polymorphism on the white-matter tract connecting the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex. Journal of Neuroscience 29 (34):10461-10462. PMID: 19710299.
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