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Ph.D. - Behavior, Cognition & Neuroscience - American University
B.A. - Psychology, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Briana completed her dissertation under the mentorship of Dr. Anthony Riley utilizing preclinical animal models to determine whether parental Δ9-THC exposure alters the abuse potential of other drugs including nicotine, heroin and cocaine in adult offspring. She joined the Addiction Biology Unit as a Postdoctoral Fellow in January 2020. Her research focuses on parsing apart the role of cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors in specific cell types (dopamine neurons, GABA neurons, glutamate neurons, astrocytes, and microglia) in cannabinoid action including classical pharmacological effects(i.e. analgesia, hypothermia, catalepsy, immobility) and reward versus aversion. In addition, she is also interested in studying cannabinoid-like compounds as therapeutic agents for the treatment of substance use disorders. She uses a variety of approaches to address these experimental endpoints including rat or mouse self-administration, immunohistochemistry, RNAscope in situ hybridization, subjects with conditional gene knock outs, neuropharmacology, optogenetics and fiber photometry.