My general interests are in how the environment can influence our affective state (or how we “feel”) and how that affective state can influence how we perceive and respond to our environment.

I approach these questions through a combination of self-report, behavioral, and psychophysiological (i.e., facial electromyography) approaches.


My background is in substance abuse research, where I studied the associations formed between environmental stimuli and drugs of abuse, including the types of responses these drug cues come to elicit in healthy humans. I also explored individual variation in cue responding and relationship between other risk factors for drug use, including subjective drug response, personality factors, and drug use history.

Research interests

My current research interests are in exploring involvement of neurotransmitter systems, including endocannabinoid and opioid systems, in affect regulation using both genetic and pharmacological approaches.

I’m also interested in how environmental factors (e.g., stress, social rejection, social touch) can influence affective responding in both healthy and clinical populations, and how dysregulation of affective responses can contribute to clinical pathologies.

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  • Ph.D. in Neurobiology, University of Chicago, 2015
    Advisor: Harriet de Wit
    Thesis title: A multidimensional approach to de novo drug conditioning in healthy humans: combining self-report, behavioral, and psychophysiological measures.
  • M.S. in Molecular Pathogenesis & Molecular Medicine, University of Chicago, 2013
  • B.S. in Neuroscience, University of Michigan, 2009
    Advisors: Shelly Flagel, Terry Robinson, Huda Akil
    Thesis title: Characterizing individual variation to reward-related cues in animals selectively bred for locomotor response to novelty.