My lab is interested in the processes underlying pain and addiction, with a focus on behavior and circuitry in the brain using rodent models. We are interested in understanding how pain and drugs of abuse alter cognitive processes, including attention and impulsivity, and the role of discrete cortical and limbic circuits. We are also interested in how the presence of pain influences complex behaviors in rodents, such as decision-making, avoidance of painful stimuli, and drug self-administration.Current projects in the lab include:

  • Examining changes in the medial prefrontal cortex associated with cognitive dysfunction in rats chronically self-administering heroin or cocaine
  • Noradrenergic modulation of attention and pain input in rats with chronic neuropathic pain
  • Examining novel biased kappa opioid analgesics in rat models of acute and chronic pain and addiction

These projects are currently funded by a P50 grant from NIDA, a P01 grant from NIGMS, and an R01 from NIDA.

Research Laboratory

Pain Mechanisms Lab -Cultivating an open scientific community that transforms pain treatment through innovative research. 

Educational Program Involvement

Integrative Physiology and Pharmacology PhD 
Program Research Interest: Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Cardiovascular Physiology and Hypertension, Regenerative Medicine, Neuro- and Behavioral Pharmacology, Cancer Therapeutics Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism Lifespan Physiology.