ContactBiomedical Research Center
251 Bayview Blvd
Baltimore, MD 21224
Post-Doctoral Training – McLean Hospital - Harvard Medical School - Boston, MA
Ph.D. - Psychology (Brain, Behavior, Cognition) - Boston University - Boston, MA
I received my Ph.D. in the Brain, Behavior, and Cognition division of Psychology at Boston University. While my thesis work focused on the molecular mechanisms of cocaine dependence in preclinical models, I transitioned to using clinical neuroimaging methods for my post-doctoral training at Harvard Medical School’s McLean Hospital. I remained at Harvard and McLean for over 14 years and most recently I was an Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Director of the Functional Integration of Addiction Research Lab, and Associate Director of the McLean T32 training program focused on research in Substance Use Disorders and Brain Imaging. I also held a joint appointment with Suffolk University to provide research training to pre-doctoral candidates attaining degrees in clinical psychology. I currently serve as President-Elect for the College on Problems of Drug Dependence and am a Tenure-Track Investigator at the NIDA-IRP.
The long-term objective of our lab is to use neuroscience to guide the development of more personalized treatments for substance use disorders. This aim is supported by several shorter-term goals that include: 1) identifying neurobiological vulnerabilities for developing and maintaining addictive disorders; 2) determining how psychiatric disorders contribute to substance misuse; 3) determining the neurobiological impact of existing and developing treatments.
My past work at McLean Hospital has led to advances in each of these domains. For instance, we have begun identifying neurobiological targets predicting treatment outcome in nicotine dependence. We also have shown neurobiological links between the efficacy of mindfulness therapy and smoking cessation. Further, we have begun exploring how psychiatric disorders such as major depressive disorder and schizophrenia contribute to the development and maintenance of substance use. To aid in meeting the stated goals above, we also work toward better understanding the basic neuroscience of addiction and related cognitive function by using big data, and through collaborations we incorporate emerging methods such as those looking at the temporal dynamics of brain function at rest.